The original Not Ready for Primetime Players are headed to the big screen. (And no, it’s not a Coneheads sequel.)
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Oscar nominee Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air) is co-writing and directing a movie about Saturday Night Live’s first ever taping, entitled SNL 1975. It takes place on Oct. 11, 1975, “where a ferocious troupe of young comedians and writers changed television forever,” according to the film’s initial announcement. “This is the true story of what happened that night behind the scenes in the moments leading up to the first SNL broadcast, retelling chaos and magic of a revolution that almost wasn’t, counting down the minutes in real time to the infamous words, ‘Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!’”
To bring the birth of a late-night comedy institution to the big screen, Reitman has enlisted a number of familiar faces to play SNL icons like John Belushi, Gilda Radner and Dan Aykroyd. And we have to say, some of them bear a stunning resemblance to the comedians they’re playing. Read on to see who’s playing who, and what you might know them from, and then hit the comments below to tell us: Did they get the casting right?
Gabriel LaBelle as Lorne Michaels
WHO HE’S PLAYING: Lorne Michaels, the legendary creator of SNL.
WHERE YOU KNOW HIM FROM: LaBelle broke out as teen filmmaker Sammy in Steven Spielberg’s autobiographical 2022 film The Fabelmans. His TV credits include iZombie and American Gigolo.
Cory Michael Smith as Chevy Chase
WHO HE’S PLAYING: Original SNL cast member Chevy Chase, who shot to fame as the deadpan anchor of Weekend Update.
WHERE YOU KNOW HIM FROM: Smith played the villainous Edward Nygma, aka The Riddler, on Fox’s Gotham. His film credits include May December, First Man and Carol.
Ella Hunt as Gilda Radner
WHO SHE’S PLAYING: Original SNL cast member Gilda Radner, who won America’s heart with goofy characters like Roseanne Roseannadanna and Emily Litella.
WHERE YOU KNOW HER FROM: Hunt starred alongside Hailee Steinfeld on the Apple TV+ comedy Dickinson, playing Emily’s secret love Sue. Her movie credits include Anna and the Apocalypse and Les Misérables.
Dylan O’Brien as Dan Aykroyd
WHO HE’S PLAYING: Dan Aykroyd, the jack of all trades who anchored the original SNL cast with memorable impressions like Julia Child and characters like one of the “Two Wild and Crazy Guys” with Steve Martin.
WHERE YOU KNOW HIM FROM: O’Brien played sarcastic pal Stiles on MTV’s Teen Wolf, which ran from 2011 to 2017. He has also guest-starred on Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Other Two, along with a starring role in the Maze Runner film franchise.
Matt Wood as John Belushi
WHO HE’S PLAYING: Original SNL cast member John Belushi, whose outrageous physical comedy soon made him a movie star.
WHERE YOU KNOW HIM FROM: Wood made his Broadway debut in SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical. His TV credits include Law & Order: SVU, Difficult People and Instinct.
Kim Matula as Jane Curtin
WHO SHE’S PLAYING: Original SNL cast member Jane Curtin, who manned the Weekend Update anchor desk after Chevy Chase left the show.
WHERE YOU KNOW HER FROM: Matula played Hope on the CBS daytime soap The Bold and the Beautiful from 2010 to 2016. She also co-starred with Dylan McDermott on Fox’s short-lived airline comedy LA to Vegas, along with roles on 9-1-1: Lone Star and UnREAL.
Lamorne Morris as Garrett Morris
WHO HE’S PLAYING: Garrett Morris, SNL’s first Black cast member who famously played baseball player Chico Escuela (“Baseball been berry berry good to me…”), among others.
WHERE YOU KNOW HIM FROM: Morris is best known to TV fans as New Girl’s quirky roommate Winston. He also starred in Hulu’s Woke and the recent fifth season of FX’s Fargo. (And no, Lamorne and Garrett are not related.)
Emily Fairn as Laraine Newman
WHO SHE’S PLAYING: Original SNL cast member Laraine Newman, known for playing the Coneheads’ teen daughter Connie.
WHERE YOU KNOW HER FROM: Fairn played Suzie in the “Demon 79” episode of Black Mirror’s recent sixth season, along with an appearance on HBO’s Rain Dogs.
Cooper Hoffman as Dick Ebersol
WHO HE’S PLAYING: NBC executive Dick Ebersol, who was instrumental in putting SNL on the air.
WHERE YOU KNOW HIM FROM: Hoffman — the son of late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman — starred in writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson’s Oscar-nominated 2021 film Licorice Pizza.
Rachel Sennott as Rosie Shuster
WHO SHE’S PLAYING: Rosie Shuster, the wife of Lorne Michaels who served as a writer during SNL’s early years.
WHERE YOU KNOW HER FROM: Sennott recently co-starred with Lily-Rose Depp and The Weeknd in HBO’s The Idol. Her film credits include Bottoms, Bodies Bodies Bodies and Shiva Baby.
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