“Saturday Night Live” returned last fall for its 46th season, where the cast and crew not only had to face a big election year but a new set of safety protocols in response to the pandemic. This prevented the usual close interaction behind the scenes at “SNL,” but the team was still able to find the funny even in hard times. The first six episodes leading up to the election featured Alec Baldwin in his final weeks as Donald Trump while Jim Carrey took on the role of Joe Biden. Maya Rudolph was also a major presence in the first half of the season, reprising her Emmy-winning role as Kamala Harris.
This season, the cast of “SNL” ballooned up to 20, with 15 repertory players and five featured players. Ego Nwodim, a featured player the previous two seasons, was bumped up to the repertory cast this year, joining Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villaseñor and Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che. Meanwhile, Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang retained their featured player status from the previous season and were joined by new cast members Andrew Dismukes, Lauren Holt and Punkie Johnson.
All 20 cast members were submitted for Emmy consideration. “SNL” typically performs well in the acting categories, where McKinnon has won two Emmys consecutively and Bryant, Strong and Thompson have earned nominations. All four are expected to earn additional bids this year, according to the latest Gold Derby odds. Yang has been a breakout favorite since joining the cast in 2019 and is also predicted to collect his first Emmy nomination. Should he get in for Best Comedy Supporting Actor, he would be the first featured player in “SNL” history to be nominated at the Emmys.
The show itself will very likely earn another nomination in Best Variety Sketch Series after winning the category every year since 2017. A strong overall performance in nominations should be expected for “SNL,” given the amount of comedy series out of contention just from last year alone. Follow the links below to watch six exclusive interviews with some of the show’s cast about the unique aspects of Season 46.
Beck Bennett and Kyle Mooney, Actors
Michael Che, Writer/Actor
Pete Davidson, Actor
Chris Redd, Actor
Kenan Thompson, Actor
Bowen Yang, Actor
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