Late yesterday we were blindsided by the news that Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah were not returning to “Saturday Night Live” for season 42, and as it turns out, there was also a point in which even Taran himself was surprised.
Speaking in an interview with Uproxx about his exit, it appears as though other work commitments could have gotten in the way of his return, but even with that in mind, he’s not entirely sure what happened:
“I don’t know the other side of it. You sign for seven years, so I had one more year. 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. But I do know I’m directing this movie [Why We’re Killing Gunther with Arnold Schwarzenegger] and I’ll have two months of post-production that would have bled into the SNL production schedule, so we kind of communicated that.”
Killam added that there was another offer that also came in for him beyond directing this picture, and while it would not have conflicted with the show, it still would have to be something the higher-ups would have to sign off on while he was a cast member. Ultimately, this is what happens when you’re a part of a show like “SNL.” The producers and the network have a lot of pull on what you decide to do. Maybe producers felt like he was doing too much away from the show, or maybe they wanted to go in a new direction. Who knows? The big bummer is that we’re losing a really gifted guy in Taran, and also someone in Jay who may be one of the best impressionists in the history of the series. (To date, he has been fairly quiet about his exit.)
In case you missed it, this morning it was also confirmed that Jon Rudnitsky will be leaving the show after one year, though this was less of a surprise.
Want to get some other TV news on everything we cover, sent right to your email inbox? Then sign up over here for our official CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: NBC.)