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The Hollywood Insider New SNL Writers

Photo: New SNL 

Saturday Night Live is in its 47th season this year, the long-running and highly successful late-night comedy show acting as a staple in the entertainment industry. The premiere episode, which aired earlier this month, teased a cast of new writers, who are to join SNL and redefine the new generation of actors and producers. 

Ten new writers have been hired for this season, the team now including names like Mike DiCenzo, former Fallon writer, and Alex English, a performer from ‘That Damn Michael Che.’ Most notably, an internet sensation is known as ‘Please Don’t Destroy,’ made up of three talented writers and creators who have been blowing up recently. 

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Star-Studded Cast of New Writers and Creators

The star-studded list doesn’t end there – the group includes alum from ‘A Little Late With Lilly Singh,’ ‘Archer,’ and ‘Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.’ Unfortunately, this meant a lot of writers from last year have left their helm, including Michael Koman, Alan Linic, Eli Coyote Mandel, Katie Rich, and Julio Torres (who is on the writer on the HBO series ‘Los Espookys.’) Bowen Yang, who was also a notable writer on the SNL cast, is now joining the show only as a cast member for their zany scripts and acts. 

Iconic Helm Writers Remain On Our SNL Radar 

Most fans are ecstatic to note though that the lead writers have remained untouched, maintaining the integrity of the show and its long-standing traditions and style of writing. Michael Che, Colin Jost, and Kent Sublette are still at the helm, as well as Neal Brennan and Dave McCary who were featured in the premiere end credits and will reprise their roles as guest writers for the late-night production.

‘Please Don’t Destroy:’ New Comedy Group 

‘Please Don’t Destroy’ has caused the most excitement amongst fans who are excited to witness what history the new writers will make. Ben Marshall, Martin Herlihy, and John Higgins are the three who comprise the group and who made their debut in an old sketch on the show.

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The ‘Hard Seltzer’  sketch opens with Martin and John working in the SNL office in need of hard seltzer. John asks what kind Martin wants to which he casually replies, “Just a J.C. Penney.” John thinks he may be mistaken but upon picking up a can he sees the flavor is Men’s Jackets. Ben enters finally and shows off his strange seltzer variant, Jiffy Lube Seltzers – to John’s horror and amusement. 

They begin exposing a bunch of brands with their own hard seltzers, eliciting laughs with names like Verizon, Dr. Ricardi, and Exxon. John who has fallen into this hole of absurdity asks if the desk has its own brand to which the boys respond with an astounding yes. The hilarious skit closes with John enjoying a Desk hard seltzer with cheers to his friends. 

Who Are Ben, John, and Martin? 

The group of Ben, John, and Martin, “Please Don’t Destroy Us,’ is based in New York and formed when the boys met at NYU. In 2017, the three collaborated to form a group and have been working on many notable comedy outlets like ‘Comedy Central,’ ‘Universal,’ and even ‘Sony,’ to showcase their comedic talents and brilliant, fresh ideas. Besides their contributions to film and TV projects, they’ve completed projects like a one-hour comedy sketch at the New York Comedy Festival, Moontower Comedy Festival, and Lyric Hyperion in Los Angeles. 

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Viral Success and Introduction to SNL Family 

Perhaps the most helpful part of their youthful outtake and presence is the amount of fame and recognition they’ve garnered on social media. The three have filmed a ton of short but hilarious skills and videos for viral apps like Tik Tok and Instagram, whose accessibility and share-ability make them the perfect platforms to gain fans and likes. 

Sometimes they even credit their new SNL fame to the virality factor of such apps, after one of their clips caught the attention of famous comedy contributors and names like Patton Oswalt and Heidi Gardner from SNL. The latter is an American actress, comedian, and writer, she’s a long-standing cast member on SNL and clearly had a knack for recognizing talent when it came to John, Martin, and Ben. 

In an interview with Vulture, she said, “Watching them, they reminded me of when I was a teenager, and it was like the first time I saw [the sketch group] Stella or the first time I saw Jack Black. And I was just like, ‘Holy s–t. I could watch this all night long.’ I almost felt embarrassed of how much of a fan I quickly became.”

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COVID-19 Skit Reaches Over 1M Views On Tik Tok

Their most famous, which reached peak popularity on Tik Tok is a skit about the vaccine. Ben tells Martin and John he finally got the shot, the cheapest one at that, and says that it was the “Dumbrekka” vaccine. He claims it was only 300 dollars and then proceeds to list horrendous side effects. His friends are beyond concerned, but right before he passes out, Ben explains that “at least it wasn’t the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.” 

Their impressive ability to spoof on often political or polarizing conversations in the news and media is right on brand for SNL and allowed them to fit right in with the rest of the cast and crew. 

Their Roots in SNL

Martin Herlihy and John Higgins specifically have roots in SNL, with Martin being the son of actor Tom Herlihy who wrote for SNL from 1993 to 2019. John’s father, Steve Higgins also wrote for SNL since 1995 and now works as an announcer for ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.’

What To Look Forward To

With many new skits, ideas, and writers to look forward to, this season of SNL seems beyond promising. Make sure to catch the latest episodes as they air every Saturday night on NBC and look below for a comprehensive list of the new additions to the comedy show. 

Full List of New SNL Writers

Mike DiCenzo

Billy Domineau

Alex English

Martin Herlihy

John Higgins

Vannessa Jackson

Tesha Kondrat

Ben Marshall

Jake Nordwind

Ben Silva

By Mireille Karadanaian

Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Black Lives Matter, in which he tackles more than just police reform, press freedom and more – click here.

An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “The Hollywood Insider fully supports the much-needed Black Lives Matter movement. We are actively, physically and digitally a part of this global movement. We will continue reporting on this major issue of police brutality and legal murders of Black people to hold the system accountable. We will continue reporting on this major issue with kindness and respect to all Black people, as each and every one of them are seen and heard.

Just a reminder, that the Black Lives Matter movement is about more than just police brutality and extends into banking, housing, education, medical, infrastructure, etc. We have the space and time for all your stories. We believe in peaceful/non-violent protests and I would like to request the rest of media to focus on 95% of the protests that are peaceful and working effectively with positive changes happening daily. Media has a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so.”

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