Marcello Hernandez, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow and Devon Walker have all joined ‘Saturday Night Live’.
The NBC comedy sketch show has named its new cast members for its 48th season after the departure of many familiar faces such as Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant and Melissa Villasenor.
The news comes as Lorne Michaels - who created the show in the 1970s - revealed their would fresh faces joining the line-up of the recent Outstanding Variety Sketch Series Emmy Award winner.
The 77-year-old television executive told Deadline: “This will be a transition year. Change years are always difficult but always exciting. There are new people. There are four new people, at least for now.”
Lorne believed that the social distancing measures caused by COVID-19 led to cast members - such as Alex Moffat, Aristotle Athari and Kyle Mooney - staying longer because of the “intimacy” it forged.
He said: “The pandemic sort of interfered with the national order of things. I think there was a bonding; people got very close. When we did those at-home shows, you got to see everyone’s apartment where and how they lived. There was an intimacy and connection between audience and group. I couldn’t imagine we could work without that whole team so we kept going.”
All have illustrious credits under their belt such as Marcello who has opened for the likes of Gilbert Gottfried, Molly who appeared in Abbi Jacobsen’s ‘A League of Their Own’ reboot. Devon Walker has sat in the writers’ room for comic Phoebe Robinson’s ‘Everything’s Trash’. Michael did a stint on ‘Bring the Funny’, which is hosted by current ‘SNL’ cast member Kenan Thompson, who has outlined his intentions to stay for the foreseeable future.
He said: "I know we're at least trying to get to the 50th [season], 'cause that's gonna be a special year, you know what I mean? And then after that, it's like, I don't know exactly how long I can do it. What keeps me coming back is them asking me to come back. If I felt like I was overstaying my welcome, or unwanted, then I would like to show myself the door, but yeah, it's also a one-of-a-kind place."
Pete - who has recently hit the headlines for his relationship with his ex Kim Kardashian - enthused how he was “so grateful” for his time on the show.
He said: "I owe [executive producer] Lorne Michaels and everyone at SNL my life. I'm so grateful and I wouldn’t be here without them. I appreciate you guys always having my back and sticking up for me even when that wasn’t the popular opinion. Thank you for always believing in me and sticking by my side even when it seemed comical. Thank you for teaching me life values, how to grow up and for giving me memories that will last a lifetime."