Here’s some great news for Saturday Night Live-ologists everywhere: The great, and for too long sadly semi-AWOL, Julia Sweeney is coming back to TV. Or at least streaming: According to Deadline, the actress and performer will soon find herself on Shrill, a forthcoming Hulu comedy produced by her old boss Lorne Michaels.
Based on Lindy West’s 2016 memoir, Shrill will star current SNL cast member Aidy Bryant as Annie, who, as per Deadline’s report, is “trying to make it as a journalist while juggling bad boyfriends, sick parents and a perfectionist boss, while the world around her deems her not good enough because of her weight. She starts to realize that she’s as good as anyone else, and acts on it.” Bryant wrote the scripts with West and Parks and Recreations alum Ali Rushfield.
Sweeney will play Annie’s mother, while other cast members include Lolly Adefope, Luka Jones, Ian Owens, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch creator John Cameron Mitchell.
One of countless SNL vets to have come up through legendary Los Angeles comedy troupe The Groundlings, Sweeney was a regular cast member from 1990 to 1994, alongside greats like Dana Carvey, Chris Rock, Mike Myers, Jan Hooks, and Phil Hartman. Her most famous character was Pat, an androgynous character of ambiguous — and never revealed — gender. The character found his or her way onto the big screen in the little-seen 1994 film It’s Pat.
After leaving the show, Sweeney suffered numerous personal traumas, including discovering that she had cancer. She turned her ordeal into the serio-comic one-person monologue show God Said Ha!, which played Broadway and was also turned into a Spalding Gray-style film in 1998. She has since created two other monologue shows. Sweeney’s last major screen credit was for voicing Ms. Squibbles in Pixar’s Monsters University and its spin-off short Party Central.