10 Comics to Watch

For Casey Wilson, a bit of shamelessness is an asset.

It certainly helped when the 27-year-old “Saturday Night Live” rookie debuted her first major sketch this past season, a brash and physical bit called “Quadriplegic Stripper,” which features a determined young woman named Dusty who refuses to let a major disability derail her dancing-career plans.

Raised in Alexandria, Va., Wilson was acting by age 8. She studied at NYU’s Stella Adler Studio of Acting, and it was there, at the suggestion of a professor, that she took up comedy.

At NYU, she and June Raphael, friend and longtime writing partner, crafted a two-woman sketch show called “Rode Hard and Put Away Wet.” They eventually took it to Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and Aspen’s U.S. Comedy Festival, where it was an official selection.

From there, Wilson appeared in small roles in a few films (including Christopher Guest’s Oscar-season sendup, “For Your Consideration”) and began a writing career.

Then she got the gig at “SNL.” As a featured player, Wilson won’t know until August if she’ll be asked back for a second season. “But I feel good,” she says. “It’s kind of like the JV and varsity squads, and right now I’m on the JV squad and I’m happy to be there.”

Notably, Wilson also just wrapped 2009’s “Bride Wars,” which stars Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway. Wilson has only a small acting role in the movie, but she and Raphael both enjoy writing credits for the script.

“We spent three years writing it,” Wilson says. “Once we got to the set, we were like parents who drop their kids off at a high school dance and then hang around. I was whispering Anne Hathaway’s lines under my breath.”

POV

“I had no room to be shy,” Wilson says of her recent take as a disabled gentlemen’s club, er, entertainer. “It was so thrilling. I had absolutely no pride.”

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