Why is Melissa Villaseñor leaving Saturday Night Live?

SNL Melissa VillasenorIn case you did not know already, Melissa Villaseñor has become one of the latest Saturday Night Live cast members to depart, and of course, it’s easy to be bummed out. She was one of the better impressionists behind the scenes, and we know there are a lot of people who have felt she was consistently underutilized during her tenure. With so many other longtime cast members like Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant leaving, it was easy to make the argument that she was about to have a lot more screen time. Unfortunately, it’s pretty darn clear now that this is not going to happen.

So what led to this departure? Trying to get a straight answer to situations like this can be complicated, given that there are a lot of factors at play. While the cast exits in the spring were clearly performer-driven, the ones of Melissa, Alex Moffat, and Aristotle Athari are a little more mysterious. There could be financial considerations here (NBC has been in cutting-cost mode for a while) or performers wanting to move forward and do their own thing.

One thing we know is that Melissa is seemingly at peace saying goodbye. Here is what she had to say on the subject in a recent post on Twitter:

oh my sweetie fans, my Melissa monsters, i know “thas sah” me leaving the show, but! i felt this was my soul telling me its time to spread my wings. lots more for me to dig in and discover. what an honor to experience my kid dream, what an honor. forever grateful.

In the months to come, we don’t think she is going to have any trouble finding more work for herself — any sitcom out there could be eager to get her, and that’s without considering how in-demand she could be as a voiceover artist or doing standup gigs.

Related Read more now on all the recent Saturday Night Live exits

Are you sad that Melissa Villaseñor is leaving Saturday Night Live before season 48?

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