Looks like they won't be "live from New York" any longer. After a difficult, uneven season that saw an influx of new cast members, controversy and the loss of Head Writer and "Weekend Update" host Seth Meyers halfway through the year, Saturday Night Live is by cutting down its slate of featured players down to a more manageable size. Brooks Wheelan announced that he would be leaving Tuesday morning on Twitter (via a joke, natch). Later in the day, it was announced that Noël Wells and John Milhiser also wouldn't return after they failed to make an impression with audiences this year. Those announcements come about a month after Nasim Pedrad, one of the current longest-running cast members, would be leaving to work on Mulaney.
But just because they won't be on SNL any longer, that doesn't mean that it's the last we'll ever see of Wheelan, Wells, Milhiser and Pedrad. There are plenty of people who only lasted a couple of seasons on the show and then went on to become major stars: Sarah Silverman, Damon Wayans, Rob Riggle, and Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr., to name just a few. With that in mind, we decided to take a look back at their tenure on SNL in order to best predict what's next for Wheelan, Wells, Milhiser and Pedrad. Although if any one of them is going to wind up playing a superhero, our money's on Heshy.
Brooks Wheelan What’s Next: Wheelan doesn’t have a lot lined up at the moment, though he does have a short film titled Lose Yourself, Save Yourself, where he plays Fighter 2. His Strengths: Possibly because he comes from a standup background rather than a sketch one, Wheelan didn’t create very many memorable characters, and his most significant moments on the show were his two appearances as himself on “Weekend Update,” where he would warn audiences against the dangers of getting terrible tattoos and binge drinking. Where We See Him: Wheelan seems to embody the same kind of “goofy, wisecracking All-American” guy that actors like Jake Johnson or fellow SNL alum Jason Sudeikis trade on. We could easily see him bringing some of the energy to a sitcom where he plays the sarcastic straight guy to a group of off-the-wall characters. Still, his weirdly funny exterminator bit with Ed Norton proves he’s capable of some truly strange characters, and so we could see him playing smaller, supporting roles in films for a while as a variety of strange, obnoxious characters. And of course, there’s always his stand up career to fall back on…
Noël Wells What’s Next: Wells has the TV series Gentleman Lobsters, which is slated for a 2014 premiere. She’s also a photographer in her spare time, and her work has been showcased in exhibitions and been printed in magazines. Her Strengths: Though they were slightly hit and miss – her Nancy Grace was four minutes of eye twitches and catchphrases – Wells made the biggest impact on the show through her impressions, most notably, playing Lena Dunham in the season premiere’s parody of Girls. Where We See Her: Though her talent with impressions and slightly offbeat characters would serve her well on another sketch show, something along the lines of Inside Amy Schumer or Key and Peele, Wells most reminds us of two other early SNL departures: Jenny Slate and Casey Wilson. Like them, Wells has a quirky charm to her that would serve her well in indie films (she actually earned solid reviews for her work in last year’s Forev) and in an ensemble sitcom, where she would be free to play up her weirder side.
John Milhiser What’s Next: Like Wheelan, Milhiser has a short film on his slate, Little Horribles, and he also starred in the indie film Camp Takota, which is available online. His Strengths: Milhiser didn’t get much of a chance to make an impression on audiences, although eh did show off a pitch-perfect Jon Cryer impression during a Family Feud sketch. He did, however, have one highlight during his tenure, a sketch where he and Lady Gaga played “encouraging” stage parents helping their child through a talent show performance, which let him show off his goofier side, and his ability to execute a high kick. Where We See Him: Milhiser strikes us as a Ben Falcone or Nat Faxon-type, someone who pops up in different things all the time, playing characters with varying levels of insanity and oddity. He’s definitely shown that he can play both weird and silly characters, but since he didn’t make that much of an impression, he’ll probably be “that guy from that thing” for a while, until he manages to find the right project to help him break out.
Nasim Pedrad What’s Next: After five years on SNL, Pedrad is leaving in order to play Jane, the roommate of John Mulaney’s character on the FOX sitcom Mulaney. Her Strengths: During her time on the show, Pedrad played a wide variety of characters, including Kim Kardashian, Arianna Huffington, Bedelia, the awkward teenager whose best friend is her mother and Shallon, the world’s most dangerous fifth grader. Though she never made the kind of impression that Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon have, she’s become a vital part of the ensemble over the past five years, thanks to her ability to inhabit both the sanest and the oddest human beings. Where We See Her: Hopefully, her role on Mulaney will be exactly what she needs to properly break out, since she never quite managed to on SNL. From there, we could see her following a similar career path to Wiig or Tina Fey, playing both broad comedy and more serious roles in both television in movies. Alternatively, she could become more of a Michaela Watkins/Ana Gasteyer- type, and becoming the go-to actress for slightly odd, scene-stealing characters.
Robert Downey Jr.'s adult son is undergoing treatment for substance abuse issues. The Iron Man star's ex-wife Deborah Falcone, has revealed 20-year-old Indio is currently receiving "holistic, natural and orthomolecular" therapy at an undisclosed treatment facility.
She adds, "We are hoping to do it the homeopathic way rather than with medications. He's being treated with vitamin supplements and organic foods."
Falcone explains her son, who is a promising musician and actor, was only taking one prescription pain pill a day and does not have addiction issues. However, Downey Jr. reportedly fears his son is battling the same issues he fought 20 years ago, when he was in-and-out of drug rehab facilities and jail.
A source tells the National Enquirer, "This is a nightmare for Robert because his boy has never been in trouble before. He's praying for Indio's recovery."
Kristen Wiig might’ve lost in the Best Original Screenplay category at Sunday night’s Academy Awards, but she’s still reaping the benefits of the success of Bridesmaids. Just today, in fact, she added yet another movie – an action-comedy from the Oscar-winning screenwriters of The Descendants – to her busy upcoming schedule, and most of Wiig’s Bridesmaids co-breakouts have also been in-demand. Here’s what they have been, and will be, doing post-Bridesmaids.
Wiig stands as the main beneficiary of the blockbuster that was Bridesmaids, and deservedly so: As the film’s star and (Oscar-nominated) co-writer, she exhibited bankability in two areas, and in case you didn’t know, bankability in Hollywood plays a major role in opportunity, of which she has plenty: Aside from next week’s Friends with Kids, which she booked pre-Bridesmaids, Wiig has roles the Sean Penn-directed The Comedian, the star-studded remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, the ambitious Imogen, the canine-centric Revenge for Jolly, the almost too-weird-to-be-true Freezing People Is Easy, and now the aforementioned untitled action-com from Jim Rash and Nat Faxon. Meanwhile, her involvement, or lack thereof, in a potential Bridesmaids sequel seems to change with each week, but … how would she even have the time?
The true breakout star of Bridesmaids, as the laughable-then-lovable Megan, McCarthy lost Best Supporting Actress to Octavia Spencer on Sunday, but the two ladies are landing jobs at the same breakneck rate. Although McCarthy has a hit-sitcom day job (Mike & Molly), she’s managed to book two high-profile acting roles, in Judd Apatow’s This Is 40 and the Jason Bateman vehicle ID Theft, not to mention a dual writing/acting gig in Tammy, directed by The Help’s Tate Taylor. And that’s just movies! McCarthy has been almost as active with small-screen projects, including two that she and husband (and Bridesmaids costar) Ben Falcone co-created and sold.
Rudolph seemed to disappear for a while pre-Bridesmaids, but now, thanks to her bride-to-be role – and perhaps her poop-in-the-street scene – in Bridesmaids, alongside old friend Kristen Wiig, her career is in full swing, probably more than ever. Rudolph is busy regularly playing an Oprah-esque talk-show mogul on NBC’s hit sitcom Up All Night, and she recently returned to her Saturday Night Live roots to host the show. Long-term, she’ll also be seen, er, heard in summer 2013’s Turbo, a surefire blockbuster from DreamsWorks Animation. Off-screen, she and director Paul Thomas Anderson welcomed their third child together last summer.
The Aussie actress, and arguably most under-noticed Bridesmaids cast member, didn’t necessarily need the career boost, which might explain the dearth of news regarding her post-Bridesmaids movement: Byrne will reprise her key role as Ellen Parsons on TV’s critically beloved Damages, whose fifth and final season will return this summer, and the very intriguing-sounding thriller The Place Beyond the Pines sometime this year, alongside hideous men Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper. But aside from that, pretty much nothing ... yet.
The former Reno 911! actress, who played loose-cannon bridesmaid Rita in the movie, has appeared on a number of TV shows but seems ready to make the full-time leap to movies. Most notably, she’s landed roles in the male-stripper flick Magic Mike and the sure-to-be-huge adaptation What to Expect When You’re Expecting, but she’ll also soon appear in smaller fare like Sleeping Around later this year and the even better-titled A White Trash Christmas in 2013.
There hasn’t been a whole lot of activity for Kemper – whose role as receptionist/unlikely temptress Erin on The Office probably doesn’t leave her a ton of time – in the wake of Bridesmaids-mania, but she will be seen in 21 Jump Street, out March 16, and later in a wedding dress, following her recent engagement to Michael Koman.
Last but not least, the male (not named Jon Hamm)! If not the aforementioned Kemper, then O’Dowd is certainly Bridesmaids’ freshest face, even though it was a face that seemed so familiar to audiences. That, coupled with his likable and believable performance as Wiig’s boy toy-turned-boyfriend, has deservedly led to some upcoming movies for the up-and-coming Irishman: the comedy Frankie Go Boom, Judd Apatow’s This Is 40 – in which he’ll reunite with Bridesmaids’ Melissa McCarthy (see above) – and the 2013 indie Calvary. Not to mention a prominent role in the soon-to-be-released, Bridesmaids-cast-friendly Friends with Kids. His own lead roles may well soon follow.