There’s been a shake-up at Saturday Night Live.
And we are none too pleased about it.
In stunning news broken by TV Line, neither Taran Killam nor Jay Pharoah will return for Season 42 of this iconic sketch comedy show.
The former was one of the show’s most utilized players over the past couple years, while Pharoah’s impersonations never cease to blow us away.
(Challenge: close your eyes. Play videos of Denzel Washington and Jay Pharoah on your computer and just try to tell them apart.)
An NBC spokesperson has confirmed the departures of two cast members who had each been with the program for six seasons.
Killam simply didn’t have the seventh year of his contract picked up… and he isn’t certain why.
“I had sort of had it in my head I would make this upcoming year my last year, but then heard they weren’t going to pick up my contract,” he told Uproxx.
“I was never given a reason why, really.”
Killam added that he’s directing the movie Why We’re Killing Gunther.
He said that some of the post-production process on the film would have coincided with SNL‘s production schedule.
So maybe that played some role? Even though it’s the sort of thing that easily could have been discussed between both sides?
“I honestly don’t know what happened on the other side, but I do know we had expressed I have work on this film and in bonding this picture, that has to get cleared with SNL,” he said.
Killam will probably be best remembered for his impressions of Matthew McConaughey, Marco Rubio and Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy.
Pharoah, meanwhile, famously channeled such stars as Jay-Z, Will Smith, President Obama and GOP presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson.
Many thought he should have received more air time, although impersonations seemed to be the only trick in his (talented) bag.
Executive Producer Lorne Michaels is yet to comment on this casting news.
He’s expected to introduce many new main players over the next few weeks, with Season 42 set to bow in September.
Will you miss Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah on Saturday Night Live?