Saturday Night Live officially returns for its 47th season this weekend, so they’re cutting it close to the wire when it comes to detailing its casting. On Monday afternoon, the long-running sketch comedy show finally announced its cast members for Season 47, which includes a list of new and returning members, some of whom were reportedly on the edge of leaving the show following Season 46’s return to filming in front of a live audience during the pandemic.
Here is the official cast list for SNL Season 47:
Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, Colin Jost, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villaseñor and Bowen Yang, featuring Aristotle Athari, Andrew Dismukes, James Austin Johnson, Punkie Johnson, and Sarah Sherman.
James Austin Johnson is best known for his viral Trump impersonation videos, which makes him an interesting addition to the cast alongside new additions Aristotle Athari and Sarah Sherman. Dave Itzkoff also reports that Bowen Yang and Chloe Fineman have been bumped up to full cast members. As of this writing, Beck Bennett and Lauren Holt are not returning.
The casting announcements arrive after a longer-than-usual process, as producer Lorne Michaels reportedly got serious about locking down fan-favorite cast members like McKinnon, Strong, and Bryant until at least Season 50. Those negotiations appear to have been successful as far as getting them to stick around for one more season.
As previously announced, Season 47’s first set of hosts are Owen Wilson with musical guest Kacey Musgraves, Kim Kardashian West with musical guest Halsey, Rami Malek with musical guest Young Thug, and Ted Lasso star Jason Sudeikis with musical guest Brandi Carlile. Also, for the first time in SNL history, the show will live-stream on Peacock the same night it airs on NBC.
According to Variety, the sketch comedy show was “the most-watched entertainment program on TV among viewers between 18 and 49, the demographic most preferred by advertisers,” making SNL an enduring property for NBC. A live-stream will only further boost those numbers, particularly with the rapidly expanding audience of cable-cutters.
Saturday Night Live returns October 2 on NBC and Peacock.