Meet Molly Kearney, SNL’s First Out Nonbinary Comedian

In its nearly 50-year history, “Saturday Night Live” will premiere actor and comedian Molly Kearney as its first nonbinary cast member this season.

The renowned comic skit show announced four new additions on Thursday, with Kearney being one of them. They will join the cast of SNL’s 48th season, which has just undergone significant lineup changes.

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Kearney’s Instagram post about the matter

In a post published Thursday night to their Instagram account, Kearney announced the news of their historic casting: “Head exploding!! Thanks for all the love everyone.”

Who is Molly Kearney?

Kearney, who is seen as a rising star, is most recognized for playing Fern Dannely in the Amazon Prime series “. Kearney also produces a monthly outdoor stand-up show called “The Big One” and performs stand-up comedy across the nation.

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Many LGBTQ members were cast in the show previously

The history of LGBTQ cast members on SNL is lengthy but uneven. Danitra Vance, who was not out at the time, and Terry Sweeney, who was the first openly, gay cast member, both made history in 1985, according to the Advocate. Sweeney was also the first openly lesbian cast member. Both left after a single season.

In 2012, Kate McKinnon became the first woman to join the cast of the show, making her the second queer person to do so. The show has never featured an openly transgender member in its cast, and as recently as 2021, people have accused it of showing jokes that are “homophobic” and “transphobic.”

Kearney is joining the cast at a crucial turning point. Seven members of the show’s award-winning ensemble, including some of its most well-known actors, announced they wouldn’t be coming back for the upcoming season.

SNL’s transitional year

The show’s creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels said earlier this week that the upcoming season “will be a transition year, and the shift years are usually challenging” to reporters backstage at the 74th Emmy Awards.

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The coronavirus epidemic, according to Michaels, 77, may have led to some cast members leaving earlier than expected because there was nowhere to go.

But he went on to say that this is an “exciting” period for the show, which has been enjoying recent success in terms of both viewership and critical acclaim.

SNL won the Outstanding Variety Sketch Series Emmy on Monday, making it six in a row for the show.

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