Lorne Michaels Overhauls 'SNL' Lineup, Anoints New 'Weekend Update' Host; Last Two Cast Spots Appear to Be Set NY Times
"Saturday Night Live" is undergoing one of the biggest overhauls in its four-decade history following the departure of three key players and with the looming exit of "Weekend Update" anchor Seth Meyers, writes Bill Carter in The New York Times.
Producer Lorne Michaels has a plan for handling the transition at the "Weekend Update" desk that involves the relative newcomer Cecily Strong, Carter writes.
Strong will join Meyers on "Weekend Update" starting with the show's season premiere Sept. 28, and is lined up to potentially step into the job on a solo basis later in the season. Meyers is leaving "SNL" in February to host NBC's "Late Night" four nights a week.
Michaels said he's hoping that Meyers might still be able to work on "Update," given that "Late Night" (which Michaels also executive produces) doesn't have a Friday night edition, Carter notes.
As for Strong, she performed well during her first season on the show, creating memorable characters such as The Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party. (See clip below.)
"Cecily, from the first show, was right there,” Michaels said. “She exploded.”
In addition to the changes at "Weekend Update," the show is adding six cast members. Michaels decided last week on the final addition, hiring stand-up comedian Brooks Wheelan. Also among the new cast members is Beck Bennett, who is seen on AT&T commercials with groups of kids. NBC will make their casting official today, Carter writes.
Cast members Fred Armisen, Bill Hader and Jason Sudeikis are leaving the show, as we reported previously.