The trials and tribulations of auditioning for Saturday Night Live have been well documented in recent years. While all sources seem to confirm that the process is grueling, the pay-off for the comedians who make the final cut is usually well worth the effort, and it seems (as of today) five more comedians have qualified for a shot at the big time. Lorne Michaels has been looking to find replacements for exiting SNL stars Fred Armisen, Bill Hader (whom you can hear right now talk to the Nerdist crew), Jason Sudeikis, and Seth Meyers — who will leave the show eventually to start his new gig as the host of Late Night.
Deadline appears to have the narrowed-down list of potential contenders all of whom passed the rigorous audition process, and while you might not be familiar with all of their names, the crop of new talent all appear to have strong comedic pedigrees:
Beck Bennett – whom you’ll recognize as the straight man to a bunch of silly kids in these AT&T commercials: He seems like a great Meyers or Sudeikis replacement as he can easily fill the ‘everyman’ position. In addition to the AT&T commercials, Bennett is a founding member of the sketch group Good Neighbor, clearly a talented group of guys, as another member of Good Neighbor is also in the running to join SNL…
Kyle Mooney: appeared in hilarious interviews on Comedy Central’s Sports Show as Norm MacDonald’s “nephew” (check out longer cuts of these interviews for extra hilarity).
John Milhiser: An Upright Citizens Brigade member since 2005, Milhiser is also a part of the sketch group Serious Lunch, who produce all manner of viral videos featuring celebrity cameos (sounds like a certain former SNL cast member with a similar sketch group).
Noël Wells: An impressionist who can be found imitating a variety of female celebrities, but has become particularly well known for her YouTube series, Hey! The Zooey Deschanel Show.
Are you familiar with any or all of the candidates? What do you think? Worthy successors to the SNL heritage? Talk about it in the comments below.