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Saturday Night Live has always preferred young when it comes to its cast members. With a few notable exceptions, the show typically employs people in their late twenties and thirties. That’s enough time to get training and seasoning but not enough to lose hipness. If you’ve got talent, however, the show will find a way to use you. Eddie Murphy was cast at 19, and now, Pete Davidson has been cast at just 20.
The New York based comedian has been generating quite a bit of buzz over the past year or so thanks to appearances on Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Jimmy Kimmel Live. According to Variety, he cought the attention of Saturday Night Live producers, and they quietly hired him as one of just two new cast members for the upcoming season, alongside Michael Che who will co-host Weekend Update with Colin Jost.
So, if you’re following along at home, Saturday Night Live’s cast for the upcoming 40th season has been officially set. It will feature the two new Not Ready For Primetime Players alongside longtime cast members Bobby Moynihan, Kenan Thompson and Taran Killiam, as well as rising stars Jay Pharoah, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong and Vanessa Bayer and relative newcomers Beck Bennett, Colin Jost, Kyle Mooney and Sasheer Zamata. All in all, it’s a pretty damn good lineup, and it’s one that should be able to cover pretty much anything that comes up. Noel Wells, Brooks Whelan, John Milhiser and Mike O'Brien all won't be returning.
As you would expect given he’s a 20-year-old with a family, Pete Davidson’s family is very excited about the news. His sister even took to Twitter and sent out this celebratory message…
This has all the makings of a great Saturday Night Live story. Looking through the history of the show, however, it’s very clear no one ever stays on the air because he or she is a great story. Some of the most talented comedians in history have been fired because they didn’t fit in, they weren’t able to be funny at the right times or their run had simply run its course. So, for Pete Davidson’s sake, I hope he hits the ground running as soon as the new season premieres.
Saturday Night Live airs on NBC on Saturday nights at 11:35 EST. Contrary to what you may have heard, it is still funny.