Vanessa Bayer, Paul Brittain, Taran Killam, And Jay Pharoah To Join As Featured PlayersSNL Returns With Three Back-To-Back Shows: September 25; October 2; October 9 width= NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” kicks off its 36th season on September 25 with Amy Poehler returning to studio 8H and musical guest Katy Perry.   Making their debut on the SNL stage, Vanessa Bayer, Paul Brittain, Taran Killam, and Jay Pharoah will join the cast as featured players.Amy Poehler, former SNL cast member and three-time Emmy Award nominee, will return to studio 8H for her hosting debut.   In addition to her eight years on “Saturday Night Live,” Poehler currently stars in NBC’s critically acclaimed comedy series “Parks and Recreation” and appeared in numerous feature films including “Baby Mama,” “Mean Girls” and “Shrek the Third.”   She successfully launched an online series, “Smart Girls at the Party,” and is one of the founding members of the comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade.Katy Perry, whose second album “Teenage Dream” is currently number one on Billboard, will make her debut SNL musical appearance on the September 25 season premiere.   The new album has already yielded two smash hit singles -“California Gurls” was the biggest hit of this Summer, while the title-track “Teenage Dream” is currently number two on the Hot 100 and poised to hit number one.   This success comes on the heels of the global breakthrough of Katy’s debut album, which sold 5 million worldwide, and featured four hit singles: “I Kissed A Girl”, “Hot N Cold”, “Thinking Of You”, and “Waking Up In Vegas.”Also making their SNL debut, Vanessa Bayer, Paul Brittain, Taran Killam, and Jay Pharoah join the cast as featured players.   Vanessa Bayer joins the cast of SNL from iO Chicago, The Annoyance, and The Second City.   Paul Brittain is a veteran of the iO Theater in Chicago where he performed as a member with numerous improv and sketch groups.   Taran Killam hails from Los Angeles, where he established his comedy career as a main company member of The Groundlings, performing with numerous improv and sketch groups, and also appearing in The Groundlings’ Sunday company.   Originally from Virginia, Jay Pharoah honed his performing skills in community theater and at local comedy clubs.”Saturday Night Live” is produced in association with Broadway Video. The creator and executive producer is Lorne Michaels.


  1. With all the hype and hooey generated from a recent SNL episode where the host was selected as a result of public support, regardless of the personality involved, wouldn’t the buzz have been built more based on a feeling that viewers had made their voices heard?

    Even if the writers had tried to screw it up, which at times can be hard to tell the difference, wasn’t this pretty much a can’t miss scenario? While factors in the host selection process can lead to endless speculation, wouldn’t the more divergent path taken to get there tend to thicken the intrigue? Could this be the start of a trend, expanding the interactive so that people could have more of a say, or will it be back to business as usual?

    Years ago I was part of something along the same lines, runner-up in the Anyone Can Host contest. Following up on this more recently, I got back in touch with Lorne Michaels through a series of letters. As the process evolved, a few were addressed to certain individuals inquiring as to whether they would consider being host.
    Here are links, in reverse chronological order, to those letters:

    Andy Rooney Tiger Woods Susan Boyle Woody Allen Howard Stern
    Clint Eastwood Mel Brooks Buck Henry David Bowie Nicholas Sarkozy

    (Since the links won’t transfer, please go to: http://dwdiamond.com/L2L.html )

    With possibly little to gain by following up on this, it may be awhile before any of them ever do, yet isn’t that just the point? How much would it raise the bar if they did? Is SNL more about taking chances or playing it safe? Easy enough to ask such a question from the outside, perhaps the only ones who could find a credible response are too busy to ponder such things.

    Whoever the host might be, it’s just one show, one week, temporary impact. But what if a similar campaign were to add someone new to the writing staff? How much fun could that be? Not just anyone, a raving lunatic. Maybe not fresh out of the nut house, but somebody crazy enough to imagine there could be a chance in hell it would ever happen. Has the world gone crazy? Is there enough craziness out there to make a difference? Am I the only crazy one?

    So if you ever thought SNL was becoming more of a lullaby than wake up call, all it would take is a little follow up to start tipping the scales away from complacency, towards chaos…

    Better crazy than lazy,



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