Three new cast members are joining NBC’s Saturday Night Live (SNL) 42nd season to be aired in October. Melissa Villaseñor, the first Latina comedian in the show, alongside Mikey Day and Alex Moffat, will be running SNL in place of Taran Killman, Jay Pharoah, and Jon Rudnitsky.

The adding of Villaseñor to the cast marks a milestone for SNL and its creator Lorne Michaels, who has been criticized on several occasions for not featuring enough diversity and neglecting the Hispanic community. Even though the Chilean comedian Horatio Sanz participated in the show between 1998 and 2016, this is the first time a Hispanic woman is added to the cast.

Melissa Villaseñor
Melissa Villaseñor. Image credit:

Three new talents

SNL’s new talents are no strangers to the comedy world and have paved their way to appear on the show. Melissa Villaseñor comes from California and is known for her celebrity impressions published on Youtube, where she has over 50,000 subscribers. She also participated in the sixth season of “America’s Got Talent.”

Villaseñor, who voices characters from the Cartoon Network’s show “Adventure Time”, recently participated in “Más Mejor,” a comedy showcase written by Lorne Michal’s Broadway Studio that features Latino talent.

Villaseñor has been an SNL fan since the beginnings of her career. According to a recent interview, she sent the show a performance video every summer and had previously auditioned before she was hired.

Back in 2o13, the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, communicated with SNL’S creator to address the lack of Latin presence on the show that has won 42 Prime Time Emmys.

Felix Sanchez, chair of the organization, said on Monday he was pleased to hear that Villaseñor is joining the cast.

“If Melissa does well, there will be demand for more: it will open doors for others,” Sanchez was quoted as saying by Fox News.

Mike Day has recently worked with NBC in the variety series called “Maya and Marty” and has previously appeared in SNL’s sketches with big comedy names such as Kenan Thompson and Maya Rudolph.

Since 2013, Day has been working on SNL behind the cameras as a writer. He has participated in the creation of popular sketches including “Undercover Boss” and “Farwell Mr. Bunting” the parody for the cultural movie “Dead Poets Society”.

Alex Moffat is a local comedian from Chicago, famous for his performances at the Second City Theater and at the Annoyance Theater. The new SNL season will air on October 1 at 11:30 p.m Eastern Time on NBC.

Source: NBC News