One of the new faces on “Saturday Night Life,” Chris Redd, of St. Louis, made his start under the Arch.
SNL has announced three new cast members for its 43rd season, including Redd; Heidi Gardner, of Kansas City, Missouri; and Luke Null, of Chicago.
Redd, 32, has appeared in two movies: “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping“ and “Handsome,” a mystery movie on Netflix. He has appeared in a number of TV shows, including “Chicago P.D.,” “Empire,” Judd Apatow’s “Love” series on Netflix, and even the Disney children’s show “Sofia the First.”
Redd was born in St. Louis but moved to Naperville, outside Chicago, when he was 8 years old. He began his career as a rapper, then switched to stand-up and improvisational comedy. He told the Chicago Sun-Times that rap “helped me find my swagger” and also helped him get rid of a childhood stutter.
“Comedy helped me open up and be vulnerable with people and actually listen when people talk,” Redd said.
Rap helped him get the role in “Popstar,” which meant moving to Los Angeles, and he has continued acting while building his stand-up career. Most recently he has appeared on the Kathy Bates Netflix comedy series “Disjointed.”
And now, SNL. The venerable improv comedy show launches its new season Saturday, which will mark the debut of Redd, as well as seven new writers. Among the returning stars is Kenan Thompson, who will break the record by working his 15th season on SNL.
The show won nine Emmy Awards a couple of weeks ago, sweeping all four comedy acting categories for which it was eligible.
“I remember the first time we won this award,” showrunner Lorne Michaels said in his speech. “It was after our first season in 1976, and I remember thinking as I was standing there alone that this was it, this was the high point. There would never be another season as crazy, as unpredictable, as frightening, or exhilarating. I was wrong.”