Beck Bennett returns to “Saturday Night Live” for his fifth season.
Bennett has entertained viewers with his standout impressions of Vladimir Putin and Mike Pence. He is also known for his recurring fan-favorite character Office Boss, a genius businessman with the body of a baby. Bennett co-founded the Good Neighbor sketch group, which also features “SNL” castmate Kyle Mooney.
Previously, Bennett had been a regular writer and performer at Upright Citizens Brigade since 2007. His past credits include an AT&T commercial campaign, the comedy film “Intramural” with fellow “SNL” cast member Kate McKinnon and indie film “Beside Still Waters,” directed by Chris Lowell. He lent his voice to the 2016 animated film “Sing.”
Bennett hails from the suburbs north of Chicago and currently lives in New York City. His birthday is Oct. 1.
Aidy Bryant returns to the “SNL” cast for her fifth season.
Since her debut season, Bryant has entertained viewers with her slew of characters, including the recurring “Girlfriends Talk Show” sketch. She received an Emmy nomination for the digital short “(Do It on My) Twin Bed.” In 2015, Entertainment Weekly recognized Bryant with their fan favorite EWwy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy.
Bryant began studying improv in her hometown of Phoenix. She graduated from Columbia College in Chicago while simultaneously completing the iO improv training program. An ensemble member of the Second City E.T.C. stage, she has also performed at iO Chicago and the Annoyance Theatre. Bryant additionally performed around the world with the musical improv group Baby Wants Candy. Bryant has also appeared on “Broad City” and had recurring roles on “Girls” and “Horace and Pete.” Bryant’s short film “Darby Forever” was released on Vimeo in 2016. She will next appear in Judd Apatow and Kumail Nanjiani’s “The Big Sick.”
Bryant resides in New York City and her birthday is May 7.
Repertory Player/Weekend Update Co-Anchor
Michael Che returns for his fourth season as co-anchor of SNL’s “Weekend Update” alongside Colin Jost.
Named one of Rolling Stone’s 50 Funniest People, Buzzfeed’s 50 Hottest Men in Comedy and Variety’s Top 10 Comics to Watch, Che has been a writer on “SNL,” a correspondent on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and has performed stand-up on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and “Late Show with David Letterman.” His first comedy special was Comedy Central’s “The Half Hour,” which aired in 2014. He appeared alongside Chris Rock and Tracy Morgan in the 2015 film “Top Five.”
Che and Jost hosted special editions of “Weekend Update” on MSNBC during the 2016 Republican and Democratic national conventions as well as the primetime “Weekend Update Summer Edition” in 2017. When Che is not in front of the camera, he headlines comedy shows nationally and internationally. His first hour-long comedy special, “Michael Che Matters,” was released in 2016 on Netflix.
Che is a native of Manhattan and currently resides in the city. His birthday is May 19.
Stand-up comedian Pete Davidson returns to “Saturday Night Live” for his fourth season.
At 23, Pete is the youngest member of the current cast, as well as the first “SNL” cast member to be born in the 1990s. In 2016 Davidson shot his first one-hour stand up special for Comedy Central and was named one of Forbes’ 2016 “30 Under 30.” He made headlines as one of the featured comedians on the 2015 Comedy Central “Roast of Justin Bieber.”
Davidson is from Staten Island, New York, and his birthday is November 16.
Emmy Award-nominated Leslie Jones was hired by “SNL” in 2014 as a writer and quickly gained popularity after a memorable on-air appearance during the show’s “Weekend Update” segment as herself. She has been a cast member since 2014. Now in her third season, Slate praised Jones as “smart, talented and utterly hilarious” and noted, “Jones is a fiercely independent performer whose brash and unapologetic riffs can ruffle feathers – a welcome risk.”
Jones starred in Paul Feig’s reboot of “Ghostbusters,” alongside Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon. Her other film credits include Chris Rock’s “Top Five,” Judd Apatow’s “Trainwreck” and “Masterminds.” She also lent her voice to the animated film “Sing.” In 2016, Jones joined Tracy Morgan, Chris Rock and Whoopi Goldberg in a sketch for the Oscars, reimagining an Oscars montage starring black actors. Jones was named one of the 2017 “Time 100,” Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people. In 2017 Jones hosted the BET Awards and received her first Emmy nomination.
Jones is from Memphis, Tennessee, and her birthday is September 7.
Repertory Player/Weekend Update Co-Anchor
Colin Jost returns for his fifth season of “SNL” as co-anchor of “Weekend Update,” alongside fellow cast member Michael Che.
Jost joined the cast as “Weekend Update” co-anchor on March 1, 2014. Jost has been a writer at SNL since 2005 and served as co-head writer for three of those years.
Jost has won three Writers Guild Awards, a Peabody Award and has been nominated for multiple Emmy Awards for his writing on SNL. He also wrote and starred in the Paramount/Netflix film, “Staten Island Summer,” based on his days as a lifeguard growing up in New York. Che and co-anchor Colin Jost also hosted special editions of “Weekend Update” on MSNBC during the 2016 Republican and Democratic national conventions.
Jost is a Staten Island native and Harvard graduate. His birthday is June 29.
Emmy Award winner Kate McKinnon will return for her seventh season on NBC’s iconic late-night franchise “Saturday Night Live.”
McKinnon won the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2017 and 2016 and was nominated in 2015 and 2014. In addition, she earned a 2014 American Comedy Award for TV Best Supporting Actress and a Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series in 2016. In 2017 she was nominated for the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program for “Nature Cat.”
McKinnon has entertained viewers with her critically acclaimed impression of Hillary Rodham Clinton as well as other notable impressions, including Justin Bieber and Ellen DeGeneres. She is also known for her standout “Weekend Update” turns as artist Cecilia Gimenez, Russian meteor witness Olya Povlatsky and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
McKinnon, who recently co-starred in the film “Rough Night,” has had leading roles in other films, including Paul Feig’s reboot of “Ghostbusters” and “Office Christmas Party,” with Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston. In addition, she has lent her voice to the animated feature films “Angry Birds,” “Finding Dory” and several series, including “The Magic School Bus Rides Again,” “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy.” She will next lend her voice in the animated feature “Ferdinand.”
McKinnon also co-hosted the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards with “Silicon Valley’s” Kumail Nanjiani.
McKinnon studied theater at Columbia University. McKinnon is a native of Sea Cliff, New York, and currently lives in New York City. Her birthday is January 6.
Kyle Mooney returns to “Saturday Night Live” as a cast member for his fifth season.
During his first season, Mooney gained recognition for his digital shorts “Miley Sex Tape” with Miley Cyrus and “420” with Seth Rogen. He has also contributed his signature man-on-the-street interviews. In addition to co-founding the Good Neighbor sketch group, Mooney has been a regular writer and performer at Upright Citizens Brigade since 2007. He starred in the HBO series “Hello Ladies” and the show’s movie adaptation, “Hello Ladies: The Movie,” opposite Stephen Merchant, and appeared on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.” He co-wrote and starred in the 2017 comedy-drama “Brigsby Bear” and has appeared in the feature films “Zoolander 2,” directed by Ben Stiller, and “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.”
Mooney studied film at the University of Southern California. He is from San Diego and currently lives in New York City. His birthday is Sept. 4.
Cecily Strong returns to “SNL” for her sixth season.
Strong earned rave reviews for her “Weekend Update” character, the Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation with at a Party, which Rolling Stone hailed as an “instant classic.” Her recurring character of a ditzy porn star-turned-aspiring-pitchwoman, who she plays alongside Vanessa Bayer, also quickly became an audience favorite. Strong has most recently entertained viewers with her notable Melania Trump impression. Strong has co-hosted “Weekend Update” alongside both Seth Meyers and Colin Jost.
In Chicago, Strong improvised regularly at iO and served as an understudy for the Second City Main Stage and E.T.C. shows. She performed as a member of the Second City national touring company and has also appeared at the Chicago SketchFest, Chicago Just for Laughs, the New York Sketch Fest and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Strong has appeared in “The Female Brain,” Paul Feig’s reboot of “Ghostbusters” as well as Melissa McCarthy’s “The Boss,” “The Bronze” and “The Meddler.” Additionally, Strong headlined the 2015 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.
Strong was raised in Oak Park, Illinois, and has a BFA in theater from the California Institute of the Arts. Her birthday is February 8.
Kenan Thompson returns for his 15th season on “Saturday Night Live,” making him the show’s longest-running cast member.
Thompson has made numerous contributions to the show with his slew of hilarious impressions that include Rev. Al Sharpton, Charles Barkley, Steve Harvey and David Ortiz, and by playing memorable characters such as D.J. Dynasty Handbag, the scathingly fierce co-host of “Deep House Dish,” boisterous second wife Virginiaca Hastings and “Weekend Update” correspondent Jean K. Jean.
Thompson recently garnered praise from audiences for playing characters Lorenzo McIntosh, a convict who uses “scare tactics” with delinquents, and D’Andre Cole, the disruptive singing talk show host on the wildly popular sketch “What Up with That?” In 2017 Thompson received an Emmy nomination for co-writing “Last Christmas” from the popular “Jingle Barack” sketch.
A native of Atlanta, Thompson made his television debut as a member of Nickelodeon’s all-kid sketch comedy series “All That.” He and his partner Kel Mitchell debuted on a spin-off show, “Kenan and Kel,” in 1996. Thompson also had a recurring role on the WB’s “Felicity.”
Thompson showcased his voice talents as Greedy Smurf in the animated films “The Smurfs” and “The Smurfs 2.” His past projects include starring opposite Samuel L. Jackson in “Snakes on a Plane,” “Wieners” and “The Magic of Belle Isle” with Morgan Freeman. Thompson has also lent his voice to the animated comedy “Space Chimps,” the television series “Sit Down, Shut Up” and the Kobe Bryant/LeBron James Nike puppet campaign during the 2009 NBA Playoffs. Other feature film credits include “Fat Albert,” “D2: The Mighty Ducks,” “Good Burger,” “The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle,” “Brother Nature, ” “Heavyweights,” “My Boss’s Daughter,” “Barbershop 2,” “Going in Style ” and “They Came Together.” He was the voice of Austin “Impresario” Sullivan in the Hulu animated series “The Awesomes” and Riff in the film “Rock Dog.”
Thompson lives in Florida and New York City with his wife and daughter. His birthday is May 10.
Lorne Michaels is an Emmy Award-winning producer and writer, best known as the creator and executive producer of “Saturday Night Live.” “SNL” is the longest running, most Emmy-nominated and highest-rated weekly late night television program in history, currently in its 42nd season. Michaels is also executive producer of the Emmy-nominated “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers” on NBC, as well as IFC’s “Documentary Now!,” Peabody Award-winning “Portlandia” and FXX’s comedy “Man Seeking Woman.”
Michaels’ previous television credits include: the Emmy-nominated “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” the Golden Globe and Emmy-winning “30 Rock,” “Up All Night,” “The Kids in the Hall,” “Night Music,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” as well as specials with Lily Tomlin, Steve Martin, Paul Simon, The Rutles, Flip Wilson, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, Randy Newman, Neil Young and Simon and Garfunkel in Central Park. On Broadway, he produced and directed “Gilda Radner Live from New York” and produced the subsequent motion picture “Gilda Live.”
Lorne Michaels’ motion picture credits as a producer include “Mean Girls,” starring Lindsay Lohan and written by Tina Fey; “Baby Mama,” starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler; “Wayne’s World”; “Tommy Boy”; and “Three Amigos” (which he produced and co-wrote with Steve Martin and Randy Newman). Michaels’ latest film, “The Taliban Shuffle,” is an American comedy war film based on the 2012 book by Kim Barker.
Michaels began his career in Toronto, where he attended the University of Toronto. He started as a writer and producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and starred in the comedy series “The Hart & Lorne Terrific Hour.” In 1968, he moved to Los Angeles and worked as a writer for NBC’s “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In.” He left for New York in 1975 to begin “SNL.” In 1979, Michaels founded his production company, Broadway Video.
Michaels has personally won 13 Emmys as a writer and producer of television. He was inducted into the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 1999, and in 2004 he received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Michaels received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1999. In Canada, he was awarded the Governor General’s Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in 2006, and had previously been inducted into the Order of Canada in 2002. In 2008 and 2015, he was named one of Time Magazine’s “Time 100” – a list of the most influential people in the world. In 2013, Michaels received the Distinguished Collaborator Award by the Costume Designers Guild and also earned the rare honor of an individual Peabody Award.
Mikey Day returns to “Saturday Night Live” for his second season as a featured player, after joining the show as a writer in the 39th season.
During his first season as a cast member, Day gained recognition for his wildly popular “Haunted Elevator (ft. David S. Pumpkins)” sketch with Tom Hanks as well as his Donald Trump Jr. impression.
Day was a member of The Groundlings comedy troupe in Los Angeles and was a cast member on Nick Cannon’s MTV comedy series “Wild ‘N Out” for seven seasons. Most recently, he was a co-head writer and cast member on NBC’s “Maya & Marty” and co-writer for the 2016 comedy “Brother Nature.”
He is from Orange County, California, and his birthday is March 20.
Heidi Gardner joins “Saturday Night Live” for her first season.
Gardner comes from the Groundlings main company in Los Angeles. She is also the voice of Cooch in the Crackle series “SuperMansion” and will appear in the upcoming 2018 film “Life of the Party” starring Melissa McCarthy.
She hails from Kansas City, Missouri, and her birthday is July 27.
Alex Moffat joins “Saturday Night Live” for his first season.
Moffat was a regular performer at iO Chicago and the Annoyance Theatre. Moffat is from Chicago and attended Denison University.
His birthday is March 25.
Luke Null joins “Saturday Night Live” for his first season. Null is a Chicago-based musical comedian and improviser at iO Chicago.
He is from Cincinnati, Ohio, and his birthday is July 7.
Chris Redd joins “Saturday Night Live” for his first season.
Redd is a comedian and rapper and was a performer at Chicago’s Second City. He most notably appeared in the 2016 film “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” and opposite Kathy Bates in the Netflix original comedy series “Disjointed.”
He is from St. Louis, Missouri, and his birthday is March 25.
Melissa Villaseñor returns to “Saturday Night Live” for her second season.
Villaseñor is an actress, impressionist and stand-up comedian who has headlined more than 100 clubs and colleges around the country.
She hails from Whittier, California. Her birthday is October 9.
Ego Nwodim joins “Saturday Night Live” for her first season. Ego graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in biology. She was a mainstay at Upright Citizens Brigade Los Angeles and performed as a New Face at the 2016 Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal. She was featured in the 2016 CBS Diversity Showcase and in 2017 wrote and performed her first ever one-woman show, “Great Black Women… and Then There’s Me,” for a sold-out run in L.A. She is from Baltimore and her birthday is March 10.
Darrell Hammond returns to “Saturday Night Live” as the announcer for the 43rd season.
Hammond originally retired from the show in 2009 after 14 seasons as a repertory player. He is best known for his celebrity impersonations of figures such a Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Ted Koppel and Sean Connery. Hammond is a New York Times best-selling writer, stand-up comedian and stage and television actor.
Hammond currently lives in Los Angeles.