Seth Meyers: SNL's 'Rebuilding' Season Promises to Be a 'Really Exciting Time'

Saturday Night Live - Season 38Losing Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader and Fred Armisen in one fell swoop is by no means the largest exodus Saturday Night Live has ever dealt with — as HuffPo’s Mike Ryan details, the NBC sketch series gave 25 players the hook across two early-’80s seasons.

Still, since you’re talking about a world-class utility player, a master impressionist and an 11-year vet, all eyes will be on Studio 8H as it tees up Season 39.

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“It’s certainly a rebuilding effort, but I don’t think it’s any bigger than ones that have happened historically,” Weekend Update anchor/headwriter Seth Meyers (accurately) noted Wednesday morning at the Television Critics Assoc. press tour, where he was touting his new animated superhero series The Awesomes (hitting Hulu Aug. 1).

In fact, Meyers — who himself will say sayonara to SNL at midseason, to take over Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night — says it’s “a really exciting time to be at the show. I’m really glad I’m going back for the first half of next year.”

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To support his point, Meyers shared, “The most fun I ever had at the show was the first year with Andy [Samberg], Bill [Hader] and Jason [Sudekis] and Kristen [Wiig], when they all came in” for the 2005-’06 season.

Michael Shoemaker, a veteran SNL producer (and cocreator/panelist for The Awesomes) added, “That time when a bunch of people leave is thrilling, because we know the new people and we’re introducing them to you. It’s a lot of work but it’s great.”

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Besides, Meyers’ SNL pals will never be far. The Awesomes in fact features voice work by Hader, Taran Killam, Kenan Thmopson and scribe Emily Spivey. Asked if he was able to cast them at a discount, Meyers answered, “‘Discount’ is not even a fair [word]…. It was so much worse than even that!” That said, he got incredible bang for his buck, employing such comedy pros. “They’re so quick to give what you ask them to do,” he raved. “One or two takes for everybody.”

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  1. SNL better rebound in Season 39 and possibly cast new “female players” and a chance they may book John Mulaney to the cast. Nearly a year ago, I’m still shocked that Abby Elliott was going to leave the show after an amazing four year run because she was one of the best female cast members on SNL in recent years. Hope Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong should get bumped from feature players to repertory players.

  2. trainwreck says:

    Taran Killam is the only regular cast member left I have any faith in. I only see Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong as the featured players that leave a lasting impression through their performances.. rest TBH I rarely even recall their names or characters they have played. SNL better up their game!

    • DL says:

      Not Bobby Moynihan? I think he’s fantastic. Drunk Uncle is hilarious, and Anthony Crispino, while usually not “rolling in the aisles” funny like Drunk Uncle, is also consistently entertaining. Plus, I’m still quoting that “Kitty Cat in Space” sketch from the Daniel Craig episode. One of my favorite sketches all season. “My kyitty kyat…”

      • Joe says:

        Drunk Uncle isn’t hilarious. It sucks the air out of the room everytime he does it. It’s so sad that people think just because you see a bad character again and again on SNL it’s great. Moynihan has his moments, but his character work leaves a lot to be desired and I don’t think he’s filling any of the big shoes that left.

  3. Esaul says:

    I’ve really only watched SNL for Weekend Update. Huge Seth fan. I wonder who’s gonna fill his shoes. Excited to see that.

    • DL says:

      He’s good on Weekend Update, but I feel like he puts the most effort into writing that portion of the show, and half-asses the rest. He is the head writer, after all, and the writing on the show has been mediocre at best, and somewhere beneath abysmal (“sub-abysmal?”) at worst.
      So I won’t be too sad to see him go. I just hope that whoever replaces him in the writer’s room isn’t pulling double duty and can focus on actually producing funny sketches.

      • Midori says:

        Tina Fey was head writer and did Weekend Update, that’s how the show works. It’s just that Seth is a horrible writer and can only write obvious jokes making fun of already funny news.

  4. Et al says:

    At least we still have the hilarious and talented Kenan Thompson…


    • DL says:

      Ooooooweeee… What up with that? What up with that?
      Honestly, the only reason I liked that sketch was for Jason Sudeikis’s crazy awesome dancing. Now that he’s gone, I’d be fine if it goes the way of the dodo.

  5. “(Among them, oddly enough, were Robert Downey Jr. and Anthony Michael Hall, neither of whom is remembered today as an “SNL” alumnus.)” I remember. I’m still surprised that RWJ did not visit SNL to promote Iron Man.

  6. april-ann says:

    Of COURSE this is not the largest exodus we’ve seen. I don’t care about what they deal with. That’s not our concern. I care that they put out a quality show I’m interested in watching. Out of those three, I may miss Bill Hader but not for too long if they work hard to make the transition right. The one I will miss on there is Seth Meyers but I will still get to see him every night! Yay!! I’ve watched Jimmy Fallon’s show and still don’t think it’s good enough for “prime time” lol, that means taking over for Jay. His show is just not good enough for that yet. Hopefully they will get it all together and be ready for it when it happens. I think Dave just wants to outlast Jay, justifiably so, and the big question is who will take over for Dave?

  7. Stephen V says:

    NO MORE STEFAN?!?!?!?! F@CK NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. bradick says:

    Anyone who ever did high school journalism knows that when a coach calls a year a “rebuilding year” they will continue to do so for the rest of eternity.

  9. Scatkat says:

    Just say goodbye to Kenan and the show will be instantly 100 times better

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  11. Marcus Payne says:

    I like Kate, but woman, get your eyes out of the damn cue cards! Molly, Will, Cheri (and most that preceeded them) – were masters at KNOWING their lines. Even considering the re-writes between dress and air – they should still not be buried in their cards. It gets painful when it becomes so obvious.