SNL cast member Bill Hader made his final appearance on "Saturday Night Live" this weekend, and a string of other popular players are likely to follow him out the door, moves that may send the comedy show into a cast crisis.
Hader, one of the sketch show’s top talents in recent seasons, is beloved for his colorful character of city correspondent Stefon. He also portrayed Clint Eastwood in SNL’s parody of the actor’s 2012 RNC speech featuring an empty chair.
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Seth Myers, host of the popular “Weekend Update” segment
and a head writer for the show, has said he will leave his post after the fall, according to the New York Daily News. Two other longtime cast members, Jason Sudeikis and Fred Armisen, are also rumored to be exiting soon.
Jay Pharoah, the show’s go-to guy for Obama impersonations, tweeted that Sudeikis is leaving
the show, EW.com reported, but the tweet disappeared soon after.
SNL has seen this type of exodus before during its 38-season run. In 2005, five cast members left SNL, including Tina Fey. And in 1985-86 and 1994-95, lots of cast members called it quits. But the incoming classes included Dana Carvey, Kevin Nealon, Will Ferrell, Darrell Hammond, Cheri Oteri and Chris Kattan, among others, who became some of the show’s most loved players.
With the exit of Kristin Wiig and Andy Samberg last season, a few new cast members had room to show their talent during the last few months. Taran Killam is lauded as having Andy Samberg’s weirdness, while Bobby Moynihan’s “Drunk Uncle” character is likely to be the favorite “Update” guest after Stefon’s departure.
Kate McKinnon has gotten laughs for impressions that include Martha Stewart and Ellen DeGeneres, and Cecily Strong has shown a broad range that could launch her to stardom.
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SNL creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels is again tasked with finding replacements for some of his show’s best talent. The next season may be one of transition, but Saturday Night Live has proven year after year that it can find its footing following the departure of some of its biggest stars.
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