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'SNL' Firing New Cast Members Displays a Show Still Deeply In Transition

Word has come down this week that SNL cast members Noël Wells, John Milhiser, and Brooks Wheelan have been let go from the show after one season, with Nasim Pedrad also leaving to work as a regular on Mulaney (a move that has long been anticipated) and Mike O'Brien's status currently in talks. Their departures don't come as too huge a shock — as we recapped at the end of last season, the three saw little screen time and had few memorable moments during the season. And while it must come as a disappointment to those actors and their fans, let's not forget that at least a third of everyone [...]

Brooks Wheelan Announces He's Been Fired from 'SNL'

The SNL changes promised by Lorne Michaels last month are beginning to trickle in with last night's news that featured player Brooks Wheelan has been fired from the show. Wheelan tweeted the news himself: "Had a blast and loved every second of it. I'm totally honored to be able to make this next joke… FIRED FROM NEW YORK IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT!"

Wheelan joined SNL as a writer last August and was hired as a featured player in September. While he delivered a few impersonations and made a couple memorable appearances on Weekend Update, the Los Angeles-based standup never found his footing in the sketch format [...]

Taran Killam Looks Back on His Time as One of the Brasky Buddies on 'SNL'

SNL's Taran Killam recently shared his most memorable moment from season 39, which was getting to play one of the legendary Bill Brasky buddies alongside Will Ferrell, David Koechner, and Paul Rudd back in December. He also does a pretty spot-on impression of the beloved Reading Rainbow sound effect.

Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett Reminisce About Their Favorite 'SNL' Moment from Their Debut Season

Here's a new video SNL put out, in which freshman cast members Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett discuss their favorite moments from their inaugural season: all of which are just them hugging each other and goofing around during the end credits goodbye.

Saturday Night's Children: Kristen Wiig (2005-2012)

Saturday Night Live has been home to over a hundred cast members throughout the past 38 years. In our column Saturday Night’s Children, we present the history, talent, and best sketches of one SNL cast member every other week for your viewing, learning, and laughing pleasure.

Live cast sendoffs are a rare event on SNL and reserved only for the most well-liked players, and if Kristen Wiig's farewell segment at the end of the season 37 finale was any indication, the art major-turned-sketch comedy superstar left her SNL stint on the best possible terms. Beloved by many for her sheepish, awkward, yet unabashed delivery and bringing to life [...]

Noël Wells and John Milhiser Also Leaving 'SNL'

Yesterday, new SNL featured player Brooks Wheelan announced he'd been fired, but that's not the only change to the long-running sketch show's cast this season. Deadline reports that fellow new featured players Noël Wells and John Milhiser will not be returning in the fall as SNL bosses have opted not to renew their contracts. Deadline adds that discussions are underway about Mike O'Brien's future on the show. O'Brien, who was an SNL writer for four seasons before being bumped up to featured player status this past season, could either wind up remaining in the cast or be bumped back to the writing staff.

The Deadline report also confirms that Nasim Pedrad, who is a [...]

The Eight Longest 'SNL' Cast Member Tenures

When Seth Meyers left SNL to host Late Night earlier this year, he was just shy of beating out Darrell Hammond's record as having the longest SNL player stint of all time with a whopping 14 seasons under his belt. Whether you view a lengthy SNL tenure as a badge of honor or sign of a performer overstaying their welcome, a glance at some of the longest-running SNL players — which mostly occupy the '90s era through current cast member Kenan Thompson — shows a group of talented impressionists, dependable utility players, and Weekend Update favorites of both the wild and low-key variety. Here's a look at the [...]

Saturday Night's Children: Jason Sudeikis (2005-2013)

Saturday Night Live has been home to over a hundred cast members throughout the past 38 years. In our column Saturday Night’s Children, we present the history, talent, and best sketches of one SNL cast member every other week for your viewing, learning, and laughing pleasure.

Whether posing as a nerdy father, late night newsman, or sporting a perma-grin as the red jumpsuit-wearing dancer on "What's Up with That?" during his SNL run from 2005-2013, Jason Sudeikis was the epitome of the silly jock with a heart of gold. He also played some of the most callous characters while being one of the most emotional behind-the-scenes performers, as seen [...]

Lorne Michaels Confirms "There Will Be Changes This Year" on 'SNL'

Ahead of the landmark 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Live this fall, Deadline recently spoke with Lorne Michaels about the past season on the show as well as whether or not there will be cast changes before the start of season 40. Here are some of Michaels's thoughts on the latest SNL season:

We lost four leading men at the end of last season, Fred and Bill and Andy and Jason, all of whom were very seasoned, very strong cast. We lost Kristen the year before. All have been here a long time, and you get used to how good people are. Losing the fifth leading man in [...]

Eight 'SNL' Cast Members Who Went from Sidelined to Success

Now that Saturday Night Live's highly transitional 39th season has come and gone, the next question on SNL fans' minds is which cast members will be back in the fall and which will be given the axe. A couple relatively new cast members like Taran Killam and Kate McKinnon have stepped into the forefront by inhabiting nearly every sketch as Kristen Wiig, Fred Armisen, and Bill Hader used to do, but the currently overstuffed cast of season 39 (particularly its white dude-dominated featured players) could definitely use some trimming. For all the contingents though, successful SNL player stints don't necessarily guarantee fame and fortune, and the opposite [...]

Saturday Night's Children: Tom Schiller (1979-1980)

Saturday Night Live has been home to over a hundred cast members throughout the past 38 years. In our column Saturday Night’s Children, we present the history, talent, and best sketches of one SNL cast member every other week for your viewing, learning, and laughing pleasure.

While it's true that The Lonely Island helped kick-start a new era for pretaped SNL segments, the Digital Short is far from a new concept for the show. Following the short films of Albert Brooks and Gary Weis, SNL writer Tom Schiller sometimes injected the show with artsy, often black-and-white "miniature movies." Schiller was also one of the writers to be promoted [...]

Colin Jost Addresses Weekend Update Criticism, Insists He'll Be Funnier Next Season

The New York Post ran a brief interview with SNL head writer and not-so-well-received Weekend Update anchor Colin Jost over the weekend, and aside all but confirming that he's set to return to the Update desk next season, he addressed some of the criticism that's come his way since he joined the cast back in March.

On juggling the Update gig with his job as head writer:

Even when you have two or three [new people], it's challenging. You want to learn their voices so you can write for [them]. When you have so many people … you don't get as much time to spend with the [...]

Eight of the Most Fascinating and Hidden 'SNL' Cast Member Bios

Considering SNL has been home to nearly 140 cast members across a 40-year span, it's natural that there are some interesting, strange, inspiring stories and lesser-known facts in some of their biographies. Whether it's super strict religious convictions, an unjust stay at a maximum security prison, a rough childhood, or falling flat with US audiences only to find widespread fame abroad, famous and forgotten SNL players alike have faced some unusual challenges and circumstances you may not know about, but should. In the spirit of whatever changes might come to the show this fall, here's a look at eight former cast members whose lesser known life stories might make [...]

Nasim Pedrad Confirms She's Unlikely to Return to 'SNL' Next Season

Many SNL fans have assumed that this past season would be Nasim Pedrad's last due to her new television role on Mulaney, and over the weekend, the SNL player was asked at the Austin Television Festival whether that's true and all but confirmed her departure in her response: "I haven't heard any official word so far, but…as far as I know, I'm in LA now."

Pedrad, who was hired on SNL in 2009, made a name for herself with recurring characters like Shallon and Bedelia and impersonations including Kim Kardashian, Barbara Walters, and Arianna Huffington. She's been attached to SNL writer John Mulaney's pilot [...]