Early reports on 'SNL' season 40's inaugural three hosts pegged 'Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt and comedian Sarah Silverman, though it seems reports of series alum Bill Murray were only half-right. 'SNL' has indeed tapped a legendary departed cast member for its third season 40 host, that of more recent alumni Bill Hader!
It was actually a little odd that we learned the fates of Brooks Wheelan, Noël Wells and John Milhiser so early, way back in July. I do wonder if Wheelan forced NBC’s hand a little bit on those announcements by broadcasting that he was off the show via his Twitter account. The names may have been a surprise, but it wasn’t shocking that something was going to change on ‘Saturday Night Live’ this season as we enter the show’s 40th season.
Former 'SNL' head writer Seth Meyers has made it his business to bring some of those sketches cut from 'SNL' to his own 'Late Night' show, and the results have so far been uproarious. While Will Forte's cut bit got the full sketch treatment a few months ago, Bill Hader didn't need those same bells and whistles. After all, his snipped sketch just involved him putting on a weirdly nuanced impression of '60 Minutes' anchor Bob Simon.
Last week 'SNL' season 40 saw one of its highest-profile re-toolings yet, as Weekend Update host Cecily Strong was replaced by writer Michael Che, the first instance of two men running the desk. Now, with three season 39 cast members already let go, 'SNL' has added comedian Pete Davidson to its ranks, in the process confirming yet another departure from the long-running NBC sketch comedy show's roster.
Last Thursday saw a uniquely surprising shift in 'SNL''s upcoming 40th anniversary season, as senior "Weekend Update" host Cecily Strong was relieved from the desk, and replaced with writer Michael Che alongside head writer Colin Jost. Many had taken the swap as an unfair slight against Strong in favor of Jost's writer seniority, though now Strong herself has spoken out on her feelings toward the "Weekend Update" shakeup.
We'd known that 'SNL' would need some additional fine-tuning after shedding some of the dead weight of season 39, but where writer Colin Jost had replaced "Weekend Update"s departed Seth Meyers alongside Cecily Strong, an unexpected shakeup has emerged. Strong will step down from the Update desk, remaining an 'SNL' regular, while 'Daily Show' correspondent and 'SNL' writer Michael Che will become Jost's new co-anchor.
Despite 'SNL' heading into its landmark 40th season (and shedding a few players in the process), things have been curiously quiet on the front of NBC's beloved sketch comedy show, particularly with regard to its initial hosts. Now, the network confirms that 'Guardians of the Galaxy' and 'Parks and Recreation' star Chris Pratt will host the September 27 premiere with musical guest Ariana Grande, preceding comedian Sarah Silverman, while rumors suggest legendary alum Bill Murray will follow!
Don Pardo, the man who introduced the 'SNL' lineup every week since 1975, has sadly passed away at the age of 96. Pardo also lent his voice to radio, sports, game shows, and commercials over the course of his incredibly long-running career, but we'll always remember him best for that wonderful phrase: "It's 'Saturday Night Live!'"
Yesterday saw 'SNL' fans caught off guard by the news that season 39 freshman Brooks Wheelan was let go from the cast in advance of season 40, and now a few more names have been cast into the fire. Fellow season 39 additions Noël Wells and John Milhiser have also been confirmed to be let go from the long-running NBC sketch comedy series, with a "murky" future for Michael Patrick O'Brien as well.
After all the turnover season 39 of 'SNL' brought to the cast, between Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis and Seth Meyers departing, as well as controversial additions like that of Sasheer Zamata, the 40th anniversary season of the long-running NBC sketch comedy was expected to bring with it a few changes. Now, the first of the season 39 freshmen have been cut, as cast member Brooks Wheelan announces he won't return this fall.