A handful of newcomers are joining Saturday Night Live for the upcoming 47th season, but a couple of familiar faces will also be leaving. As it is, most of the sketch comedy's regulars are coming back for season 47, including Kate McKinnon, Kenan Thompson, Cecily Strong, and Pete Davidson. Meanwhile, Beck Bennett is living the series after eight years, while Lauren Holt - who joined SNL as a featured player last season - is also out the door.
"Love you, SNL," Beck Bennett said on Instagram after the news was broken, posting some photos of his favorite Saturday Night Live memories. "Gonna miss you so much. Thank you for 8 years of remarkable people and incredible experiences that completely changed my life. I had so much fun."
Newcomers joining SNL for season 47 include Aristotle Athari, James Austin Johnson, and Sarah Sherman. Along with these new names, featured cast members include Andrew Dismukes and Punkie Johnson. The regulars announced confirmed for the next season of the sketch comedy series are Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, Colin Jost, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villaseñor, and Bowen Yang.
Between every season, there's always speculation over which cast members might be leaving. Kate McKinnon's name seems to come up every year as the next big name to exit SNL, but her run on the show will continue. Deadline reports that Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels has become more "flexible" in allowing talent to pick up other projects outside of SNL, which might be a reason bigger names like McKinnon, Pete Davidson, and Cecily Strong are staying on board.
Case in point, Kate McKinnon has a Joe Exotic limited series in development at Peacock in which she will play Carole Baskin. This will likely interrupt her SNL shooting schedule, but conflicts like this will reportedly be accommodated for the betterment of the talent. Meanwhile, Kenan Thompson, the longest-running cast member on SNL, will also hang around on SNL even though he's also leading his own sitcom these days as well.
Rotating out cast members also opens the door for new comedians to make names for themselves on Saturday Night Live. As for the three newcomers for season 47, Aristotle Athari is best known for his role in Silicon Valley, Mike Judge's series on HBO. James Austin Johnson has appeared in shows like Future Man and All Rise while Sarah Sherman worked on The Eric Andre Show.
Saturday Night Live has revealed some of the guest hosts we'll see in the new season. Owen Wilson will be the first guest host of the season when it debuts in October, following his recent casting in Disney's Haunted Mansion remake, and he'll be joined by musical guest Kacey Musgraves. The following three episodes will feature Kim Kardashian West with Halsey; Rami Malek with Young Thug; and Jason Sudeikis with Brandi Carlile.
Fans can check out Saturday Night Live when the show returns with new episodes on Oct. 2, 2021. The show also livestreams on Peacock in addition to airing live on NBC. This news comes to us from Deadline.