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The Post-SNL Careers of 5 Featured Players

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Tonight's season finale of Saturday Night Live will see the departure of longtime impressionist Bill Hader, who joined the cast in 2005. Like plenty of SNL celebs before him, Hader’s star will undoubtedly burn bright as he follows in Will Ferrell’s blockbuster footsteps, but not all SNL alums have pursued further careers in entertainment. Here’s a look at some SNL ex-pats whose found new life both on the screen and off.

1. Christopher Guest

That’s The Right Honourable The Lord Haden-Guest to you: Christopher Guest, who appeared on SNL for just a year (1984-85), stepped into his role as The 5th Baron Haden-Guest in 1996 (his older half-brother, Anthony, was ineligible). The comedian, who was born in New York City, retains dual citizenship with the U.K.; the title has been in the Haden-Guest family since 1950, when it was given to then-politician Leslie Haden-Guest. Christopher—who managed to continue to make movies during his time as 5th Baron, most notably the mockumentaries Waiting For Guffman, Best in Show, and A Mighty Wind—stayed active in the House of Lords until a 1999 act cut his political career short.

2. Robin Duke

Remembered for playing Wendy Whiner from 1981-84, Duke shifted from performing comedy to teaching it: She became a professor in the School of Creative and Performing Arts at Toronto’s Humber College in 2004. Her RateMyProfessor overall quality score? A paltry 2.2. The actress still tours with her Women Fully Clothed sketch comedy troupe.

3. Christine Ebersole

Some of Ebersole’s notable SNL impressions—Mary of Peter, Paul and Mary, country singer Barbara Mandrell—were musical. After she left the show following its 1981-82 season, she appeared in a number of films, including Amadeus and Black Sheep. But she was most successful on the Broadway stage: She snagged a Best Leading Actress in a Musical Tony for her role in 2001’s revival of 42nd Street; in 2007, she won her second Tony for her performance as both Big Edie and Little Edie in the musical adaptation of Grey Gardens.

4. Pamela Stephenson

The first female cast member born outside of North America (she appeared in the show’s 1984-85 season), the New Zealander officially tacked a PhD onto her title in 1996—she’s a licensed clinical psychologist and formerly owned a private practice in Beverly Hills. You might remember her for her faux-British Weekend Update commentary as frizzy-haired Angela Bradleigh, but Dr. Stephenson Connolly is now a trained hypnotherapist, specializes in human sexuality, and has done field studies in Samoa and Tonga. Maybe laughter is pretty good medicine after all.

5. Al Franken

One of SNL’s two original writers—and known for such characters as self-help guru Stuart Smalley—the Democratic funnyman took over the junior United States Senator office in Minnesota in 2008. The election was no laughing matter; incumbent Norm Coleman's supposed victory over Franken (within half of one percent) was challenged by a recount in an 8-month legal scuffle. Franken emerged with 312 votes more than Coleman, and was sworn in during July of 2009, seven months after his term officially began.

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5 Things We Know About Stranger Things Season 2
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Stranger Things seemed to come out of nowhere to become one of television's standout new series in 2016. Netflix's sometimes scary, sometimes funny, and always exciting homage to '80s pop culture was a binge-worthy phenomenon when it debuted in July 2016. Of course, the streaming giant wasn't going to wait long to bring more Stranger Things to audiences, and a second season was announced a little over a month after its debut—and Netflix just announced that we'll be getting it a few days earlier than expected. Here are five key things we know about the show's sophomore season, which kicks off on October 27.

1. WE'LL BE GETTING EVEN MORE EPISODES.

The first season of Stranger Things consisted of eight hour-long episodes, which proved to be a solid length for the story Matt and Ross Duffer wanted to tell. While season two won't increase in length dramatically, we will be getting at least one extra hour when the show returns in 2017 with nine episodes. Not much is known about any of these episodes, but we do know the titles:

"Madmax"
"The Boy Who Came Back To Life"
"The Pumpkin Patch"
"The Palace"
"The Storm"
"The Pollywog"
"The Secret Cabin"
"The Brain"
"The Lost Brother"

There's a lot of speculation about what each title means and, as usual with Stranger Things, there's probably a reason for each one.

2. THE KIDS ARE RETURNING (INCLUDING ELEVEN).

Stranger Things fans should gear up for plenty of new developments in season two, but that doesn't mean your favorite characters aren't returning. A November 4 photo sent out by the show's Twitter account revealed most of the kids from the first season will be back in 2017, including the enigmatic Eleven, played by Millie Bobby Brown (the #elevenisback hashtag used by series regular Finn Wolfhard should really drive the point home):

3. THE SHOW'S 1984 SETTING WILL LEAD TO A DARKER TONE.

A year will have passed between the first and second seasons of the show, allowing the Duffer brothers to catch up with a familiar cast of characters that has matured since we last saw them. With the story taking place in 1984, the brothers are looking at the pop culture zeitgeist at the time for inspiration—most notably the darker tone of blockbusters like Gremlins and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

"I actually really love Temple of Doom, I love that it gets a little darker and weirder from Raiders, I like that it feels very different than Raiders did," Matt Duffer told IGN. "Even though it was probably slammed at the time—obviously now people look back on it fondly, but it messed up a lot of kids, and I love that about that film—that it really traumatized some children. Not saying that we want to traumatize children, just that we want to get a little darker and weirder."

4. IT'S NOT SO MUCH A CONTINUATION AS IT IS A SEQUEL.

When you watch something like The Americans season two, it's almost impossible to catch on unless you've seen the previous episodes. Stranger Things season two will differ from the modern TV approach by being more of a sequel than a continuation of the first year. That means a more self-contained plot that doesn't leave viewers hanging at the end of nine episodes.

"There are lingering questions, but the idea with Season 2 is there's a new tension and the goal is can the characters resolve that tension by the end," Ross Duffer told IGN. "So it's going to be its own sort of complete little movie, very much in the way that Season 1 is."

Don't worry about the two seasons of Stranger Things being too similar or too different from the original, though, because when speaking with Entertainment Weekly about the influences on the show, Matt Duffer said, "I guess a lot of this is James Cameron. But he’s brilliant. And I think one of the reasons his sequels are as successful as they are is he makes them feel very different without losing what we loved about the original. So I think we kinda looked to him and what he does and tried to capture a little bit of the magic of his work.”

5. THE PREMIERE WILL TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF HAWKINS.

Everything about the new Stranger Things episodes will be kept secret until they finally debut later this year, but we do know one thing about the premiere: It won't take place entirely in the familiar town of Hawkins, Indiana. “We will venture a little bit outside of Hawkins,” Matt Duffer told Entertainment Weekly. “I will say the opening scene [of the premiere] does not take place in Hawkins.”

So, should we take "a little bit outside" as literally as it sounds? You certainly can, but in that same interview, the brothers also said they're both eager to explore the Upside Down, the alternate dimension from the first season. Whether the season kicks off just a few miles away, or a few worlds away, you'll get your answer when Stranger Things's second season debuts next month.

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Everything That’s Leaving Netflix in October
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NBC - © 2012 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Netflix subscribers are already counting down the days until the premiere of the new season of Stranger Things. But, as always, in order to make room for the near-90 new titles making their way to the streaming site, some of your favorite titles—including all of 30 Rock, The Wonder Years, and Malcolm in the Middle—must go. Here’s everything that’s leaving Netflix in October ... binge ‘em while you can!

October 1

30 Rock (Seasons 1-7)

A Love in Times of Selfies

Across the Universe

Barton Fink

Bella

Big Daddy

Carousel

Cradle 2 the Grave

Crafting a Nation

Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest

Daddy’s Little Girls

Dark Was the Night

David Attenborough’s Rise of the Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates (Season 1)

Day of the Kamikaze

Death Beach

Dowry Law

Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief

Friday Night Lights (Seasons 1-5)

Happy Feet

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison

Hellboy

Kagemusha

Laura

Love Actually

Malcolm in the Middle (Seasons 1-7)

Max Dugan Returns

Millennium 

Million Dollar Baby

Mortal Combat

Mr. 3000

Mulholland Dr.

My Father the Hero

My Name Is Earl (Seasons 1-4)

One Tree Hill (Seasons 1-9)

Patton

Picture This

Prison Break (Seasons 1-4)

The Bernie Mac Show (Seasons 1-5)

The Shining

The Wonder Years (Seasons 1-6)

Titanic

October 19

The Cleveland Show (Seasons 1-4)

October 21

Bones (Seasons 5-11)

October 27

Lie to Me (Seasons 2-3)

Louie (Seasons 1-5)

Hot Transylvania 2

October 29

Family Guy (Seasons 9-14)

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