Saturday Night Live unveils plans for new season

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Halsey and Kim Kardashian announcement on SNL’s Instagram

Tiara Starks, Entertainment Editor

After months of speculation, Saturday Night Live’s (SNL) 47th season’s first batch of host and musical guests, along with an updated cast and writing staff list is here.

“Loki” actor Owen Wilson will kick off the season as host on Oct. 2 alongside musical guest Kacey Musgraves. On Oct. 9, socialite and T.V. personality Kim Kardashian will host along with musical guest, Halsey. Actor Rami Malek will host the Oct. 16 episode with Young Thug as musical guest. The month will end with actor and former SNL cast member Jason Sudekis hosting along with musical guest Brandi Charlie.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Beck Bennett, who has been a cast member on the show since 2012, announced on Instagram that he was leaving the show. The caption on his post read, “Love you, SNL, Gonna miss you so much, Thank you for 8 years of remarkable people and incredible experiences that completely changed my life. I had so much fun.” This announcement comes out after months of rumors regarding casting of the show.

Aside from Bennett, all of the cast members from the previous season return. Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, Colin Jost, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, and Melissa Villaseñor will reprise their roles as repertory cast members. Former featured players Bowen Yang and Chloe Fineman have been promoted to repertory cast member status as well.

Viewers will also see some new faces as three comedians have been added to the featured players list. James Austin Johnson, who can be seen on “Better Call Saul” and “All Rise” and is known for doing impressions of former-President Trump; Sarah Sherman, a quirky, absurdist comic from the Chicago comedy scene; and Aristotle Athari, a Los Angeles-based comedian who has appeared on Silicon Valley and has a special on Comedy Central will be joining. Athari will be the second Iranian-American cast member on the show after Nasim Pedrad.

According to Vulture, the late-night sketch show has also added 10 writers to their staff which includes Mike DiCenzo, Billy Domineau, Alex English, Martin Herlihy, John Higgins, Vannessa Jackson, Tesha Kondrat, Ben Marshall, Jake Norwind and Ben Silva. Kent Sublette, Anna Dresden, Micheal Che and Colin Jost will return as head writers.

“SNL” airs at 11:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC.