‘SNL’ Taps Cecily Strong for Weekend Update, Adds One More Cast Member, Demotes Another

By September 16, 2013
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SNL - Weekend Update - Strong & Meyers

One week ago, NBC announced that Tina Fey would host the 39th season premiere of “Saturday Night Live” with musical guest Arcade Fire. The weeks following will see Miley Cyrus and Bruce Willis as hosts, but today we have news regarding the cast members of the sketch series.

Back in August we featured a very detailed rundown of the new cast members slated to join the news season of “SNL” including Beck Bennett, Kyle Mooney, Noël Wells, John Milhiser, and four-year writer Michael Patrick O’Brien. But The New York Times reports one more cast member has been added to the mix: Brooks Wheelan, a young stand-up comedian who has been busy on stage in Los Angeles.

Wheelan was named one of Comedy Central’s 10 Comics to Watch in 2012, and he’s been performing at the Laugh Factory and various comedy festivals around the country. Here’s one of his sets from a couple months ago:

But that’s not all the updates we have for the “SNL” cast. Since Seth Meyers is leaving the series at the end of the year for his new gig hosting “Late Night” on NBC, we’ve been wondering who would replace him on Weekend Update. Now we have word that cast member Cecily Strong will be co-anchoring the news satire segment when the show returns on September 28th, and the two confirmed the news on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/cecilybecily/statuses/379386503795060736

However, we’re doubtful that she’ll have the desk to herself once Meyers heads out at the end of the year. Not only is she a bit inexperienced in this regard (though she appears frequently as various characters), but being the sole host of Weekend Update keeps that cast member busy, and the only way to ensure they have time for other sketches is to have two anchors, but there’s no telling who the second host would be.

We’ve been hoping for writer John Mulaney to step up to the plate, and hypothesized that writer turned cast member Michael Patrick O’Brien might take the job since he hosts the popular web series “7 Minutes in Heaven” where he interviews celebrity guests in a closet. But we’ll likely have to wait a couple months to see how this all plays out.

SNL - Tim Robinson

And with one sort of promotion for Strong, there comes a demotion for one of the cast members. Tim Robinson joined the cast last year as a featured player, and while he really started to shine in some sketches late last season, he’s been taken off the cast and delegated to the writing staff. While that might sound a bit sad, writing for “Saturday Night Live” isn’t exactly the worst job in the world. And it actually shows that producer Lorne Michaels is still confident in his comedic talent for the show. Cast members usually only get let go instead of being reallocated to the writing staff, so Robinson is still in a good position.

This new season of “SNL” will certainly have some big gaps in talent to overcome with Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis and Fred Armisen all gone, but this could be when the sketch series thrives and new comedy stars are born. We’ll be reviewing all the new “SNL” episodes, so stay tuned.

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.