More changes coming to 'Saturday Night Live' cast this fall
Alex Moffat, Melissa Villaseñor and Aristotle Athari are not returning this fall along with previously announced departures of Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson and Kyle Mooney.
Updated Tuesday, Sept. 6: Versatile Melissa Villaseñor – who has portrayed Christina Aguilera, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Britney Spears, Kirsten Wiig and Owen Wilson – and Alex Moffat, known for his Eric Trump impression, will not return to NBC's Saturday Night Live this fall, according to the New York Times.
In the May season finale, SNL said goodbye to long-time stars Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson and Kyle Mooney who would not be returning for the 48th season this fall. (See my May story below.)
Word of the departures by Villaseñor, Moffat and "featured" player Aristotle Athari came with reports that senior producer Lindsay Shookus, who has managed talent relations, also left the show, Variety says.
And more may be coming. Variety says that NBC has not "officially" revealed the status for veterans Colin Jost (head writer and Weekend Update co-anchor), Michel Che (Weekend Update co-anchor), Kenan Thompson (whose NBC sitcom was canceled in May) and Cecily Strong.
NBC also has not announced the premiere date for the 48th season.
Villasenor and Moffat joined SNL as featured players in 2016, and were promoted to full cast status in 2018. Athari was added last year, Variety says.
Original post May 23, 2022: Of all the departures from Saturday Night Live, versatile Emmy-winner Kate McKinnon will be missed the most in the fall for the 48th season on NBC.
McKinnon has provided a wonderfully wacky take on prominent people — both female and male — on the show since 2012: Hillary Clinton, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Laura Ingraham, Jen Psaki, Jeff Sessions, Elizabeth Warren, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Nicole Wallace...
And we can't forget Rudy Giuliani.
McKinnon, 38, won the primetime Emmys in 2016 and 2017 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her characters. She's also appeared in the Ghostbusters remake, Bombshell, Finding Dory, and played Carole Baskin in the Tiger King limited series Joe vs. Carole.
In the season final Saturday, SNL also said farewell to Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson and Kyle Mooney.
Bryant, 35, who also joined the late-night comedy sketch show in 2012, got a sendoff Saturday night when she was kissed by Michael Che and Bowen Yang at the Weekend Update anchor desk. She will be best remembered for portraying Sarah Huckabee and Sen. Ted Cruz.
Davidson, 28, the youngest cast member, was hired in 2014. He has been absent frequently this season due to his relationship with Kim Kardashian.
"When I got on the show, I was 20 years old and I had no idea what I was doing. I still don't, but especially back then," Davidson said in an Instagram message posted by friend Dave Siris. "I wasn't really a sketch performer. I was just a stand-up (comedian). I knew I could never keep up or go toe-to-toe with a Kenan Thompson or a Kate McKinnon so I was super scared at figuring out what I could possibly bring to or do for such a historic, respected platform."
Mooney, 37, who portrayed Johnny Depp on May 14, joined SNL with his writing partner Beck Bennett in 2013. Bennett left SNL after last season. Mooney's credits include roles on Me, Myself & I, Drunk History, Zoolander 2, Hello Ladies, Bob's Burgers and Rick and Morty.
Read more about the season finale at NPR, and the cast departures at Deadline.