More Saturday Night Live Stars Call It Quits

Alex Moffat, Melissa Villaseñor, and Aristotle Athari have all decided to end their time on Saturday Night Live.

By Douglas Helm | Published

saturday night live

Saturday Night Live continues to make major changes going into its 48th Season. We already knew that major cast members like Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, and Pete Davidson were out the door, but now Deadline is reporting that Alex Moffat, Melissa Villaseñor, and Aristotle Athari won’t be returning either. Alex Moffat and Melissa Villaseñor have both been on the show since 2016 and were promoted to main cast members in 2018. Athari joined the cast just last year.

While Saturday Night Live is losing seven cast members so far, they’re not the only ones leaving the long-running NBC sketch show. Linsday Shookus, long-time producer of the show and head of the talent department, also called it quits after 20 years. Although she left the show on good terms, citing a long-time of working weekends and late nights in her Instagram post, it’s still another area where Saturday Night Live will need to fill a void.

Fortunately, Saturday Night Live has plenty of talented players to keep audiences coming back. Kenan Thompson, who joined way back in 2003, is still going to be a familiar face and presence on the show. Cecily Strong, who joined in 2012, is also returning for another season. Other long-time players like Michael Che and Colin Jost are also returning. The rest of the cast is rounded out by Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, Chris Redd, Ego Nwodim, Chloe Fineman, Bowen Yang, Andrew Dismukes, Punkie Johnson, James Austin Johnson, and Sarah Sherman. As always, we can expect that Saturday Night Live will surely pick up some new fresh faces in the coming years, but for now, they’re certainly losing quite a bit of talent.

While the cast of Saturday Night Live is undoubtedly a crucial part of the show’s success, drawing in an audience can usually be done with good guest hosts and musical artists. Judging by Season 47’s roster of guests, SNL certainly isn’t slowing down in this regard. They wrapped up last season with Natasha Lyonne hosting and a performance by Japanese Breakfast. Other guest hosts in the season included Selena Gomez, Jake Gyllenhaal, Oscar Isaac, Ariana DeBose, Billie Eilish, Rami Malek, Kim Kardashian, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Rudd, and many more. Undoubtedly, they’ve got some good plans for their guest roster in Season 48.

Saturday Night Live is just a couple of seasons away from its 50th season, which will likely be a big event for Lorne Michaels and company. While it’s always disappointing for fans to see their favorite cast members go, it’s not at all unfamiliar territory for the sketch show. Saturday Night Live has been the starting place for some of the biggest actors and comedians of our time, so that trend isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon. The 47th season of Saturday Night Live did feature the show’s largest cast yet, with 21 cast members total. This next season will have a pared-down cast, but perhaps that’ll give the rest of the players some more screen time to shine. You can find out when Saturday Night Live starts back up sometime in Fall 2022.