With star players such as Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg departing Saturday Night Live this spring, plus the departure of Abby Elliott over the summer and the potential swan song of Jason Sudeikis coming after Election Day, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that Lorne Michaels would look to bring in new sketch players this September.
Multiple sources tell The Comic’s Comic that SNL has closed in on two Chicago sketch comedians — Aidy Bryant and Tim Robinson — to join the cast when it begins its first week of season 38 on Monday. Seth MacFarlane will host the 38th season premiere on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, with musical guest Frank Ocean.
But more about Bryant and Robinson! Both comedians have experience across Chicago, not just with Second City, but also with iO, the Annoyance Theater and other venues around the city.
Bryant grew up in Phoenix and moved to Chicago to study at Columbia College. After graduating with a theater degree, she hit the city’s theater circuit — appearing with improv and sketch groups at iO, Annoyance (with current Saturday Night Live cast member Vanessa Bayer in “Swear Jar”) and the e.t.c. stage of Second City. Bryant’s last performance with Second City was at the end of August.
Bryant also is a member of iO team Virgin Daiquiri, which holds down Wednesday nights at 8 p.m., and is in the ensemble of popular musical improv group Baby Wants Candy.
“Bryant, an up-and-comer, is moving on to other, yet-to-be-announced opportunities.” wrote the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Jones.
Bryant told Time Out Chicago this summer in a piece on the 25th anniversary of the Annoyance: “One of my favorite scenes that I’ve ever done in my entire life is truly disgusting. [In Swear Jar] Vanessa Bayer has me sleep over at her family’s, and I’ve gotten my period all over their entire house. The essence of the scene is that the family never bats an eye. They’re like, Oh, that’s great, that’s the fun of a sleepover!”
Here is a video Bryant did over the summer. No dialogue necessary! It’s “Sharing with Aidy Bryant.” Roll it.
Robinson was included on a “30 Comedians Under 30 to Watch” list in 2011 — when he was 29.
He arrived in Chicago via Detroit.
He told Splashlife.com that he’d hate to make fun of his native Motor City, and would want to be centerfielder for the Tigers if he wasn’t a comedian: “I started by taking classes at the Second City in Detroit. I had a lot of great teachers who really guided me, including Antoine McKay and Keegan Michael-Key.”
Robinson’s career took him from Second City Detroit to the national Second City Touring Company, and eventually to Chicago’s Second City Mainstage. A member of Cook County Social Club, which performs weekly improv at iO Chicago, Robinson also made two-man sketch videos that also was a live show for Just For Laughs Chicago, and it begat a 2011 pilot for Comedy Central. My Mans did not get picked up, however. Here is the 2010 trailer for My Mans:
Robinson did get cast this past pilot season in the CBS midseason sitcom, Friend Me, starring Christopher Mintz-Plasse. The show is set to start production at the end of September. Robinson’s character, unlike his “friends” in the cast, stays in the Midwest and interacts with them through social media. So he conceivably could film his scenes from New York.
He certainly made his mark on Second City, though.
Writing earlier this year for Time Out Chicago in a story headlined “Who will be Second City’s next legends?”, Jason A. Heidemann opined: “Tim Robinson and Sam Richardson are two of my recent faves who both departed the Second City Mainstage to pursue other interests. Robinson is an incredibly smart and funny writer who is great with facial contortions and has a penchant for the strange. He recently filmed a pilot for a Comedy Central sketch show with Mark Raterman called My Mans which the network declined, but keep that name in the back of your mind.”
Name kept and logged. Tim Robinson. Got it. Do you got it?
Here you can see Robinson in the middle of a Second City Network video about a multi-layered blooper show. Roll it.
Keep your eyes out for Aidy Bryant and Tim Robinson on a TV near you this fall and into 2013.