After last week’s announcement of Saturday Night Live‘s first four hosts and musical guests for the variety sketch show’s 47th season, NBCUniversal has revealed the cast of the upcoming season.
This season, almost all of the 46th season’s ensemble is rejoining the ensemble, including previously assumed departures Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, and Cecily Strong.
Not returning this season are Beck Bennett, who joined Saturday Night Live in 2013, as well as Lauren Holt, who joined as a featured player last season.
Bennett, who spent 8 years in Studio 8H, said in a goodbye post on Instagram (see below), “Love you, SNL. 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 ❤️.”
Joining the cast this season are three featured players: Aristotle Athari, James Austin Johnson, and Sarah Sherman. You may have seen Aristotle Athari in Silicon Valley as Gabe. James Austin Johnson has appeared in Tuca & Bertie, Future Man, Adam Ruins Everything, and Hail Caesar. Sarah Sherman previously worked on The Eric Andre Show, but viewers may know her best from her traveling comedy show Helltrap Nightmare.
The full 2021-2022 ensemble for Saturday Night Live includes 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, featuring Aristotle Athari, Andrew Dismukes, James Austin Johnson, Punkie Johnson, and Sarah Sherman.
With this announcement, NBCUniversal has finally answered four months of rumors that called to question whether how many of the veteran cast members would return, namely Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, and Cecily Strong, all of which have crafted careers of their own outside of Studio 8H.
That said, I don’t expect many of the returning cast to get as much airtime as they did last season. Bryant has entered into pre-production of her new Netflix animated series Human Resources, a spin-off of Big Mouth, Che’s television series, That Damn Michael Che, has been renewed for a second season at HBO Max, Davidson has a half-dozen projects in several stages of development, Day will be busy writing Inspector Gadget for Disney+, Fineman is busy filming Damien Chazelle’s next film, Babylon, and well…you get it.
These are busy people, so Lorne Michaels will likely rely on the new featured players and play to the crowd-pleasers much more when they’re busy with their other projects.
Nevertheless, I can’t wait to watch SNL return on October 2nd (this Saturday!) with Owen Wilson hosting and Kacey Musgraves as the musical guest. The program is produced in association with Broadway Video. The creator and executive producer is Lorne Michaels.
Until next time!