‘SNL’ Season 40: Cast Members Noël Wells and John Milhiser Also Fired
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.
Where Wheelan revealed news of his own exit over Twitter, Deadline confirmed that Wells and Milhiser would be let go in advance of the coming 40th anniversary 'SNL' season. All three joined at the start of the past season, alongside Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett and O'Brien, with head writer Colin Jost replacing Seth Meyers on the Weekend Update desk. Actress Sasheer Zamata was added midway through the season, while Leslie Jones and LaKendra Tookes were brought on as writers.
In particular, Wells is perhaps best remembered for her appearance as Lena Dunham in the season premiere's Tina Fey-led 'Girls' parody, along with impersonations of Emma Stone and Nancy Grace. Most notably, Milhiser played Jon Cryer in the same 'Family Feud' sketch that lampooned Brooks Wheelan's 'SNL' invisibility, and made a few brief cameos thereafter.
Things get somewhat "murky" with Mike O'Brien's presence next season, as O'Brien worked on the writing staff for four years prior to becoming a featured player, and may return to scripting sketches rather than depart the series altogether. "Discussions" are reportedly underway, while Deadline also notes that O'Brien's popular "7 Minutes In Heaven" web series has some fans clamoring for O'Brien to join the Weekend Update desk.
In addition to the expected turnover next month, 'SNL' season 40 will also lose Nasim Pedrad to her starring role in FOX's 'Mulaney,' though we'll at least have the three-hour 40th anniversary special in 2015 to see any prior cast return. What say you? Could 'SNL' stand to lose more than Wheelan, Wells, Milhiser and potentially O'Brien from the cast?