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When Saturday Night Live creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels sat down with The New York Times this weekend, he confirmed that Cecily Strong would co-anchor the weekend update. He also announced the names of the new cast members. NBC also confirmed the news with a statement on Monday.
The six new featured players are Beck Bennett, John Milhiser, Kyle Mooney, Mike O’Brien, Noël Wells and Brooks Wheelan. These names were among those brought up by Deadline in August and are all comedians who understand the role of the Internet. For example, Wells has her own YouTube channel that has racked up over 23,000 subscribers. Her most popular work is her Zooey Deschanel sketches and she is the only new female cast member.
In the Times interview, it was reported that he didn’t finalize the new cast members until last week. Wheelan is a Los Angeles stand-up comic who was not mentioned in last month’s reports. Bennett is the most familiar of the group, since he’s in the AT&T commercials asking kids questions. He will be joined by Mooney, a performing partner of his.
As we previously reported, Strong, who recently joined the show herself, will co-anchor Weekend Update with Seth Meyers. It’s possible that she could take over solo, but Michaels is confident that Meyers could still do Weekend Update while hosting NBC’s Late Night.
“Cecily, from the first show, was right there,” Michaels told the Times. “She exploded.”
SNL’s new season starts on Sept. 28 with Tina Fey hosting.