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'SNL' hires 6 new cast members

Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   Sept. 16, 2013 at 11:57 PM   |   Comments

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Sept. 16 (UPI) -- "Saturday Night Live" will return for its 39th season Sept. 28 with host Tina Fey and musical guest Arcade Fire. But what would have already been a big episode just got bigger, with the iconic late-night sketch show adding a whopping six new cast members to its line up.

"Please join us in welcoming our newest cast members: Beck Bennett, John Milhiser, Kyle Mooney, Mike O'Brien, Noel Wells & Brooks Wheelan!!" the show tweeted Monday.

The New York Times reported Sunday that "SNL" creator Lorne Michaels is about to debut one of the show's biggest ever revamps.

The recent departures of stars Fred Armisen, Bill Hader and Jason Sudeikis meant that Michaels had to look for a new generation of comedians to help anchor the show. He also promoted Cecily Strong to "Weekend Update," which she'll co-anchor with Seth Meyers for the foreseeable future.

Michael said that he doesn't look for big comedic names during "SNL's" famously cutthroat audition process.

“It’s one thing to be on a stage in Chicago or L.A.; it’s another thing to be standing in ['SNL' studio] 8H,” he said. “It’s like standing in Yankee Stadium. They can all play baseball, but this is something different. And the weight of all that was just more palpable to me this summer, more than ever before.”

So who are the newbies?

Beck Bennett is a face you might recognize from AT&T's "It's Not Complicated" commercials, in which he poses questions to a table of children.

Mike O’Brien has been an "SNL" writer since 2009, but Internet comedy fans will know him as the host of his star-studded web series, “7 Minutes in Heaven.”

Also on board are Upright Citizens Brigade performer John Milhiser, stand-up comedian Brooks Wheelan and Good Neighbor troupe member Kyle Mooney.

Noel Wells is the only female addition to the cast. You might know her as the popular YouTube impressionist behind the web series "Hey! The Zooey Deschanel Show" and "Manic Pixie Nightmare Girl."

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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