- Created on Thursday, 17 October 2013 12:14
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Wahl says having six new cast members is a huge change but believes there is a reason.
“I honestly think Lorne is doing this so he can fire two or three of them that don’t work.” However, three episodes into the new season, Wahl sees potential in two of the new hires.
“Kyle Mooney seems like a pretty strong character actor. Mike O’Brien may not be the best actor, but you can probably depend on funny weird sketches from him.” O’Brien had been part of the writing team since 2009 before the promotion to cast member.
Oickle is also looking forward to seeing more of O’Brien, especially with his writing experience.
“When he’s in a sketch it just feels like you finally get to hear the source of so many previous sketches.”
Wahl says the new additions have a slight advantage over those who joined in the past.
“The challenges they face are not as daunting as if they started, say, last season. But now that a lot of the heavyweights have cleared out, I think it’s their time to shine. And you’re going to really start to see them take over in the next few seasons.”
Laureen Beaton, 21, of Welland, sees the new cast differently.
“I think the new cast members have gotten off to a slow start, but it’s tough because this is such a big transition year. You can’t really put a bunch of new faces in all the sketches and expect people to be on board right away, you need to weave them in.”
As if finding six new cast members was not enough, viewers will notice another change to the show’s format.
For the first time since 2008, the popular Weekend Update segment will feature a co-anchor. Cecily Strong joins long time anchor, Seth Meyers, to help read and parody the news of the past week.
The addition coincides with the announcement that Meyers will be leaving the show mid season, as he will taking over Jimmy Fallon’s position as host of Late Night.
Although not confirmed, it is believed that Strong will continue the job alone once Meyers leaves. If this happens, Strong will be the first solo female Weekend Update anchor in more than 33 years.
So far, the reviews for Strong have been mixed.
Beaton says she likes it when there are two hosts at the Weekend Update desk, as the banter between two people can add to many of the jokes. However, she is apprehensive.
“I really like her in sketches and I think she has sharp timing, but I’m undecided on having her on Update. I think she is doing fine but she hasn’t blown me away yet.”
Wahl agrees and says he wasn’t blown away by her debut, but that it “takes time to find your own comedic voice.”
Wahl says having Meyers as an apprentice for the first few shows is a “pretty damn good idea.”
Oickle on the other hand provides a different take.
“Strong has done such a great job presenting new characters since last year, but I don’t see any problem with her on Weekend Update.”
Oickle says that by October people will have forgotten they were skeptical in the first place, and “sometimes you just gotta trust Lorne Michaels.”
With three episodes down, the new cast appears to be getting comfortable with their new roles. The season has just begun and the battle will be uphill for the new recruits, however.
SNL is on Saturday nights at 11:30 p.m. EDT on NBC.