Lorne Michaels of "Saturday Night Live" made several trips to Chicago this month--recruiting performers from Second City and iO theater to bring back to New York with him.
Michaels' latest hire is Second City's Tom Flanigan, who will join SNL as a writer for the show's 36th season. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Shelly Gossman, also of Second City, was added to the writing staff earlier this month.
Chicago Tribune theater critic Chris Jones writes that Flanigan has a "smart and amusing preppy style going," and was part of "The Absolute Best Friggin' Time of Your Life," which he cites as one of the best Second City reviews in recent years.
Flanigan moved to Chicago in 1996 after earning a biomedical engineering degree at the University of Iowa. He went on to study improvisation at The Second City, iO and The Annoyance Theater. The Sun-Times reports that his science background led him to co-found the Galileo Players, a science-minded sketch group.
Michaels regularly makes trips to Chicago to recruit new talent. He has flown several local comics out to New York for further auditions.
"Kristen (Wiig) and I saw some shows at Second City and the Groundlings in L.A.," Michaels told the Hollywood Reporter early this month. "We're also holding auditions soon in New York. We're always in the process of putting together the strongest possible cast."