Lorne Michaels Talks New SNL Cast Members: 'The Sun Comes Up'
If there's anyone who knows there's no shortage of comedic talent out there, it's Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels, 67, who has been with the iconic late-night show since it's inception 38 years ago, and has seen many funny people come and go. That's why Michaels didn't lose heart after Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg ended their marathon runs on the show, filling their spots with four new talents — Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong, Kate McKinnon (pictured) and Tim Robinson.
"I think there's a tremendous feeling of loss like, 'What will you do?' and 'It will never be the same.' Then, the sun comes up," he told Entertainment Weekly. The sun has particularly been shining on McKinnon, who came in on the show at the end of last season, slightly before the other three newcomers. "That worked well," Michaels said of McKinnon's debut, which was punctuated by formidable impressions of Penelope Cruz and Ann Romney.
"The one thing you can't do is try to replace Kristen Wiig with Kristen Wiig," Michaels noted. "You know, Chevy Chase was followed by Bill Murray. And that worked well because it’s hard enough to make your mark without being compared to the person that you are 'replacing.'”
While McKinnon, who is also the first openly gay female cast member of SNL, already has a growing following, newcomer Strong wowed the SNL writers during her audition with her Elizabeth Dole impression in which she portrayed Dole "being heckled about her husband's erectile dysfunction. And she [fired back], 'Well, your d— don't work!'" Strong said.
Bryant is another Second City alumnae, and Robinson got a bit star-struck meeting Michaels for the first time. "He's an icon," Robinson said. "Just meeting him and him knowing your name is like, 'Okay, I'm all right. That'll make me feel good for awhile.'"
Check out the new cast members Saturday nights at 11:30 p.m. EST on NBC.
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