Now entering its 40th season, Saturday Night Live is coming off a shaky year in which they added seven mostly forgettable new cast members following the loss of several of their biggest featured players. Of the seven people added last year, only three—Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, and Sasheer Zamata—will be returning to the show this year ( 2013-14 cast member Mike O’Brien will return to his role as show writer, and no longer appear as a cast member), but rather than add another slew of people for what could be called an artificially inflated cast, SNL is only two new cast members: Michael Che, a former SNL writer, was announced as the new co-anchor of Weekend Update last week, and Pete Davidson, a native New Yorker, whose addition to the cast was announced today.
Davidson—who, at only 20-years-old will be the third youngest SNL cast member of all time, after Anthony Michael Hall (16) and Eddie Murphy (17), and tied with Robert Downey Jr. (wait, what? yes)—was born and raised in Staten Island, though he now lives in Brooklyn. Via Deadspin, Davidson “started his career in comedy at 16, using it as a therapeutic outlet after losing his father, a New York City firefighter, on 9/11.” Davidson’s twitter account frequently invokes the heroic actions of his father and the hundreds of other New York firefighters who gave their lives on 9/11, and throughout the city’s history. While Davidson’s career is still relatively short (again, he’s 20… that’s not even old enough to be a Millennial), he’s already made a pretty big impression on the comedy scene, and was, frankly, hilarious in a recent stand-up act on Jimmy Kimmel’s show (see below). All of which is to say that as much fun as it is to continue the 39-year tradition of complaining that SNL is not as funny as it used to be, the addition of Davidson (and Che!) are actually making us think that this might just be the year that SNL gets really good again? Maybe! I guess we’ll all have to wait and see when the season kicks off this September 27th. The premiere’s guest host is Chris Pratt, and the following week will feature Sarah Silverman (and maybe her vape pen??), so we’re actually already pretty excited.
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