SNL’s Heidi Gardner, Chris Redd promoted as full cast members

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Saturday Night Live will reportedly list featured performers Heidi Gardner and Chris Redd as repertory players in the show’s upcoming Season 45. The season premiere is scheduled to air this Saturday, September 28.

According to Deadline, Gardner and Redd, known for their recurring appearances as celebrity impersonators on the show, will now be part of the long-running sketch show’s regularly performing cast. The entertainment news outlet notes that SNL reps have yet to confirm the news.

Redd is known as a series regular on Netflix’ Disjointed. Gardner is an alumna from The Groundlings Theater & School.

Featured players who manage to make it to their third year on the live comedy show customarily receive a promotion on the fourth year. Gardner and Redd will join two new SNL cast members announced earlier this month. Namely, Bowen Yang and Chloe Fineman. Yang’s casting made history as it marked the first time a comedian from Asian-American background was cast as a performer on the show since it aired back in 1975.

SNL’s recent casting announcements met controversy. The show sacked Shane Gillis — who was announced to join the cast along with Yang and Fineman — after a video of his racist remarks surfaced online. The racial slurs against Asians and homophobic comments Gillis was recorded saying caused a social media outrage. A number of celebrities and comedians urged SNL to take immediate action on the matter.

The show has been airing live from New York City for over four decades. It launched the careers of notable stars Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Jimmy Fallon among others.

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