Two 'SNL' writers with Chicago ties leaving show

As "Saturday Night Live" gears up for its 41st season (returning Oct. 3), it will be with some changes off-camera among the show's writing ranks.

A representative from NBC confirms that five writers will not be coming back this year, including Mike O'Brien (a sly talent who also had a brief tenure as a cast member on the show) and Claire Mulaney (who followed in the footsteps of her older brother, former "SNL" writer John Mulaney).

Both O'Brien and Mulaney came up through the Chicago comedy scene at iO Theater and The Second City. O'Brien performed on the Second City mainstage from 2008 to '09 (immediately after which he was hired by "SNL"); Mulaney was a Second City intern and joined "SNL" in 2013.

One of O'Brien's most recent contributions to "SNL" was the digital short "Prom Queen," riffing on the tropes of teenage romantic comedies, wherein a "popular student (Mike O'Brien) bets that whomever he brings to prom as his date will be named prom queen, even a teacher (Michael Keaton)."

According to Entertainment Weekly, the writing slots will be filled by people from New York's UCB plus a pair who formerly contributed to "Late Show With David Letterman."

nmetz@tribpub.com

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