The New York-based sketch program starts its 38th season on Sept. 15 featuring three new performers—all most recently from Chicago, according to the Associated Press.
Fans still mourning the departures of Kristen Wiig, Abby Elliott and Andy Samberg, can take heart: Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant and Tim Robinson will be joining the show’s talent stable.
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All have strong Chicago comedy ties. Strong—who will join as a full-fledged cast member—was a member of Chicago’s Second City improv troupe, like celebrated alums Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch. She also trained at iO Chicago. Watch her in this outlandish fake commercial that is like some of SNL‘s more bizarre sketches.
Bryant studied at iO and was a member of Second City, too. She also performed with Annoyance Theatre and current SNL performer Vanessa Bayer, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. This clip of Bryant as a not-quite-right, yet somehow still adorable “entrepernerd” shows she can do quirky and compelling.
Robinson has Second City in his past—as both a stage and touring performer—and most recently performed with iO. Judging by his performance in this My Mans clip—a pilot for Comedy Central that was eventually declined—Robinson’s comedy style is over-the-top. A young John Belushi in the making?
The new season kicks off with host Seth McFarlane and musical guest Frank Ocean.