Lorne Michaels is going to have his work cut out for him this summer trying to organize auditions for this fall’s season of “Saturday Night Live.” He has already lost who we feel to be the series’ best cast member in Bill Hader, and now there are two other cast members potentially set to say goodbye.
According to the New York Post, Fred Armisen has made the decision after more than a decade on the show that he wants to say goodbye to go on to other ventures. When you look at the show’s direction as of late, this is hardly a surprise. Armisen no longer impersonates President Barack Obama, and he is no longer the same enormous presence that he once was without Kristen Wiig. (“The Californians” is also one of our least-favorite sketches on the show.)
Armisen clearly has another job already to go to in IFC’s “Portlandia,” but we have to think that his presence on “SNL” helps to boost that show somewhat (even though IFC has become a much better showcase of his talent).
Meanwhile, the same report claims that we could also lose Jason Sudeikis, but this is somewhat of an uncertainty at the moment. There were rumors last year that Jason would leave the show, but managed to be convinced to stay in part to his desire to finish playing out Mitt Romney during the Presidential election. We hope he stays, mostly because losing three strong male performers in one spring could be a little much.
Luckily, “SNL” does still have some strong guys in Bobby Moynihan, Taran Killam (expected to have a much larger role now), and new star Tim Robinson, who has been good when used. Meanwhile, there is a strong core of women relatively new to the show including Vanessa Bayer, Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, and Aidy Bryant. Given that Nasim Pedrad’s pilot with John Mulaney did not get picked up, she could stay on the sketch show for another season.
Are you shocked and/or saddened by this news? If you want to watch a promo for this weekend’s “SNL” finale featuring Ben Affleck, you can do so just by heading on over to the link here.