Saturday Night Live Pt. 2

Beck Bennett

On the surface, Beck has a deep and blustery voice that makes him perfectly suited to play alpha male characters like frat boys or executives. However, he is also good at being flustered and barely holding it together as the world craps on him too. Combined with Kyle Mooney, he has a flair for absurdist humor in the vein of Kids in the Hall or Tim and Eric. For example, in one sketch Beck plays the boss at a dinner with his employee who is looking for a promotion. Except, the boss is literally acting like an infant. He could have gone stereotypical but he goes hyper-realistic and it just works way better. The sketch above is his take on the put upon protagonist in a commercial where the narrator just might be misleading him. It is a brilliant parody.

Kyle Mooney

As previously stated, Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett have been writing partners for a long time and it shows. The two are brilliant at creating weird worlds with brilliant touches of insanity, many of which are parodies of popular fiction tropes. For example, they both have created a series of Eighties sitcom parodies, reality television parodies, and YouTube garage shows. As for Kyle himself, he is great as the put upon nerd who can never get any respect. Seeing as how his sketches keep getting cut for time, I feel like he might have a lot to draw on. His patheticness is definitely a strength and sets him apart from everybody else.

Aidy Bryant

Aidy is also a wonderful straight woman but I think her strengths lie elsewhere. She is very strong when she gets to act neurotic and troubled. The best example in my mind is her adorkable character Morgan from the ongoing sketch series Girlfriends Talk Show. She is a perfect picture of the good girl who wants to be accepted but cannot bring herself to be bad to earn respect because she does not even know how to be bad. However, she is also really good at playing against expectations by playing brash and borderline crazy characters like her persona Aidy B She is also one of the strongest singers on SNL right now.

Heidi Gardner

Unfortunately, Heidi is new so she has not gotten as much of a chance to shine but she has already proven herself to be a strong hand to have around. She has a bright-eyed and bubbly exterior which is always good to set up darker, against-type jokes. She reminds me a lot of Kristen Schaal so of course, she has done an impression of her on the show. She is most often used as a straight woman in sketches probably because of her newness and her ability not to break. However, as the scene above shows she is incredibly good at playing dumb. When I saw this sketch, that was the moment that everything clicked for me. I see her going places.

Ego Nwodim

Ego is even newer than Heidi and is also still working her way into the cast. I really like her energy as she burns bright with enthusiasm in every sketch she is in. She is mostly used as background and side characters in things so far but, like any good cast member, she has the possibility of being great. The above sketch is a pitch-perfect parody of day time talk show guests who are all bluster to cover up that they are just normal people like the rest of us.

Chris Redd

Chris Redd is another relative newcomer who has not gotten as many chances to shine, usually relegated to a background or straight man character. However, there have definitely been some great flashes that show he will be a great performer for years to come. For example, the above sketch shows he has rapping skills and great comedic timing. He has also rapped alongside Pete Davidson. He also appeared in the brilliant parody Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.

Mikey Day

Mikey has not done a lot quite yet either but he seems to be Saturday Night Live’s go-to guy currently to play politicians. He has played a lot of members of Trump’s inner circle at this point and will probably continue to do so. These are the sketches I tend to skip over because they are usually just retreads of news articles I have already read. However, the one exception is his portrayal of Donald Trump Jr. He portrays him as the weasel he is but also portrays him as a loving older brother with the patience of a saint with Eric Trump. It is almost cute the way he does it.



Vanessa Bayer

This is a bit of a cheat because Vanessa left the cast a while ago but I just wanted to highlight her because I absolutely fell in love with her performances while watching clips. Her strengths lie in bright, sunny and often loud characters. One of my favorites is Laura Parsons, a young school child who wants desperately to be an actress. She acts in a perfect parody of all of the bad acting habits people learn in middle school and high school and it makes everything she says hilarious. But my hands down favorite is weather reporter Dawn Lazarus because she embodies the anxiety I get when I have to speak in public.

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