Leslie Jones is leaving the show, and Saturday Night Live isn’t wasting any time adding a few new featured performers to its roster of talent. Impressionist Chloe Fineman, stand-up comedian Shane Gillis and writer/performer Bowen Yang will all join the cast for the upcoming 45th season.
Yang, who joined the show as a staff writer last season, will become the first Asian-American cast member. (As the Times notes, “Former players Fred Armisen and Rob Schneider both are one-quarter Asian, but neither has been widely recognized for their Asian ancestry.”) Yang co-wrote a bunch of sketches last season, including “Cheques,” “GP Yass,” and two of the best: the brilliant Everlane parody “Fashion Coward” and “The Actress.” He also made his on-screen debut in the spring when he played Kim Jong-un in the “Kremlin Meeting” sketch alongside Sandra Oh.
Fineman is a Groundlings alum who has appeared in a bunch of shows, including Search Party, Jane the Virgin, Mozart in the Jungle, and Grown-ish. She has a lot of celebrity impressions in her repertoire, including Elizabeth Holmes, Marianne Williamson, Melania Trump, and Timothee Chalomet. You can check out a bunch more in the video below.
And you can get a taste for Gillis’ stand-up comedy below.
Besides Jones, the rest of the SNL cast is expected to return for this season, including Kenan Thompson (who is the longest tenured cast member ever) and Kate McKinnon (who recently signed a new one-year deal).
Woody Harrelson, star of the upcoming Zombieland: Double Tap, will host the season premiere alongside musical guest Billie Eilish on September 28th. Other hosts this season include Phoebe Waller-Bridge, David Harbour, Kristen Stewart and Eddie Murphy.
Update: Videos from 2018 have emerged showing Gillis using racist, sexist and homophobic slurs.
Gillis offered a non-apology around late on Thursday:
NBC has not responded for request for comment.