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Heidi Gardner, Luke Null and Chris Redd will join the show's cast as featured players, beginning with the Season 43 premiere hosted by Ryan Gosling and featuring musical guest Jay-Z on September 30.

Three SNL main cast members departed after the end of of last season, Bobby Moynihan after 8 seasons, Vanessa Bayer after 7, and Sasheer Zamata after 4.

The three new featured players join a show that won nine Emmys at the recent awards ceremony. The Second City vet has had prominent roles in Love, Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later, and Disjointed; his Comedy Central half-hour special premiered earlier this month as well.

Null is the first Greater Cincinnati native to be a "SNL" cast member in my 32 years reporting on television.

Null has done some sketches for iO Comedy Network and Gardner is a performer with the Groundlings, which is an improv troupe and school with notable alumni such as Kathy Griffin, Lisa Kudrow and Kristen Wiig.

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Null meanwhile is one of the more exciting additions to the cast in some time as he was working at a Chicago real estate firm prior to his casting, while also doing work with the improvisation group iO Chicago.

Null, described as a musical comedian, lives in Chicago and performs at the iO Theater, an improvisation theater and training center.

That's quite an eclectic array of writing talent to bring aboard SNL, and hopefully it helps the sketch series keep up the momentum they gained last season, which resulted in an Emmy win for Outstanding Variety Sketch Comedy Series.

New writers who will join the show for the 43rd season include: Sam Jay; Gary Richardson; Erik Marino; Andrew Dismukes; Steven Castillo; Claire Friedman and Nimesh Patel.

As we previously mentioned, this Saturday's premiere will be hosted by Ryan Gosling with musical guest Jay-Z.


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