Saturday Night Live Debuts New Chicago Cast Members
By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 27, 2010 2:40PM
The new season of SNL got underway over the weekend with some new cast members, including two Chicagoans. Paul Brittain and Vanessa Bayer both hailed from iO, which celebrated with a viewing party. Second City alums Tom Flanigan and Shelly Gossman had also been hired to join the writing staff.
Following the recent pattern, host Amy Poehler's appearance was supplemented by a slew of cameos, including Rachel Dratch, Maya Rudolph, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, and Justin Timberlake. Gov. David Patterson (!) popped in for Weekend Update, chiding the show for making fun of people with disabilities while reeling off some surprisingly effective zingers. In one of the best sketches, musical guest Katy Perry appeared on Bronx Beat as a bosomy librarian wearing a low-cut Elmo t-shirt.
As for the newcomers, SNL appears to be doing a soft rollout. Jay Pharoah offered two labored, barely amusing impressions (of Will Smith and Chris Tucker), but Brittain and Bayer got barely any face time at all. The "Tiny Hat" sketch gave a few glimpses of Bayer's goofy side, and fellow newbie Taran Killam appeared for a split-second bit as disgruntled flight attendant Steven Slater, but clearly it's going to take awhile to see what the show decides to do with the new cast members.
In fact we thought the funniest bit on the show was a spoof commercial riffing on every right winger's worst fears come true ...