After losing some regulars last season—Abby Elliott, Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg, and Jason Sudeikis (maybe)—Saturday Night Live announced the three new cast members who’ll be joining the show’s 38th season. One of the three is Aidy Bryant, a Second City alum who just happens to be fat. Though SNL has long showcased the work of funny fat men like Chris Farley, Horatio Sanz, and Kenan Thompson, Bryant is the show’s first-ever fat female hire. Hooray!
Don’t know about her jokes, but she has great hair.
SNL isn’t exactly known for its groundbreaking diversity. The cast roster is overwhelmingly white, straight, cisgendered, and male, and you could count the women of color on just one hand (two fingers if you look only at the past decade).
Sure, the three new cast members are all white people from the midwest, which is too bad (I’m sure we aren’t the only ones who are tired of the male cast members dressing in drag to play women of color). However, it’s still exciting that SNL is opening doors for fat women in comedy, and even though 2012 is embarrassingly late in the game, this is new ground for the sketch show and it’s kind of a big deal.
In 2000, Tina Fey had to lose 30 pounds before she did Weekend Update, and just a few years ago it was rumored that Casey Wilson was asked to leave Saturday Night Live because she didn’t lose 30 pounds between seasons. Cut to three years later, and SNL can finally have an actual fat woman play the roles written for fat women. It’s about time!
I don’t know much about Bryant, but this video from her website where she and her friends share things is pretty charming:
Again, it’s weird to celebrate Saturday Night Live for deciding to not be shitty to fat women after decades of being shitty to fat women—it’s like thanking someone for not punching you in the face. But even though it took 38 years(!), it’s awesome that audience members will get to see a plus-size woman being hilarious on television every Saturday night.