Two of the most recognizable “Saturday Night Live” repertory players will not be back for the upcoming forty second season.
News broke Monday that Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah will not be part of the upcoming 42nd season. Killam arguably represented the lead male performer on the show, while Pharoah’s impressions has earned widespread praise — and plenty of Internet shares.
Speaking to Uproxx, Killam confirmed that NBC opted not to pick up the final year of his seven-year contract.
“You sign for seven years, so I had one more year,” explained Killam. “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. I was never given a reason why, really. I can assume until the cows come home.
“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, so we kind of communicated that. 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. And then [another offer] came up. I wasn’t going to have to take any time off to do it, but it was a thing that they would have had to okay.”
Details behind Pharoah’s departure were not available at press time. Like Killam, he would have been entering his seventh season.