The 47th season of Saturday Night Live concluded with the departure of four longtime cast members.
This season’s cast was the largest in SNL history, and the departure of Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, and Pete Davidson marks the beginning of a significant exodus of talent. As a whole, all of the departing cast members had been on the show for at least eight years.
Colleen Rafferty, an extraterrestrial abductee, was brought back for a “Close Encounters” sketch in the show’s cold open by McKinnon as a tribute to her. McKinnon bids farewell to the audience before boarding the spaceship with extraterrestrials.
She said, “Well, Earth, I love you,” and smiled at the ground beneath her. “I appreciate you allowing me to remain for a bit.”
Afterward, she introduced the show once more as a cast member: “Live from New York, Saturday night.”
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On the show, McKinnon, arguably most recognized for her political impersonations, has appeared as Hillary Clinton, Jeff Sessions, Elizabeth Warren, and the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Joe vs. Carole, a limited series starring McKinnon as Carole Baskin, took McKinnon out of the spotlight for a while.
Kate McKinnon and Pete Davidson are among those departing “Saturday Night Live” after Saturday’s 47th season finale, along with Aidy Bryant and Kyle Mooney.
“I love ya, thanks for letting me stay awhile,” McKinnon said in the episode’s opening skit. https://t.co/ikG0qjqV2S
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 22, 2022
To commemorate his final appearance on the show after eight seasons, Davidson went on Weekend Update as himself.
As Davidson put it, “I am grateful to SNL for always having my back, for allowing me to work on myself and improve.” “A special thank you goes out to Lorne [Michaels] for never giving up on me or criticizing me even while everyone else was doing so, and for believing in me enough to provide me a place to call home and the memories that will last my lifetime. So, once again, many thanks to all of you.”
The fact that all the headline lead with Pete Davidson leaving SNL and not Kate McKinnon is a reminder of how undervalued she has been during her time there. And she has done SO many more great sketches than Pete, who is basically himself in everything. Losing Kate is HUGE.
— Melissa Silverstein (@melsil) May 21, 2022
Davidson, the latest of the outgoing gang to be hired, has had a significantly less major role this season than in years past, only appearing in a handful of episodes. His romance with Kim Kardashian began last year, meantime, has ginned up significant media attention.
After he was hired as the show’s youngest cast member in 2014, he co-wrote and performed in The King of Staten Island. A fictitious half-hour comedy based on Davidson’s life will be produced, co-written, and starred by him in the upcoming Peacock series Bupkis as the son of Edie Falco’s mother.
Formerly significant performers, like the four departing cast members, have had their screen time decrease or become more irregular in order to pursue employment outside of Saturday Night Live, allowing up-and-coming talents like Bowen Yang and Sarah Sherman to compete on an equal footing.
SNL creator Lorne Michaels and his production company Broadway Video have had a hand in a number of outside ventures, which Lorne Michaels, the show’s executive producer, has given cast members more freedom to pursue in recent years.
Pete Davidson isn’t the only departing ‘SNL’ cast member: Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, and Kyle Mooney will also leave after the season 47 finale. https://t.co/BeFgdwwLjD
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) May 20, 2022
Aidy Bryant Receives Affection, However, Kyle Mooney Does Not
This week, Bryant and Yang are back at the Update Desk with their trend predictions for the week ahead “what’s “in” and “out.”
To “Which Is In “What’s going on here?
“A friend I couldn’t have done this without,” Yang added, as he held Bryant’s hand and smiled.
Bryant’s parting kisses from Yang and Update co-anchor Michael Che follow. A new trend is emerging, Bryant added. I’m being kissed by several of my closest friends.
Shrill performer Aidy Bryant is leaving Saturday Night Live after 10 seasons.
Ted Cruz and Sarah Huckabee Sanders creator Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP Bryant joined SNL in 2012 as well. Later, she was cast in a three-season run on Hulu, which she helped develop and helped produce.
Despite Mooney’s several appearances in the season finale skits, none of them alluded to his departure from the show.
Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant, and Kyle Mooney are all reportedly set to leave Saturday Night Live when its 47th season comes to a close on Saturday, May 21. https://t.co/5OKxCvsBEU pic.twitter.com/18KBEh62F1
— IGN (@IGN) May 21, 2022
As some viewers pointed out, the lack of a send-off on the live show was fitting. On-brand? Is Kyle Mooney saying goodbye to Saturday Night Live while being shaved from his scheduled time?
The Shrink Next Door premiered on Apple TV in October with Kyle Mooney in attendance. The 37-year-old actor appeared on Saturday Night Live for nine seasons.
The sweet, awkward loner, like Davidson, has been a frequent character on the show. When he first started on Saturday Night Live, many of the skits in which he appeared were “edited for time,” and only appeared in the show’s online-only highlights.
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- Beck Bennett, Mooney’s co-writer, left the show a year after Bennett.
Natasha Lyonne, star of Russian Doll, hosted the finale episode with the help of Japanese Breakfast, who provided the musical accompaniment.