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Saturday Night Live just added a brand new cast member to the lineup this week, and with the addition of newbie comedian Jon Rudnitsky, the cast for the 2015-2016 season has been cemented. This is great news for the cast, because after a couple of shaky seasons, it means the SNL has not decided to fire anyone before the new season. In fact, every single cast member from last season will be returning to Saturday Night Live this fall.
This may not seem like it is a huge deal, but considering the troubles SNL has faced with its new crop of comedians, it actually is a big, big deal. It was just a couple of seasons ago that a slew of big names left the series. Fred Armisen, Bill Hader and Jason Sudeikis all bolted at the end of Season 38, just a short time after SNL veteran Kristen Wiig had left, as well. Although Kenan Thompson and Bobby Moynihan are still a part of the cast, the next few years were big rebuilding seasons for the series that saw a slew of comedians, including Noel Wells and John Milhiser, fired. Even the “Weekend Update” lineup has gone through some growing pains, with Cecily Strong eventually getting replaced by newcomer Michael Che last season.
Last year, however, the new cast finally started to gel and hit its stride. The show offered a nice balance between clever pop culture commentaries, loveable recurring characters and whatever the hell it is Beck Bennett and Kyle Mooney get up to right at the end of the night when most people are sleeping. For a cast to work, it’s not about every single person being an all-time great that develops into a movie star. It’s about the cast members finding their specific roles in order to balance out the types of humor and manufacture strong group efforts each week. This current cast is starting to gel into that ideal, and as such, it’s not surprising head man Lorne Michaels would be interested in bringing every single person back.
That isn’t to say the show is more about the cast than it is about celebrity. Last season, we saw great sketches from Chris Pratt, Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz, among other big names. This season, Miley Cyrus will host the first episode and subsequent episodes will also feature Tracy Morgan in his first comedic gig since his car accident, as well as Amy Schumer, who will also bring the funny to 30 Rock. So, there will be plenty of star power to help out the solidified cast.
Still, it’s probably a tough environment to work in when your friends are getting fired all the time, so we’re pretty happy we don’t have any firings to report this fall. New episodes will hit the schedule on Saturday, October 3 at 11:30 p.m. ET.