Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah Not Returning to 'SNL'
Published Aug 09, 2016Following a year that saw the likes of Kanye West, Drake and Donald Trump each grace the stage, Saturday Night Live is revving up for a new season and another election year this fall. Unfortunately, some of the show's long-standing cast members will not be sticking around to see the action.
It has been confirmed that both Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah will be exiting the sketch comedy's cast.
Killam starred on the show for six years, providing recurring impressions of celebrities like Piers Morgan, Michael Cera and Brad Pitt, as well as political figures like Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan — though his short-lived Donald Trump impersonation was reclaimed by SNL vet Darrell Hammond this season.
Pharoah also appeared on the show for six years, stepping into the shoes of President Barack Obama and Ben Carson in recent years, as well as perfecting an impression of Jay Z.
"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," Killam told Uproxx. "I was never given a reason why, really. I can assume until the cows come home. But I do know I'm directing this movie [Why We're Killing Gunther] and I'll have two months of post-production that would have bled into the SNL production schedule."
Pharoah and his reps have yet to offer a comment on his departure.
In other Saturday Night Live news, featured player and Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones showed so much enthusiasm for the U.S. Olympic team in her hilarious live-tweeting of the games this weekend that NBC has enlisted her as part of their official coverage team, inviting her to join them down in Rio.
RIO BOUND BABY USA! USA!! pic.twitter.com/Gkaxr2UOPl— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) August 8, 2016
It's unclear yet whether Jones will be returning for the 42nd season of SNL. Below, watch some highlights from departing members Killam and Pharoah's time on the show.