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On Thursday, things began looking a bit grimmer for Saturday Night Live. After losing several cast members at the end of last season, cast members Taran Killam, Jay Pharoah, and Vanessa Bayer stepped up to fill in the gaps. Next season, the newbies might have to work to build an entirely new show, as reports are indicating Fred Armisen and Jason Sudeikis are leaving SNL, too.
If both Armisen and Sudeikis are leaving the late night sketch program, it means the tally is up to four veteran cast members leaving the show. Writer and “Weekend Update” host Seth Meyers is already set to leave the program in order to take over Jimmy Fallon’s late night slot. Luckily, however, the man plans to stick around in the fall to usher in a new “Update” host. On Tuesday, Bill Hader also announced he would be leaving the show after years of working the grueling pace the sketch comedy format demands.
The NY Post is reporting that Armisen and Sudeikis will reportedly jump ship at the end of Season 38, as well. If both men do decide to leave the series, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise. Sudeikis, after all, was waffling toward the end of last season, but was convinced to stick around, I’m guessing in part due to his excellent election coverage and portrayal of Mitt Romney. Armisen, too, has created the popular IFC series Portlandia and may want to leave the show for other creative projects; he has, after all, been a part of SNL since 2002.
As important as Armisen and Sudeikis are to the show, in recent years, both men have been cutting back their screen time in order to make room for the new players (and, hopefully, a lot more “Drunk Uncle” appearances). Most notably, Armisen has ceded his role as President Obama to Jay Pharoah, who joined the cast in 2010. With Hader and Meyers leaving, losing Armisen and Sudeikis will definitely be a loss, but hopefully the cast will be able to fill in and cover the gaps, much like they did last year. Hopefully, Kenan Thompson will stick around to leave at least one veteran name on the masthead.