EXCLUSIVE: When the opening credits in the upcoming Season 45 premiere of Saturday Night Live roll this Saturday, they will reveal that featured players Heidi Gardner and Chris Redd have been upped to repertory players, I have learned. A rep for SNL did not respond to a request for comment.
It has become customary for SNL to promote the featured players who have made it to their third year on the show. Gardner and Redd were two of three new SNL feature players added in September 2017, along with Luke Null who was not picked up for a second season.
Last fall, Gardner and Redd were joined by Ego Nwodim who will be heading into her second season as a featured player, joined by new SNL cast additions Bowen Yang and Chloe Fineman. (Shane Gills, originally cast as a feature player, was dropped over prior use of racial slur.).
Gardner and Redd both have made names for themselves in the pressure-cooker environment on SNL with memorable characters in their first two years on the show.
Gardner’s list of impersonations include Allison Janney, Dana Bash, Kristen Schaal, and Drew Barrymore; Redd’s impersonations include Kanye West, Jussie Smolett, Mahershala Ali, Cory Booker and Sterling K. Brown.
Actor-comedian-writer Redd (Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping) had been pursued by SNL while he still was a series regular on the Netflix comedy series Disjointed. Gardner (SuperMansion) is a Groundlings alumna.