Saturday Night Live co-head writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider are leaving the venerable late-night sketch comedy program after six years but staying in business with the company behind it, Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video. Bryan Tucker and Kent Sublette, who worked alongside Kelly and Schneider last season, remain SNL‘s co-head writers, leading the charge starting with the Season 43 premiere tonight.
Kelly and Schneider will be focusing on a siblings comedy they have at Comedy Central. The cable network in March gave a pilot order to the project, from Kelly, Schneider and Broadway Video. The pilot has been shot and is now awaiting a series pickup. No decision has been made yet but I hear its prospects look good.
Kelly and Schneider were named SNL head writers at the beginning of last season, joining Tucker. The trio, along with Sublette, who was promoted to co-head writer in Episode 12, presided over one of the most successful seasons in SNL history. Buoyed by viewers’ interest in the November election and Donald Trump’s headline-making presidency, Season 42 of SNL was its most watched in 23 years and earned 9 Emmy awards — the most for any program this year — including Variety Sketch Series.
SNL is getting a major infusion with seven new writers added for Season 43, Sam Jay, Gary Richardson, Erik Marino, Andrew Dismukes, Steven Castillo, Claire Friedman and Nimesh Patel, as well as three new cast members, Heidi Gardner, Luke Null and Chris Redd.
Kelly and Schneider served as writers on NBC’s late-night show since 2011. Among other things, they worked with Kate McKinnon on her Hillary Clinton sketches and were behind the “Bern Your Enthusiasm” skit, featuring Larry David as Bernie Sanders, and the Emmy-nominated “(Do It On My) Twin Bed”. In addition to his SNL gig, Kelly was as a writer on Comedy Central’s Broad City. He also wrote and directed the feature Other People, which earned him 2017 Indie Spirit Award nominations for best first feature and best screenplay and earned a Spirit trophy for star Molly Shannon.
Schneider also was a writer on Netflix’s Master of None. She previously was a writer and co-star of CollegeHumor Originals.