The New Faces of SNL

7 Jun

With superstar cast members Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg having left Saturday Night Live in the last week, a lot of people have been scratching their heads over the future of next season. Trust me, I’m bummed too. Kristen Wiig is my girl.

But such is the show. Will Ferrel, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Chevy Chase, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock… all names that left the comfort of the famous live stage to pursue bigger careers. And even without those cast members the show has continued, bringing in new talent that succeeds just as much as the stars we all come to love.

Luckily, there are a few cast members that can step up and take over. Here are my predictions for the 2012-2013 rising stars. I really look forward to seeing what they can bring to the stage!

Jay Pharoah
The network is already prepping Jay to take the lead on the show, with appearances all over talk shows- including a showing on ESPN that had all of social media buzzing- and the Internet, and with good reason. Jay Pharoah is damn funny. He’s a younger, more-attractive Eddy Murphy. His Jay-Z impression alongside Maya Rudolph as Beyonce killed me, and he’s earned a reputation for his Denzel Washington, Chris Rock and Will Smith characters. I think he can really grow to become one of the many icons of SNL, if he can get away from impressions from time to time, create his own signature characters, and embrace his stand up background.

Abby Elliott
Without a doubt, Abby Elliott is and has been one of my favorite cast members for the last year or so. Daughter to Chris Elliot, a SNL cast member in the 90’s and star in films like Groundhog Day and Scary Movie 2, funny is in her blood. She’s made friends in the right places, palling around (and getting great press) with HelloGiggles.com starlet Zooey Deschanel, even going so far as to make her quirky Zooey persona a regular (and really funny) part of the show. It’s obvious that she has the looks to stand out in the spotlight, but more than anything she knows how to be a funny girl, which can be kind of tricky for women. She’s not over-the-top and she still manages to get a laugh while highlighting some of her own personality

Taran Killam
Killam was the youngest cast member ever to appear on the old MadTV at just 19 and his comedy career is really reaching a high point now. Plus, his career outside of SNL is taking off too. He’s engaged to How I Met Your Mother hottie Cobie Smulders (they also have a daughter) and has made several appearances on that show, and has had his own comedic stints on shows like Scrubs and Community. He’s diverse, and the show needs a young, goofy guy to fill the place of Andy Samberg. SNL. As long as he embraces the need for a new Samberg-esque presence, he should blow up.

Nasim Pedrad
When I first started watching Nasim Pedrad perform on Saturday Night Live I wasn’t sold on her, mainly because I had never heard of her before. I thought she was good in the background, but I never really saw her stepping out more than that, until recently. I like that Nasim isn’t always doing an impression of someone: she can take a written character and make it her own. She plays one of my favorite characters on the show, Bedelia, the teen who thinks her mom is cooler than any of her friends. And I appreciate that, on a show that isn’t know for a very racially diverse cast, she can come into her own without abusing her ethnicity (she’s actually from Iran). She’s funny without overplaying racial stereotypes, which I think can make her last longer in multiple parts.

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