Lakota East grad newest ‘Saturday Night Live’ member

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Lakota East HS grad Luke Null wins a spot on Saturday Night Live.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

UPDATE @ 5:30 p.m.:

Kings School teacher Cindy Null — mother of one of the newest cast members of “Saturday Night Live” — saw it coming.

“He has always wanted to be on Saturday Night Live,” she said of her son Luke Null, who will make his national TV debut this Saturday when he shares the acclaimed show’s New York City stage in a skit with movie star Ryan Gosling.

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It’s a tiny role but still a giant leap from the Lakota East High School theatre for the 2008 graduate of the Butler County school.

“He started acting and being in plays in junior high … taught himself how to play the guitar and he actually spoke of it, saying he would love to be on ‘Saturday Night Live’,” said Null from her classroom at Kings’ South Lebanon Elementary.

Her 27-year-old son is one of three new cast members added to the Emmy-award winning show that has been an iconic TV comedy staple of American entertainment since the mid-1970s.

“He enjoys the limelight,” said the special education teacher.

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“He’s a ham and he holds court a lot of time during the (family) holidays with the cousins. He is very gregarious and he likes to put himself out there. I’m not surprised and I’m pleased for him,” she said proudly.

She’s jokingly modest about her own contributions to her son’s now meteoric career — “all I did was give birth” — but said there is so much more to Luke than his comedic talents.

The Ohio University graduate, who until his recent move to New York City lived in Chicago where he was part of comedic troupes, was an Eagle Scout, who designed and built the outdoor education area still used outside his mother’s school in Warren County’s South Lebanon community.

“He was a geographical information science major at Ohio University and has worked for marketing firms in Chicago,” she said.

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Her son had tried out in open auditions in Chicago last year and was among the 20 finalists. This time around the “Saturday Night Live” talent scouts and show creator Lorne Michaels picked him and two others.

“Mr. Michaels called him and said ‘would you like to be part of the cast?’” she said.

“He called home and we couldn’t be prouder. I hope he learns and listens and is a good freshman,” his mother said with a chuckle.


Long before Lakota East High School graduate Luke Null will take part in TV’s famous “live from New York, it’s Saturday Night Live” show, he was live from Butler County’s Liberty Twp.

The Greater Cincinnati native graduated in 2008 and was already a star on the Lakota East stage, displaying his gift for humorous theatre in student productions at the local school.

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Later Null, who graduated from Ohio University, honed his talents in various theatre troupes before his recent big break of joining the the cast of America’s iconic, late-night comedy show.

The talent was there early, according to Lakota officials.

Lakota East Theater director Rich Schmaltz described Null as a natural comedian who honed his craft through community theater after graduation.

“I am not at all surprised. Luke is living the dream he has had since he was a young actor,” Schmaltz told the Journal-News. “On behalf of the faculty, staff and students at Lakota East, we congratulate Luke and wish him the best.”

Officials with “Saturday Night Live” announced Tuesday it would replace outgoing cast members Bobby Moynihan, Vanessa Bayer and Sasheer Zanata with three new additions from the Midwest, including Null.

“Saturday Night Live” returns on Sept. 30 with Ryan Gosling and rapper Jay-Z lined up for the premiere episode.

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