The saddest news for Michaela Watkins and Casey Wilson isn't that they are out of jobs on Saturday Night Live. It's that they're entering the tradition of the show's women who are never heard from again. Jan Hooks, anyone?
While Will Farrell is allowed to make mediocre comedy after mediocre comedy, Jan Hooks hasn't worked since 2004. Yes, SNL has launched the careers of countless male superstars, but what has it done for the women? Pretty much bubkas. There are a few notable exceptions—Tina Fey, Gilda Radner, Amy Poehler, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, for instance—but whither Ellen Cleghorne, Victoria Jackson, and Julia Sweeney? From the show's original cast, Jane Curtin may have gone on to several sitcoms, but Laraine Newman has been doing little more than guest spots and voice work for the better part of the decade.
Luckily Ana Gasteyer and Christine Ebersole went on to find steady work on Broadway, but that's kind of like being the chastest girl at a Sex-aholics Anonymous meeting. Why can Jimmy Fallon get his own late-night talk show, when Nora Dunn and Cheri Oteri are at home waiting by their phones? And for every Janeane Garofalo — who fled 30 Rock after one season, allowing her to escape with her career intact — a dozen Siobhan Fallones or Mary Grosses float out of sight. Maybe they should have taken the Maya Rudolph route and married a hipster director and done a drama. Now people are talking about how she's an "actress" instead of a comedian.
And it's not that these women aren't funny; they did scale to the very pinnacle of their trade by earning their places on the show. Hollywood doesn't know what to do with funny women. After all, it would rather have an attractive but bland actress playing the female lead on a sitcom rather than someone who has actual comedic timing. Look at who is starring in this season's romantic comedies: Amy Adams, Sandra Bullock and Jennifer Aniston, three ladies who never let themselves get pigeon-holed as "funny."
Don't worry, Casey and Michaela, just remember that there was a little girl named Sarah Silverman who got fired from SNL after one season too. She went out there and did her own thing, and in the end talent won out, and now she has her own show on basic cable! Look at how far you can go!