If you throw out the occasional mid-season firing or cast member exit over creative differences, there are typically two distinct times people leave Saturday Night Live: either immediately after the season ends or right before the new season begins. Earlier this month, we got the first round of exits to correspond with the finale. Now, we’re into the summer and people are speculating about whether we’ll get any exits right before the new season. Let the record show Michael Che isn’t going to be among those exits. Well, at least not probably.
The popular Weekend Update host appeared on The Bill Simmons Podcast over at The Ringer this past week, and during the conversation, he was asked about his SNL future. He was the subject of leaving rumors a few months ago, but put those to rest during the season. But now that the season is over, many are starting to wonder again. Well, he was a little wishy-washy in his answer to Simmons, but on the whole, it seems like pretty good news for everyone who wants to see him return. Here’s a portion of his quote…
Because it’s Bill Simmons and he’s running a sports podcast, the two obviously used the above conversation to then take a few swipes at Tom Brady for retiring and then almost immediately unretiring earlier this year. But the comparison actually makes a lot of sense. The NFL season, like Saturday Night Live, is a very time-consuming, emotionally intense experience. By the time each season ends, most people are ready for a break, but with a little time away, most people’s batteries recharge and they want to come back.
When Saturday Night Live returns next season, assumedly with Michael Che sitting alongside Colin Jost at the Weekend Update Desk, there is going to be a lot of available airtime. Even if we don’t see any more exits right before the new season begins, quite a few established Not Ready For Primetime Players hung up their cue cards this year. Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant and Kyle Mooney all departed the show.
They collectively missed some episodes over the past few years as they worked on other projects, but their collective voice was an imprint on the show for a prolonged period of time, especially McKinnon and Bryant. Davidson and Mooney were popular cast members, Davidson especially, but the two of them often did their own thing. McKinnon and Bryant, when they were around, appeared in a really high volume of sketches, both where they played the lead and where they lent talents to support other cast members. They will leave quite a void.
As for Che, he’s still going strong alongside Jost at the Weekend Update Desk, even if Kanye West wants him to leave. The two were paired together for the first time in 2014. The first few years were sometimes a little uneasy, but they eventually found a tremendous rhythm and are now the longest running partnership in the segment’s history. Provided there’s not an unexpected change, it’ll be great to see them back in Studio 8H when the show returns for Season 48.
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