‘SNL’ Lining Up Fresh Faces to Join Cast: Report

A long-time writer on “Saturday Night Live” and another performer who has gained popularity recently from a series of commercials are two of the prospects who are reportedly vying to join the cast of “SNL” this fall.

The names are floated here, in this story on Deadline.com.

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According to the story, four-year veteran writer Michael Patrick O’Brien will be bumped up to “featured performer” status this season — the show’s 39th — which is expected to begin in late September. O’Brien has already appeared on-camera on the show.

Of the other four, the one who might be best known is Beck Bennett, who has become recognizable to millions as the easy-going “interviewer” in a series of AT&T commercials in which he talks to small children and gets their views on the subject of “simplification.” The commercials — which appear to be equal parts scripted and unscripted — have won praise from the advertising industry, and so has Bennett for his apparent handling of the children.

Bennett and the other three candidates — John Milhiser, Noël Wells and Kyle Mooney — are all reportedly performing currently with the Upright Citizens Brigade, the sketch-comedy troupe that has become a launchpad for “SNL” talent (most notably current cast members Bobby Moynihan and Kate McKinnon).

There was no comment from NBC about any of these candidates, but with the new season set to start in just a few weeks, producer Lorne Michaels will likely have to make up his mind soon about the make-up of this season’s cast.

As happens every so often in the history of this storied late-night show, Michaels finds himself facing the challenge of replacing a number of long-time performers who have all left the show — Jason Sudeikis, Fred Armisen and Bill Hader. In addition, Seth Meyers will leave some time this fall to prepare for his takeover of NBC’s “Late Night.”

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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