Brooks Wheelan, a stand up comedian from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and cast member last season on Saturday Night Live was fired today from the late night sketch comedy show for undisclosed reasons. Wheelan broke the news of his ouster to his 32,000 followers via his Twitter account.
Had a blast and loved every second of it. I’m totally honored to be able to make this next joke… FIRED FROM NEW YORK IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT!
— Brooks Wheelan (@brookswheelan) July 14, 2014
SNL famously brought in eight new cast members before and during the 2013-14 season, replacing beloved cast members Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis, Andy Samburg, Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig, who all left the Saturday night stable within the last three seasons.
Seth Myers also left the popular “Weekend Update” desk in February to take over Jimmy Fallon’s spot on NBC’s Late Night when Fallon took over the Tonight Show from Jay Leno. Wheelan was joined by fellow new cast members Beck Bennett, John Milhiser, Noel Wells, Colin Jost, Kyle Mooney and Sasheer Zamata. Mike O’Brien, who worked as a writer on the show, was moved to the cast to round out the new faces.
The new cast had trouble finding characters, but none worse than Brooks Wheelan, who never really developed last season. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Wheelan even joked about his lack of experience in his showcase audition. He admitted that he didn’t do characters and openly questioned why he was even there. Lorne Michaels, the mastermind behind SNL since its inception, saw something in the 27-year-old comedian and gave him a spot.
When Wheelan was on the air, usually playing himself during “Weekend Update,” he offered a quirkiness and seemed to have potential, but it didn’t stop SNL from not renewing his contract.
Wheelan may not be the last to go as Nasim Pedrad, a cast member since the 2009 season, has a new sitcom this fall on Fox called “Mulaney,” and John Milhiser, who was the least used cast member last season, did not make much of an impression to audiences in his limited screen time.
Wheelan will presumably go back to his budding stand up career in Los Angeles. His exposure on SNL was immeasurable in entertainment circles and his career could only just be taking off.
Saturday Night Live is going into its 40th season this fall. Unfortunately, Brooks Wheelan will not be a part of it.
[Image Courtesy of NBC.com]