"Saturday Night Live" officially announced Monday what long has been known in the Chicago sketch and improv community: Aidy Bryant, Tim Robinson and Cecily Strong are headed to the show. All three new “SNL” hires hail from the Chicago comedy scene.
For Robinson, TV was clearly in his future. After making his mark in 2011’s “South Side of Heaven,” the 99th mainstage revue at The Second City (playing a blissed-out Mayor Daley and a man who erotically devours a burrito, among other memorable characters), Robinson was one of the creators and stars of a Monty Python-esque television pilot titled “My Mans” (with performing partner Mark Raterman) produced earlier this year by Bob Odenkirk for Comedy Central. The network ultimately passed on the project, but for much of the summer Robinson and Raterman performed the show live at iO theater, showcasing Robinson’s unhinged puppy dog, gloriously weird and unpredictable juvenile spirit.
Bryant, a performer with a big smile and a droll sense of timing, is originally from Phoenix and graduated from Columbia College Chicago. Locally she has performed with the improv team Virgin Daiquiri at iO, as well as with the group Baby Wants Candy, which specializes in completely improvised musicals. She was most recently a writer-performer in the Second City e.t.c. company's production of "We're All In This Room Together,” where her last performance was Aug. 26.
Cecily Strong, who was first seen by “SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels this summer during a showcase lineup organized by iO, is a face perhaps less familiar to Chicago comedy fans. She has performed with Second City Theatricals and the Second City Touring company, and has therefore been on the road.
The three join an already deep pool of former Chicagoans at “SNL,” including head writer and Weekend Update host Seth Meyers, performer Vanessa Bayer and writer Mike O'Brien.
The 38th season of the NBC late-night sketch show begins Saturday with host Seth MacFarlane and musical guest Frank Ocean.