If you're keeping count, he's the third cast member to leave the show since last season, following Bill Hader and Fred Armisen. They're dropping like flies over there. And with Seth Meyers already having one foot out the door with plans to replace Jimmy Fallon when he leaps to The Tonight Show, there's a real window of opportunity for some new talent to steal the spotlight. For the SNL casting directors shopping around for said talent, we have a few Brooklyn-centric suggestions. Because everyone in Brooklyn is hilarious. Have you read their Twitter feeds?
As legend has it, Gabe Delahaye was crowned our first-ever Literary Upstart winner, which means he made lots of people laugh by reading things he wrote out loud so we gave him some money. (It also means we might be slightly bias, but just go with it.) I also once saw him read a love letter to Jessica Alba (or maybe it was Biel?) to a live audience, which was much more hilarious than I'm making it sound. He's since gone on to helm the editorial team at Videogum, where he's been churning out quick-witted pop-culture commentary at a rapid-fire pace for the last five years. Words are the basis of comedy. (At least sometimes!) He's got that part down. But there are also plenty of self-starring videos circulating the web, warming him up for a television debut. That one above is pretty much ready to go as a digital short on SNL's season premiere, is it not?
Max Silvestri—Gabe's oft partner in crime—has been kicking around Brooklyn for a few years now, steadily gaining name recognition as host of Big Terrific, the Williamsburg comedy-show mainstay he once organized with Jenny Slate and Gabe Liedman before those two headed to L.A. He's got plenty of bylines to his name, including Top Chef recaps for Eater and pieces for Grantland, but his real comedic weapon is the ability to invert that nice-guy charm into believably douchey characters—a token SNL trick. Like that guy in the video above? I know a guy just like that. You probably do too.
"I think it’s infinitely more difficult for someone to deliver funny live performances, consistently, than to be funny on the Internet," Greg Johnson told the Park Slope Stoop last year. "Internet comedy culture can be, like, a funny Tweet, a funny GIF, or, like, “Harry Bit Me!” And that’s great. But in terms of performance, there are very few people in the world ... who can capture an audience’s attention and make them laugh for 20 or 40 or 60 minutes at a time." I imagine this is all very true, which would make his longtime presence in the local stand-up scene—from back in the day at defunct LES hauntRififi to routine performances at Union Hall—one horribly long rehearsal for SNL. He certainly seems to put a premium on the live aspect of comedy (though he's quite good at the Internet stuff too) and has sharpened his "deal-with-whatever-comes-your-way" skills as co-host of the cult-favored Greg Johnson & Larry Murphy Show. It won the 2007 Emerging Comics of New York award for "Best Variety Show," so that's something. And he has that malleable, "Everyday Guy from Cleveland" Sudeikis-like appeal, so that's another thing.
Hey, SNL casting team who will undoubtedly read this: Johnson's pal Larry Murphy is another candidate worth looking into, as he has no problem morphing into straight-up weirdo characters and comes with an arsenal of voices.
Follow Lauren Beck on Twitter @heylaurenbeck.