As we come to the close of another season of “Saturday Night Live,” it’s time to think ahead to what changes will happen in the show’s cast when it returns for its thirty-ninth season this Fall. While Lorne Michaels traditionally likes to draw nationally unknown talent from the nation’s top improv troupes, is it time for him to think about drawing from a better-known pool of talent? After all, there is precedent for this in the show’s history, even if Michaels himself wasn’t involved in bringing in cast members such as Christopher Guest and Billy Crystal.
Looking at already-known actors might seem counterintuitive, and logistically implausible. But let’s imagine that a full season commitment wouldn’t be necessary. Imagine if intermittent stints on the show were allowed, providing a constantly rotating pool of talent that would not only provide comedic depth and breadth for the show, but also make each installment unique unto itself? Let’s look at some names that might fit the bill, looking at the likelihood they would be good full-time participants or simply part-time players.