Last week, we reported that comedian Michael Che has signed on to replace Cecily Strong as the co-host of Weekend Update on NBC's Saturday Night Live, alongside returning host Colin Jost. Today we have word that 20-year-old rising stand up comedy star Pete Davidson has joined the cast as the only new featured player in Season 40.
Our report from last week revealed that series creator Lorne Michaels was still planning on adding one or two new cast members for Season 40 of SNL, but he had not made a decision yet. This is a stark contrast from Season 39, when the show added six new featured players at the beginning of the season, Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, Noël Wells, John Milhiser, Brooks Wheelan and former writer Michael Patrick O'Brien, along with mid-season addition Sasheer Zamata. Three of those new additions, Noël Wells, John Milhiser and Brooks Wheelan were fired in July, with Michael Patrick O'Brien returning to writer's room.
Cecily Strong is returning as a full-time performer after leaving the Weekend Update desk, although Nasim Pedrad ended her five-season run on the show earlier this year, after joining the new Fox fall comedy Mulaney. The final Season 40 cast includes Vanessa Bayer, Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Colin Jost, Taran Killam, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Moynihan, Kyle Mooney, Jay Pharoah, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson and Sasheer Zamata.