Newbies Noël Wells, John Milhiser, Brooks Wheelan leaving 'Saturday Night Live'
If you thought there were too many people in the Saturday Night Live cast last year, well, you'll like this news. If you were a fan of featured players Noël Wells, John Milhiser or Brooks Wheelan, well, sorry: They won't be returning for SNL's 40th season.
All three joined the sketch show in 2013 as part of a cast rejiggering that included the hiring of EIGHT (predominantly white and male) new cast members. No word yet on whether the other newbies - Beck Bennett, Kyle Mooney, Mike O'Brien, Colin Jost and Sasheer Zamata - are coming back. Jost is the show's head writer and currently a Weekend Update co-anchor, so he's probably fine, but Deadline thinks that O'Brien's place as a performer is less solid. (Longtime castmember Nasim Pedrad - known for her Kim Kardashian and Ariana Huffington impressions - is also leaving the cast; she's starring on Fox's Mulaney sitcom this fall.)
Wheelan announced his departure from the show in a tweet on Monday, quipping "FIRED FROM NEW YORK IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT!". Way to laugh through the pain, Brooks.
Overall, this is probably a good thing for the show, which had a whopping 18 people in the cast for its 39th season. These particular eliminations are also not surprising. Lots of people struggled for air time this year, and Milhiser and Wheelan were among the lesser-seen faces in the cast. (Wells, with her slew of impressions, made a bit more of an, er, impression.)
Heck, the show even made fun of itself for hiring so many white men new cast members in a sketch from last year's premiere. In the new game show, host Tina Fey has to guess whether the person onstage is a new SNL cast member or part of the band Arcade Fire. Watch it below.