NBC has confirmed which cast members will return for Season 42 of its iconic sketch show Saturday Night Live. With the series set to return in October 2016, there’s been a lot of speculation around which actors will and will not return to the comedy sketch show. That’s largely because a number of the show’s stars have gone off to star in box office releases over the summer. However, Saturday Night Live has largely retained its ensemble cast, with most members set to return later this year.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the show has lost a total of three cast members ahead of Season 42 – Taran Killam, Jay Pharaoh, and Jon Rudnitsky. That being said, all remaining cast members have been confirmed to still be onboard with the show.
Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Bobby Moynihan, and Vanessa Bayer are some of the most prominent names confirmed to be returning for Saturday Night Live Season 42. Also said to be returning this autumn are Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che, with supporting cast members Kyle Mooney, Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Beck Bennett, and Sasheer Zamata all confirmed to be returning to NBC’s iconic sketch show later this year.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) August 23, 2016
With Saturday Night Live losing three cast members ahead of Season 42, it’s also safe to assume that some new faces will be introduced. That being said, it remains to be seen whether or not NBC will confirm those new casting additions ahead of the new season or allow them to make their debut naturally. Saturday Night Live is well known as a breeding ground for comedic talent, having kickstarted the careers of some of the biggest names in TV and film, including Tina Fey, Will Ferrel, Eddie Murphy, and Amy Poehler.
However, according to Split Sider, new cast members won’t be the only addition in Season 42 of Saturday Night Live, with NBC adding two new head writers in Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider. The pair has recently worked on a number of sketches for the show, including “The Beygency,” “(Do It On My) Twin Bed,” and “Bar Talk.”
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Fans of Saturday Night Live had doubted whether or not some of the show’s key cast members would return for Season 42, including most prominently, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. Both McKninnon and Jones played leading roles in the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters, which hit cinemas last month. Despite the polarizing choice of an all-female lead cast, the film, which also stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Chris Hemsworth, was met with a good deal of critical acclaim and performed relatively well at the box office.
While the film focused on four leading female cast members, many of the stars of the original 1984 film did make cameo appearances throughout the new film. Fans of the original films were definitely appreciative of Sony’s decision to point back to the origination of the franchise.
— FTWFB Podcast (@FtwfbPodcast) August 13, 2016
Kate McKinnon received particular acclaim for her role as Dr. Jillian Holtzmann in the reboot. McKinnon has starred on Saturday Night Live since 2012, well known for her numerous celebrity impressions, including Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. That being said, while regularly mocking Clinton as part of her role in Saturday Night Live, McKinnon has said that she unequivocally wants Clinton to win the 2016 presidential election, giving the former first lady her full endorsement.
Saturday Night Live returns for Season 42 on October 1, with NBC planning to reduce ads across the season by 30 percent, allowing an increase in episode content.
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