Saturday Night Live has become the sketch comedy show that just keeps on going, as it will shortly kick off its 43rd season on NBC. The 2016-2017 TV season was big for SNL, as the series' parodies of political players and the Trump administration attracted many fans, although notably not President Trump. Sadly, Season 42 ended with the departures of three SNL players: Vanessa Bayer, Bobby Moynihan, and Sasheer Zamata. The good news is that the show has officially added three new cast members for Season 43.
The new cast members will be Heidi Gardner, Luke Null, and Chris Redd. All three will join Saturday Night Live as featured players. As featured players rather than repertory players, we likely won't see nearly as much of these three as we see of the likes of Kenan Thompson, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon. Still, it should be fun to get some fresh blood in the mix. If we had to lose Vanessa Bayer, Bobby Moynihan, and Sasheer Zamata, hopefully we got some seriously funny folks to replace them.
As is often the case with SNL players when they first start the show, none of the new cast members are especially huge names in comedy just yet. Chris Redd did have a role in 2016's Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping with SNL alum Andy Samberg, although the movie unfortunately bombed at the box office. On the TV front, he has recently appeared in Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later and Disjointed, both on Netflix.
For her part, Heidi Gardner has mostly made a TV name for herself as a voice actress, with work on Supermansion and Bratz the TV series. She has also been a member of the main company at the Groundlings improv and sketch comedy theater in Los Angeles. Gardner is not the first SNL player to come from a Groundlings background, with Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, and Maya Rudolph as only a few of the famous alums. If Gardner is as much of an asset to SNL as these others were, we can bet that she'll be a good fit for the show.
As for Luke Null, he is another performer accustomed to improv. Prior to landing SNL, Null was best known for his work with the iO Theater in Chicago, which also has its fair share of big SNL alums. To name only a few, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mike Meyers all came out of iO Theater (which was formerly known as The ImprovOlympics). With his background at the iO Theater, Null should have the comedy chops to fit in with the rest of the Saturday Night Live cast.
All three Saturday Night Live newcomers will debut in the Season 43 premiere on September 30. Ryan Gosling will host, and Jay-Z will appear as musical guest to kick off the 43rd season. For the rest of the upcoming SNL hosts and musical guests that have been announced so far, take a look at our breakdown. For your viewing options now and in the coming week, be sure to check out our fall TV premiere schedule.