Columbia alumna cast on “Saturday Night Live”

By Alexandra Kukulka

Columbia students, alumni and faculty are known for their outstanding accomplishments, and the latest to join the ranks of other successful alums will make her national comedic debut Sept. 15 on “Saturday Night Live.”

Aidy Bryant, a graduate of Columbia’s Theatre Department and member of Second City, has been cast in “SNL’s” upcoming 38th season, according to multiple local publications, including the Chicago Sun-Times.

Second City alumni Tim Robinson and Cecily Strong will be joining Bryant on the cast, replacing Kristin Wiig, Andy Samberg and Abby Elliott, according to the Sun-Times.

Bryant was unable to speak to The Chronicle as of press time.

Most Columbia professors agree that she was a smart, talented, but timid young girl.

Caroline Latta, a theater professor who taught Bryant in her Acting III: Shakespeare I class, remembers Bryant playing Amelia in “Othello.”

“I remember her as being a pleasant young woman,” Latta said. “I [couldn’t say], in all honesty, that I thought she was going to be a comedy star.”

Latta said Bryant was very good at taking class lessons and applying them when critiquing professional shows, which was evident in a review she wrote of a Shakespeare play as part of a class assignment.

Stephanie Shaw, a senior lecturer in the Theatre Department who taught Bryant in a Solo Performance class during her senior year, said Bryant presented a very whimsical and personal autobiographical monologue for a class project.

Shaw said that it was evident Bryant knew what she was doing based on the performances she put on in class and also gave constructive criticism of her classmates.

“[Bryant] was a big help when it came to feedback,” Shaw said. “[She was] very charming, shiny, funny and knew how to make a joke —usually at her own expense.”

However, Shaw said she was not expecting to see Bryant on “SNL.”

“I was sort of shocked,” she said. “Not because she is not capable. I just didn’t realize she was going for it like that. I had no idea she would so aggressively pursue this task.”