When “Saturday Night Live” returned to the air following the writer’s strike, a hilarious fresh voice was heard from the stage of Studio 8H coming from the sketch show’s newest cast member, Casey Wilson.
Her breakout performances and envelope-pushing characters have legions of “SNL” viewers reaching for the rewind button on their DVRs. So it’s no wonder why Casey, who is AccessHollywood.com’s new Rising Star, is on the verge of leaping from featured player to seasoned regular, both on “SNL” and the big screen.
When Casey found out she had been selected as our newest Rising Star, she responded modestly saying, “I’m flattered…are you sure people haven’t made a mistake?”
“I’ve had a blast! It was the best experience of my life,” Casey told Access after wrapping her first season as a featured player on “SNL.”
The 27-year-old comedienne said comedy is in her blood and she dreamt about appearing on the sketch show since she was a kid.
“My parents are both super funny, and I always knew I wanted to be on ‘SNL.’ My Mom and I would watch it a lot,” Casey said.
After first debating if she was ready to send in her audition tape, Casey took the plunge and made a tape that was “super low budget and hoped for the best.”
The best happened when she landed a five-minute audition where she was asked to perform “anything and everything you’ve ever done that was marginally funny.”
Casey impressed the “SNL” producers with a slew of characters, including her “quadriplegic stripper” character that has since made it on the show.
Besides the stripper who needs a helping hand, Casey has shined in sketches such as “Cougar Den,” which parodies the cougar subculture phenomenon, as well as sketches poking fun at reality shows “Project Runway” and “Rock of Love.”
As the newest member of a fiercely competitive show, Casey takes heed of the advice of former “SNL” cast member Molly Shannon who told her, “there’s really no one to be competitive with but yourself. You just have to be keep doing better work each time.”
Though Casey tries to always remain positive, she admits there are times when “you only feel as good as your last sketch.”
During a cast member’s first season, the performer is often placed in smaller roles, Casey told Access.
“You are kind of in straight-man alley your first year, [playing] the waiter. [But] I’m happy to just be there,” she said.
Another bit of advice passed down through the ranks of “SNL” members from Molly Shannon to Amy Poehler and then to Casey is, “No matter what has gone on over the week, when Don Pardo (“SNL’s” announcer) says your name, take a deep breath and be just grateful you’re there,” — advice Casey takes to heart.
As for any hazing Casey has had to endure as the newest member of the show?
“I don’t know, none of them have spoken to me yet, and I don’t know what’s that about,” she joked.
Jokes aside, Casey said “the initiation process is just to bring out the funniest stuff you have, and prove yourself [as a comic].”
For the next season of “SNL,” Casey already has her sights set on pop culture people she hopes to parody.
“I wanted to tackle every single one of the ‘Real Housewives of New York City’. One by one and not stop on them! I’m obsessed with the show. I love and hate them,” Casey said with a laugh.
For the time being, Casey is still a featured player on the show, but said she is “cautiously optimistic” about landing a role as a series regular.
As one of only three women on the show, not to mention her hilarious characters and the gumption to take a risk for a laugh, Casey’s future at “SNL” is looking bright.
“For there being only three women on the show, their voices are definitely heard,” she said seriously. Then added with a hint of her humor, “I’ll take discrimination if it’s in my favor!”
Not resting on her new fame, Casey is hard at work writing projects for Anna Farris and America Ferrera, along with wrapping the upcoming comedy, “Bride Wars” starring Anne Hathaway, Candice Bergen, and Kate Hudson, which Casey co-wrote.