1:47pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'SNL' Adds Three Featured Players for Season 43
NBC's Saturday Night Live is adding a trio of fresh faces to its cast.
The veteran sketch comedy has enlisted Chris Redd, Heidi Gardner and Luke Null as featured performers for its upcoming 43rd season.
The trio will help fill the voids created by the departures of Bobby Moynihan (who had been there for nine seasons), Vanessa Bayer (seven) and Sasheer Zamata (four), who left after the season 42 finale.
Redd, 32, is an actor, comedian and writer best known for his role as Hunter in the mockumentary Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, where he co-starred alongside SNL alums including Andy Samberg, Joan Cusack, Bill Hader, Tim Meadows and Maya Rudolph. He also was featured in Comedy Central's Stand-Up Presents series (watch, below) and has experience in sketch and improv. Redd's credits include a recurring role in Netflix's Chuck Lorre pot comedy Disjointed. He is repped by ICM Partners, Principato Young and Schreck Rose.
Gardner, 34, is a Groundlings performer and actress whose credits include writing and voicing multiple roles on Crackle's Bryan Cranston-produced animated comedy SuperMansion. She next has a supporting role in the feature Life of the Party, written by and starring Melissa McCarthy. (McCarthy this month took home an Emmy for her role as Sean Spicer on SNL.) Gardner is repped by TalentWorks and Odenkirk Provissiero.
Null, 27, is a Chicago-based musical comedian and improviser hailing from iO Chicago. His credits include the 2011 film The Heart: The Final Pulse. He is repped by UTA.
Additionally, SNL has also added several new writers for the upcoming season, including Sam Jay (Take My Wife), Gary Richardson (The Characters), Erik Marino (Weeds), Andrew Dismukes (Call Me Brother), Steven Castillo (Becoming Red), Claire Friedman and Nimesh Patel (the 2017 White House Correspondents Dinner).
SNL returns for its 43rd season this Saturday with host Ryan Gosling and musical guest Jay-Z. The Lorne Michaels-produced sketch series will continue to keep its nationwide live telecasts during the upcoming season. Emmy winner Alec Baldwin is set to return in the premiere as President Donald Trump.
SNL capped a banner season 42 by taking home a leading nine Emmy wins this year, including for sketch series and castmember Kate McKinnon as well as McCarthy and Baldwin.
"Going into the season, I knew I wanted to get it right. We thought it would be the biggest election of our lifetime and we wanted to be in the middle of it," Michaels told The Hollywood Reporter after SNL's big Emmy showing. "We lived week to week, and it was one of those years where the cast just rose to any challenge; the writing staff did; and the design team did. No one said, 'We've only got two hours.' The president just did this and we have to change it … . This is a group that was united and all of one mind and everybody sacrificed and supported each other. That's the best you ever get when you do the kind of show like this."