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Lakota East Grad Luke Null Dropped By 'SNL'

Courtesy NBC
NBC's publicity photo of Luke Null when he was added to "Saturday Night Live" cast last September.

It's one and done for Luke Null, the Cincinnati area's first Saturday Night Live cast member.

The 2008 Lakota East High School graduate will not return for the 44th season this fall, according to Deadline.com.

Credit Chris Siracusa / Courtesy NBC
Courtesy NBC
Melissa Villaseñor and Luke Null played Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton on SNL's Oct. 7, 2017, show.

Null, who did improvisational comedy at iO Chicago, joined the cast last September as a "featured player" with Chris Redd (Netflix's Disjointed) from St. Louis and Heidi Gardner (Super Mansion), a Groundlings alum from Kansas City. They replaced Bobby Moynihan, Vanessa Bayer and Sasheer Zamata.

I figured something might be up when NBC's SNL publicists declined to set up an interview with Null for me on WVXU-FM in July, when production was shut down. NBC has not announced cast changes or the fall season premiere date. New cast members were not named until the last week of September last year, just days before the season opener.

Credit Will Heath / Courtesy NBC
Courtesy NBC
Luke and his mom, Cindy, appeared on the May 12 "Mother's Day Cold Open" with all the cast members and their mothers.

Null and his mother, Cindy, appeared together on Saturday Night Live on May 12, when all cast members and their moms were live from New York in the show's opening.

Credit Courtesy NBC
Null as a trucker at a President Trump rally in a sketch last October.

He also portrayed The Voice country singer Blake Shelton; Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder; a trucker attending a Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin) rally; one of the "Lost Boys" in a Peter Pan sketch; and an obnoxious high school student late for class.

Deadline did not cite a reason for Null's departure, but noted that he "got little screen time over the course of the season." 

The Hollywood Reporter says "SNL typically experiences some form of cast turnover every season. Null is the first to exit ahead of season 44."

Here's a link to NBC's page with all of Null's SNL sketches.

Credit Will Heath / Courtesy NBC
Courtesy NBC
Luke Null (center, with white hat and robe) plays one of the Lost Boys in a Peter Pan sketch Jan. 13, 2018, with Sam Rockwell as Captain Hook, Kate McKinnon as Peter Pan, and Null, Mikey Day, Kyle Mooney, Pete Davidson as Lost Boys.