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What To Know About SNL's Newest Additions

When "Saturday Night Live" returns on October 2, it will be the seminal sketch comedy show's 47th season. The show has launched the careers of countless comedy stars, from Bill Murray and Eddie Murphy to Tina Fey and Kate MacKinnon. But every season there's almost always some turnover among the "SNL" cast, too.

This time, Beck Bennett will be leaving the show after eight seasons, and featured player Lauren Holt won't be returning either (via The Wrap). There are also two promotions this season, with Bowen Yang and Chloe Fineman both being upped from featured players to repertory performers. In Yang's case, winning an Emmy in his first season likely made promoting him a pretty easy decision in the eyes of the "SNL" producers.

The upcoming season will also feature the "SNL" debuts of three new cast members: Aristotle Athari, James Austin Johnson, and Sarah Sherman (via LA Times).

Unless you're unusually plugged in to the comedy scene, these three names are likely unfamiliar to you. With that in mind, here's a rundown of each new cast member's history in comedy, including where they got their training, what they're best known for, and what skills they might be bringing to "Saturday Night Live" this season.

Aristotle Athari has worn a lot of hats throughout his comedy career

Before landing his "Saturday Night Live" gig, Aristotle Athari was probably best known for playing the recurring character Gabe (the programmer who always wore pants that doubled as a chair) on "Silicon Valley" Season 6. He's also a member of Goatface, the sketch comedy group created by "The Daily Show" correspondent Hasan Minhaj. Finally, he played Derrick on the interactive web series "The Coop."

In addition to his screen experience, Athari has been active as a comedy director, helming several video shorts and standup specials for comedians like Tom Arnold, Erik Griffin, and Drew Lynch (via IMDb). This experience may mean that some of his contributions to "SNL" this season will come in the form of digital shorts, but only time will tell.

Athari originally hails from Plano, Texas. He's been active in comedy for over a decade, with his first screen credit coming in 2008. On a personal note, Athari got married on September 27, the same day he was announced as a new "SNL" cast member (via HitC).

James Austin Johnson is a master of impressions

Along with his other roles on "Saturday Night Live," Beck Bennett was known for his impressions of political figures like Mike Pence, Vladimir Putin, and Mitch McConnell, so his departure opens up the space for another impressionist to come in and try to fill the void left by Bennett's exit.

James Austin Johnson might be just the person to fill that void. He's known for his viral Donald Trump impression (via Twitter), and while there, presumably, won't be much of a need for a Trump impersonator on "SNL" for the next few years, he reportedly does other impressions, too (via Vulture). As fans of the series already know, that's always a handy skill to have on "SNL."

Johnson has also had several on-screen roles of the non-impression variety. He's appeared on several comedy TV series, including "Tuca & Bertie," "Future Man," and "Adam Ruins Everything," as well as in dramas like "All Rise" and "Better Call Saul." He even played a studio assistant in the 2016 Coen brothers film "Hail, Caesar!" (via IMDb). He's originally from Nashville (via EW).

Sarah Sherman likes to keep it weird

Last but not least is Sarah Sherman, who should bring a unique comedic sensibility to the cast. She's best known for her comedic alter-ego Sarah Squirm, a cheerfully depraved character who starred in "The Sarah Vaccine," a COVID-era PSA parody with tons of gore and other bodily fluids. For her "SNL" audition tape, she auditioned in character as Sarah Squirm and performed a series of rapid-fire, intentionally terrible impressions of various celebrities and characters. You can check it out on Sarah Squirm's Twitter. She's also the mastermind behind the Adult Swim infomercial "Flayaway," which promotes a disturbing new beauty treatment (honestly, it's best if you just watch it for yourself).

Additionally, she's been a frequent collaborator of comedian Eric Andre, having opened for him on tour and served as a creative consultant on "The Eric Andre Show." She was also a writer on the first season of the comedy magic show, "Magic for Humans" (via IMDb).

The Long Island native definitely brings a unique style and sensibility to the cast. Fortunately, "SNL" has always had a bit of a weird streak, especially when it comes to its end-of-the-show sketch slots, so hopefully, Sherman will really get to bring that side of her comedy to the series.