New Saturday Night Live cast members Mikey Day, Alex Moffat and Melissa Villasenor will experience the moment that most comedians only dream of on October 1st when they hear Darryl Hammond announce their names as part of the Season 42 SNL opening credits. Any of the three could be about to take their first step on the road to Will Ferrell-level superstardom, or they could end up on a detour to become a dreaded “One Season Wonder.”
While there’s no surefire way to guarantee any of them will stay in Lorne Michaels’s good graces, we have a few pieces of heartfelt advice on how to give it their best shot. As proud connoisseurs of SNL for 41 seasons, we humbly suggest the following.
1. Be A Weirdo
If you’ve made it this far in the cutthroat world of comedy, you probably already know that you’ve gotta “go big or go home,” but some cast members still feel like the best way to hold onto an SNL gig is to play it safe and not rock the boat. Our advice is quite the opposite. Doing a relatable real-life character sketch can be a great skill to have in the bank, but for our money, nothing makes us fall in love with a cast member like a big, bold, bizarre character like Will Forte’s “The Falconer” or Fred Armisen’s “Fericito.”
2. Impress Us
One way to secure yourself a long-term spot in the SNL cast is to corner the market on an impression of a major celebrity or politician. Right now, the two Presidential candidates are “taken” with Kate McKinnon owning Hillary Clinton and Darryl Hammond doing an indisputably perfect impression of Donald Trump, so the three new cast members are going to have to get a little creative. We hear Melissa Villasenor has a pretty great Kristen Wiig impression, and we’re ready to be blown away.
3. Absolutely Crush It In Your First Update Segment
A couple years ago, Leslie Jones was probably pretty thrilled to snag an off-camera spot in the SNL writers room. When she made her first on-camera appearance on Weekend Update, though, it became pretty clear pretty quickly that a star was born. Jones took on People Magazine announcing Lupita N’yongo as the Most Beautiful Person in the world, but named herself “Most Useful” and then launched into a jaw dropping monologue about monologue about slavery. This is what fearless looks like.
4. Don’t Drop The F-Bomb On Live TV
Poor Jenny Slate. She was playing a character who repeatedly said “friggin” over and over again during her first season on SNL and one of those “friggin’s” turned into an “f-in’” on live TV. The look on Slate’s face said it all and we all collectively felt her pain. The “f bomb” may not have been the ultimate reason for her dismissal, but it threw her off her game for sure and put her on the fast track to hear “buh-bye” from SNL by the end of the year.
5. Have The Best Time Ever
If you’ve made it all the way to SNL and find all your sketches getting cut, it’s probably pretty easy to panic about your lack of screen time. Just remember that some epic comedians got cut after their first season of SNL and went on to have pretty darn successful careers anyway. Robert Downey Jr. got cut after one season, and he seems like he’s doing OK with that little “Iron Man” thing he’s got going on. Jon Rudnitsky may have gotten the boot after one season last year, but we’ll always remember his “Dirty Dancing” Weekend Update segment. How could we forget? We had the time of our lives.
Oh, and remember to hold it together and try to not break character during your skit:
The season premiere of Saturday Night Live airs October 1st on NBC.