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Meet Saturday Night Live's Newest Featured Player

Saturday Night Live is gearing up for its 41st season in the late night schedule, and while there won’t be a ton of tweaks to the cast, the sketch comedy series has added one new name. This week, 25-year-old Jon Rudnitsky has been added to the SNL cast. He’ll be joining the team as a featured player during Season 41.

NBC’s bio for the young comedian notes he comes from Harrington Park, New Jersey, although he graduated from USC on the West Coast. Like most of the other featured players, Rudnitsky has a heavy background in comedy; he actually won the 2012 Laugh Factory’s Laugh Bowl college comedy contest, and his YouTube page features plenty of stand-up the man has done in the past. You can get an idea of his comedic tone by checking out the video, below. (I’m quite fond of the inappropriate hashtag rant around the 1-minute mark.)

In addition to the stand-up, Rudnitsky’s online presence features plenty of viral videos and sketch comedy, so he should be a good fit for Saturday Night Live when the show returns to the schedule in October. Still, if there’s one thing we know about SNL, it’s that it can be a tough and demanding gig. A lot of people end up getting hired on, only to last a season or two before washing out. While hopefully Rudnitsky will manage to bridge the gap between featured players and cast members, we’ve actually seen a few people wash out in recent years.

Back in Season 39, Fred Armisen, Bill Hader and Jason Sudeikis had already left the cast, and the show had to reboot with new names including Beck Bennett, Kyle Mooney, John Milhiser, Noel Wells and Brooks Whelan to the cast. In addition, writer Mike O’Brien was added to the cast. Of those, some have been successful, like Bennett and Mooney, while others quickly found themselves ousted from the show. Whelan was fired, and Wells and Milhiser both followed. But then Season 40 featured some new additions who stuck around, including Pete Davidson, and the lineup is looking a lot more cemented moving forward.

When Jon Rudnitsky makes his first appearance this fall, at 25, he’ll be the second youngest SNL onscreen performer, following Pete Davidson, who is currently only 21. We’ll be able to see how the new comedian does soon enough. Saturday Night Live will return to the schedule on Saturday, October 3 at 11:30 p.m. ET. Miley Cyrus and Tracy Morgan will host early episodes in Season 41.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.