Yesterday word hit the street that long time cast members Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah would not be back at Saturday Night Live when the show kicks off Season 42 this fall. Well it looks like it may be one of those slate clearing seasons, because today we’re learning that newcomer Jon Rudnitsky will not be returning either.
Rudnitsky joined the cast as a featured player for Season 41 after impressing at the Just For Laughs New Faces only months before. Although he never got to show off his Trump impression, he did get to show off his physicality in a Dirty Dancing parody.
The Jersey born and raised comedian has been performing stand up around the country in clubs and festivals, and also has a sketch background, and performed with The Groundlings. He also won the Laugh Factory’s Laugh Bowl College Comedy Contest, and won several comedy awards at USC and is known for his parody videos which have generated millions of hits.
It seemed prophetic that Rudnitsky joined the cast– he told a great story about being plucked out of the audience at the age of 12 by Martin Short and performing with Martin Short (read more on that here).
His SNL debut was in a sketch called The Millennials in the first episode of the season, with Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson, Miley Cyrus.
Killam confirmed that his contract was not renewed yesterday in an interview with Uproxx, and today it appears that Variety is confirming that Jay Pharoah’s departure is non-voluntary. “The two performers have been informed that their contracts will not be renewed for the upcoming 42nd season of the show,” Variety reported. Both Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah had been with the cast for six seasons.
Although Lorne has yet to confirm the status of most of the remaining castmembers, in an interview with The Wrap back in June, he made it clear that Michael Che and Colin Jost are staying, and continuing as Weekend Update anchors. The two have already appeared off-SNL in two election themed specials confirming what Lorne said to The Wrap. “This is the season that gelled. Living through it is never fun,” Michaels said. “I think there’s real chemistry now. I think you’ll be seeing a lot more of them in a more interesting context.”