Why 'Saturday Night Live' still matters: a conversation with Taran Killam

Taran Killam still

Now in its 39th season, Saturday Night Live is a cultural pillar on par with 60 Minutes and Monday Night Football. Under Lorne Michaels' four decades of stewardship, the show has always introduced new talent — but this year featured a bigger shift than most. With heavy hitters like Fred Armisen and Bill Hader leaving, SNL added six new faces while asking existing staffers like Taran Killam to step to the forefront. A cast member since 2010, Killam has become known for characters like critic Jebidiah Atkinson (not to mention his video spoof of Robyn's "Call Your Girlfriend" video). On the eve of SNL's annual holiday episode, we sat down with him to discuss the legacy of digital shorts, his new comic book side project The Illegitimates, and how SNL continues to be an important cultural voice.

Video production by Christian Mazza and Zach Goldstein. Ross Miller and Bryan Bishop contributed to this report.

The Verge
Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.