Saturday Night Live is gearing up for its 42nd season—premiere date TBD—but veteran cast members Jay Pharoah and Taran Killam won't be back this fall, along with newcomer Jon Rudnitsky. Goodbye, creepy Ben Carson, I'll miss you most of all.
Both started appearing on the show as featured players in 2010 and joined full time in 2012. Killam had another year left on his contract, but he wasn't picked up this season. "I was never given a reason why, really. I can assume until the cows come home," a "noticeably disappointed" Killam told Uproxx in an interview.
A big thank you for all the Love from my fans. Lorne was kind enough to understand I needed more time to dedicate to my undefeated @RamsNFL
— Taran Killam (@TaranKillam) August 9, 2016
He did note he had to seek approval from SNL to direct Why We're Killing Gunther with Arnold Schwarzenegger, which conflicted with the season and may have contributed to his being dropped from the show, though that's just speculation for now. "I don’t know fully. I don’t know the other side of it," he said.
Pharoah, a master impressionist who nailed President Obama, Kevin Hart, Jay-Z, and the aforementioned Carson, did not give a reason for his departure, but it's a bummer to see him go.
It seems Pharoah had a pretty rough day yesterday overall—he got stuck at the Atlanta airport thanks to the worldwide Delta meltdown, but at least he got in some family time:
NBC confirmed that Rudnitsky, who was added to the cast last year, will not be back this season.