It was revealed Monday (Aug. 8) evening that Saturday Night Live veterans Jay Pharoah and Taran Killam will not be returning to the ensemble cast this coming season. Although some industry chatter suggests that the pair might have been fired, there are reports saying they’re simply seeking new opportunities.
TV Line exclusively reports:
TVLine has learned exclusively that Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah are leaving NBC’s late-night institution and will pursue other opportunities. Both had been with the show for six seasons.
An NBC spokesperson confirmed the departures.
Killam will likely be best remembered for his impersonations of Matthew McConaughey, Marco Rubio and Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy. Pharoah, meanwhile, famously channeled the likes of Jay-Z, Will Smith, President Obama and GOP presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson.
In an Uproxx interview, Killam said that he was blindsided by the news that the final year of his seven-year contract wouldn’t be picked up. While Pharoah and his reps have not spoken on the shakeup at SNL, TV Line updated with a story that little-known cast member Jon Rudnitsky will also be making his exit although the reasons are vague at the moment.
SNL creator Lorne Michaels has not spoken publicly on the matter just yet.
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