On Tuesday, September 15, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that the NBC sketch comedy series will not be adding any new cast members this fall. For the first time in more than 10 years, the entire existing cast — including Aidy Bryant, Colin Jost, Michael Che, Kenan Thompson, Cecily Strong and more — will return for the new season.
Earlier this month, NBC announced that its long-running late-night show will be filming live from Studio 8H in New York City’s Rockefeller Center when the season begins on October 3. At the time, the network didn’t specify whether they will host an in-studio audience. The news comes after the comedians put together a handful of episodes from home at the end of season 45 the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. The socially distant sketches poked fun at Zoom meetings, Tiger King mania and more, with memorable appearances by Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, Miley Cyrus and Kristen Wiig.
Before the cast was officially confirmed, SNL fans wondered if big stars like McKinnon, 36, and Davidson, 26, had outgrown the show. McKinnon recently inked a deal with USA Network and NBC’s Peacock for a limited series centered on Tiger King‘s Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin after months of teasing the project. The King of Staten Island star, for his part, raised eyebrows with controversial remarks about the show that gave him his big break.
“They think I’m f–king dumb. Like, I’m literally painted out to be like this big dumb idiot. Like, even all my sketches are just me being like, ‘OK, sure,’” Davidson said during an interview with Charlemagne tha God in February. “I think everybody outgrows it and I think for what I could do on the show — which is just barely anything and it’s just ‘Weekend Update’ and I feel like I’ve done, like, 30 of those and I just feel like, yeah, I’ve done as much as I can over there but happy to be there as long as [creator] Lorne [Michaels] likes me.”
“A lot of the cast members who were there noted that Pete’s absence at the party was due, in fact, to his comments last week and the tension with him and other cast members,” a source told Us Weekly exclusively at the time.
Despite slamming the show and hinting that his time as a cast member was coming to an end, Davidson revealed in June that he was still grateful for the major TV opportunity.
“I will be there as long as they allow me to be,” he told Entertainment Tonight. “I think I’m very lucky to be on that show and I’m really lucky to have Lorne Michaels as, you know, not only a mentor and a boss, but a friend. I’ll be there as long as they allow it.”
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