Saturday Night Live creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels has shared an update on the future of the show’s “Weekend Update” segment as well as what happened with the 8 cast members who left the NBC sketch comedy series prior to the forthcoming Season 48.
“We got to a point where we had a lot of people, and people weren’t getting enough playing time,” he told the New York Times in a recent interview. “The way the series has survived is by that level of renewal. The price of success is that people go off and do other things; their primary obligation is to their talent and to keep pushing that.”
Michaels added that the pandemic “interfered” with the “natural time” for some of the cast to say goodbye to the show adding, “We try to do the best with the cast that was there, and at the same time, my first responsibility is to keep the show fresh. Things grow stale. I don’t think we’d gotten stale, because the people we had were so gifted and at their peak.”
It was revealed back in May that Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant and Kyle Mooney were leaving the show at the end of Season 47 along with Pete Davidson. It was later announced that Melissa Villaseñor, Alex Moffat, Aristotle Athari and Chris Redd were also exiting the show.
The new season will, however, see the addition of four new comedians to the cast, including Marcello Hernández, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow and Devon Walker. Michaels told NYT that he feels the new cast members “are fresh.”
“They bring things we don’t have and they’re complementary to the people we already have,” he explained. “The new people could last for years. They’re not load-bearing walls. They’re not yet what they’re going to be, but at least half of the fun of watching the show is watching people that are beginning and discovering them.”
There has been speculation about the show’s popular “Weekend Update” segment, which is hosted by Colin Jost and Michael Che, that Michaels decided to put to bed. Michaels noted that it isn’t going anywhere as he needs “that part to be as solid as it is” ahead of the midterm elections this year.
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