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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bobby Moynihan Featured in USA Today

Meet these 'SNL' up-and-comers

By Gary Strauss, USA TODAY
Saturday Night Live captured some of its biggest audiences in nearly
a quarter of a century when it focused on the gaffes and foibles of
the 2008 presidential and vice presidential candidates.
But former cast member Tina Fey's memorable spoofs of vice
presidential candidate Sarah Palin are over, as is the seven-year
run of multitalented cast member and new mom Amy Poehler.

And mining Obamaland for comedy probably will wait until after
Barack Obama takes office in January.

So now what?

"We had a great run. We had the feeling we were at the center of
things," says executive producer Lorne Michaels. "How do you follow
that? You don't. There's still an enormous amount of interest
(in politics). But you go week to week, and see what happens."

For the season's 14 remaining fresh episodes, that includes
incorporating three new SNL cast members — and possibly one or two
more players to be named later — into the 90-minute skit show.

"The staying power has always been the cast and the writing. We're
just in a rebuilding period," Michaels says. "I believe this cast is
confident and good, but we can definitely add another woman and guy
in the spring."

Abby Elliott, 21

•Comedic pedigree: Daughter of former SNL cast member Chris Elliott;
granddaughter of Bob Elliott (of Bob & Ray fame). She trained with
The Groundlings theater group and is a member of improv/sketch company
Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, co-founded by Poehler. Provided
voice-overs for Fox's animated King of the Hill.

• Says Michaels: "She was in the last set of auditions. The fear was that
she might be too young. But so was Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy.
She did some really nice impressions, and her sense of humor was
clearly there."

Bobby Moynihan, 31

•Comedic pedigree: The John Belushi look-alike joined earlier
in SNL's 34th season. He's another member of the
Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and a member of former
SNLer Horatio Sanz's King of Improv tour. He has been on
NBC's Late Night With Conan O'Brien and appears in
2009 movies When in Rome, This Side of the Truth
and Mystery Team.

•Says Michaels: "I think he's the real thing. I looked at
him last year. This year (during auditions), he knocked it
out of the park. He has incredible poise and confidence."

Michaela Watkins, 36

•Comedic pedigree: Member of The Groundlings comedy troupe;
former regional theater actor after graduating from Boston
University. She has appeared in several TV shows, including CBS
sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine and Showtime's
Californication. Upcoming role in 2009 theatrical release
The Prankster.

•Says Michaels: "She has a very nice precision, and there's real
intelligence to her comedy. She did some smart, evolved
characters for her audition."



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