Meet 'Saturday Night Live's' New Cast Members: Aidy Bryant, Tom Robinson, and Cecily Strong
So it is with the 38th season, which kicks off this weekend with three new warm bodies filling the void left by the departures of longtime SNL favorites Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg, and Abby Elliott. NBC has confirmed that the new cast members, all hailing from the world of Chicago improv comedy that has sustained the show since 1975, are Aidy Bryant, Tom Robinson, and Cecily Strong.
Comedy professionals' website The Comic's Comic broke the news of Bryant and Robinson's hiring on Friday and Strong's hiring on Monday. NBC then confirmed that all three will join the cast as "featured players," the junior-level cast members who tend to get less sketch time until they prove themselves.
Learn more about the SNL newcomers and watch clips of them in action, below.
SNL has a long history of roly-poly male comics, from John Belushi and Chris Farley to current players Kenan Thompson and Bobby Moynihan, but more than one observer has noted that Bryant will be the show's first ever plus-sized female star. (Which is sort of a backhanded compliment to Rachel Dratch.) Bryant hails from Phoenix. In Chicago, she worked at Second City (a source of SNL comics since the days of Belushi and Bill Murray) and with such improv groups as Baby Wants Candy and Annoyance, where she performed with current SNL player Vanessa Bayer.
Strong is from Oak Park, Illiinois. In addition to Second City, she worked alongside Bryant in the group Virgin Daiquiri at Chicago's Improv Olympics.