Saturday Night Live has been on the air for more than four decades, and casting changes are inevitable as the seasons pass. Still, it came as something of a shock when news came out yesterday that SNL had cut six-year veterans Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah from the lineup. The sketch comedy series evidently wasn't done booting its comedians, either. Jon Rudnitsky has been cut from SNL for Season 42.
Jon Rudnitsky's cut from SNL comes only a year after he was brought on as a featured player in Season 41, according to Deadline. In fact, he was the only new cast member after the show kept its entire Season 40 roster on board for another go. Rudnitsky had primarily worked as a stand-up comic before joining SNL; hopefully he'll be able to get back to his stand-up roots now that he's been cut on the NBC primetime chopping block. Unlike Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah, Rudnitsky didn't have the time on SNL to develop much of a comedy rep. He probably won't be too in-demand for major projects. Luckily, he's only 26 years old; he still has plenty of time for his career to get another jumpstart.
SNL will certainly look different in Season 42 without Jon Rudnitsky. Although Rudnitsky was only a featured player and therefore not as prominent as Taran Killam or Jay Pharoah, he contributed to some pretty fabulous sketches. He channeled his inner Johnny Castle for a "Weekend Update" discussion of Dirty Dancing, and he owned some impersonations that ranged from hilariously over-the-top to dead-on. He tackled roles such as Anderson Cooper, Tom Cruise, Vladimir Putin, and Wolf Blitzer. He also can boast the dubious honor of being rather enthusiastically licked by Miley Cyrus in his SNL debut. Check out his breakdown of his most unforgettable moments from Season 42:
All in all, the release of Jon Rudnitsky from SNL isn't quite as shocking as Taran Killam's exit, which evidently was much less mutually agreed upon as the original statement indicated. It's a shame that Rudnitsky had his sketch comedy career cut short on NBC, but sometimes actors just aren't good fits for their shows.
Only time will tell if Jon Rudnitsky's departure from Saturday Night Live will have an adverse effect on Season 42. SNL will return to the airwaves this fall on NBC. Check out our fall TV premiere schedule to see what else you can catch on the small screen in the not-too-distant future.