Somewhere tucked inside the 2001 yearbook for Notre Dame de Sion school in Kansas City you’ll find this prediction about Heidi Gardner: Most likely to be a cast member of “Saturday Night Live.”
That comes true this weekend when Gardner, born and raised in Kansas City, becomes a featured player on “SNL.”
She is one of three new cast members this season, along with Luke Null and Chris Redd, who hails from St. Louis.
The new season debuts Saturday with host Ryan Gosling and musical guest Jay-Z. (If Gardner doesn’t make it into a skit, watch for her on stage at the end.)
Gardner’s biggest fan is quite possibly her mother, Erny Huelke, who now lives in Los Angeles and has been excitedly sharing the news on Facebook.
“They requested Heidi come for an audition 3wks ago and then requested she come back another week,” Huelke posted on Tuesday.
“Last Friday, Lorne Micheals, called her and told her she was hilarious, her sketches were awesome and she will thrive on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE!!!!”
Here are nine quick things to know about Gardner:
1. She performs with The Groundlings improv and sketch comedy troupe in Los Angeles, which has been fertile hunting ground for “SNL.” Big-name Groundlings alumni include Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Kathy Griffin, Melissa McCarthy and Will Ferrell, according to Bustle.
2. On Tuesday, when the new cast members were announced, Bustle dubbed her “someone you should get to get to know ASAP.”
The show has brought seven new writers on board following its biggest season in more than two decades.
“As SNL presses forward in hopes to keep last season’s ratings momentum going, Gardner’s talents could prove to be a great asset to the live sketch series,” notes Bustle. “With the world now her stage amid her new gig at SNL, it’s safe to say that Heidi Gardner could become (a) household name in no time flat.”
3. She’s been funny and wanting to perform since she was 3, says her mom. “She likes to think her early character work as an adolescent prank caller prepared her for a life of sketch comedy,” says Gardner’s profile on the Groundlings website.
4. She was born and raised in Kansas City. She attended Notre Dame de Sion, the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri, according to Huelke.
5. It’s probably not a good idea not to call her Dorothy. Her Groundlings profile begins with this: “Heidi hails from Kansas City, Missouri (Missouri, not Kansas! Sorry if that was aggressive).”
6. She’s an avid sports fan. “Go Chiefs! Go Royals! Go Lebron!” her profile reads. (Former “SNL” cast member Jason Sudeikis, from Johnson County, wore his KU gear on the show.)
7. She loves cats. “Go Tweaky! Go Cubby Bear! Go Marshall!”
8. She also writes and performs on the animated comedy series “SuperMansion,” produced by Bryan Cranston on Sony’s Crackle network.
9. She’s going to be in a movie, “Life of the Party,” with Melissa McCarthy next year.