Live from New York … it’s three new stars headed to the 42nd season of “Saturday Night Live.”
On Monday, the iconic sketch comedy series announced via Twitter that comic actors Mikey Day, Alex Moffat and Melissa Villaseñor will be joining the cast of NBC's comedy institution, presumably as featured players, when the show returns from hiatus on October 1. Traditionally, the cast of "SNL" was referred to as the "Not Ready for Prime-Time Players."
Day may be familiar to fans for the “Maya and Marty” variety series, which aired this past summer on NBC. He was a featured player in sketches alongside "SNL" veterans Maya Rudolph, Martin Short and Kenan Thompson, and prior to that he appeared on MTV’s improv comedy series “Wild N’ Out” and Showtime’s “The Underground.”
Although he may be relatively new to audiences, Day has worked at "SNL" as a writer since 2013. He was the brains behind popular sketches like the spoof of "Undercover Boss" featuring the villainous Kylo Ren from "Star Wars" and a uproariously gruesome parody of "Dead Poets Society" called "Farewell Mr. Bunting."
Current "SNL" stars Michael Che, Leslie Jones and Colin Jost all also got their starts as writers on the show, so there is a track record of success for making the transition.
Moffat is a Chicago native who has delivered stand out performances at the Second City Theater there (which produced past "SNL" legends like Chris Farley, John Belushi, Gilda Radner and Bill Murray) and The Annoyance Theater, where he starred in a one-man show.
Should Hillary Clinton win the White House in November, he may be the leading candidate to supplant veteran "SNL" actor Darrell Hammond in the role of “first dude” Bill Clinton, who he played in a Broadway-style karaoke musical.
And last but not least, Melissa Villaseñor is breaking new ground as the only the second woman of Latina descent to ever be cast on “Saturday Night Live.”
An experienced stand-up comic with a knack for impressions, Villaseñor got national exposure as a top 16 finalist on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” and her voice work can be heard on the popular Cartoon Network series “Adventure Time.” She'll be joining a much more gender-balanced cast than the show has boasted in years past, with a 50/50 split between male and female performers.
"SNL" cast turnovers have been par for the course for the venerable franchise ever since a young Chevy Chase departed the series 40 years ago during its second season to embark on a successful Hollywood career.
Last month, fans of the series learned that long-time cast-members Jay Pharoah and Taran Killam, as well as newbie John Rudintsky, would not be coming back for the new season.
Pharoah and Killam in particular were responsibly for bevvy of celebrity and political impressions, so the new cast-members will have some big shoes to fill, but on the other hand, election seasons have historically been kind to "SNL" and a surefire way for the show to reassert its relevance.
When the show returns to air next month it'll be in the midst of Clinton and Donald Trump's highly anticipated presidential debates.