‘SNL’ Cast News: Vanessa Bayer, Bobby Moynihan Leaving Show Following Tonight’s Season Finale

Vanessa Bayer and Bobby Moynihan will make their final appearances as cast members on tonight’s season finale of Saturday Night Live. The duo join Keenan Thompson as the three longest serving cast members of the current cast.

Moynihan’s departure from the show, which was announced earlier this week, was expected. With two shows moving from pilot to series, Moynihan would have lacked the time commitment that comes with being an SNL cast member.

Back in March, Deadline announced that the funny man had filmed a pilot opposite John Larroquette for CBS. The new show, titled Me, Myself & I, “examines one man’s life over a 50-year span.” Moynihan will play the 40-year-old version of the character, Alex Riley. Larroquette will appear as the character at age 65. Following pilot season, CBS opted to pick up the series. The show was presented to advertisers and the press during CBS’ Upfronts. Moynihan announced his departure from SNL the following day.

Me, Myself & I wasn’t the only Moynihan vehicle to be presented during Upfronts. SyFy, which is part of NBCUniversal, announced that Happy! had been ordered to series. Moynihan will voice the title character, Happy the Horse. Chris Meloni will star as police detective-turned-killer Nick Sax, while Moynihan’s Happy will be an imaginary horse.

Neither series has a set premiere date.

Prior to joining SNL in 2008, Moynihan gained attention for his work with sketch group, Derrick Comedy, and his appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. In his nine seasons with Saturday Night Live, Moynihan developed a plethora of recurring characters. Some of his most noted characters were those featured during the show’s “Weekend Update” segment. They included Drunk Uncle, inaccurate news reporter Anthony Crispino, and, most recently, Riblet, a high school friend of co-anchor Michael Che.

Since Moynihan’s departure from SNL was announced, fellow cast members have taken to Twitter and Instagram to share their goodbyes and well wishes.

While Moynihan’s departure from SNL was announced days ago, news that Vanessa Bayer was also leaving Saturday Night Live broke only hours before tonight’s season finale.

Bayer, who is currently the longest-serving female cast member, has been with SNL since 2010. She spent her first two years as a featured player. Bayer was promoted to the main cast prior to the 2012 season.

Like Moynihan, Bayer built up an impressive repertoire of characters. While newer fans of the show will probably most remember her for the role of Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy on “Weekend Update,” it was Bayer’s stellar impersonations of Miley Cyrus and Rachel Green that helped catapult her from bit player to scene stealer.

In a post on Instagram, Bayer described her time on the show as “a dream come true.”

Unlike Moynihan, no reason has been given for Bayer’s departure. The popular cast member has made guest appearances on several television shows over the past two seasons and appeared in the box office hit, Trainwreck. However, a peek at her IMDb page shows no upcoming roles.

Bobby Moynihan and Vanessa Bayer’s exits appear to be on friendlier terms than last season’s bizarre cuts. Last summer, longtime cast members Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah were let go from the sketch series. Series producer Lorne Michaels faced a tremendous backlash from fans of the popular stars.

Vanessa Bayer and Bobby Moynihan’s departures come at the end of a banner season for SNL. TVLine reported that the show is enjoying its highest ratings in 22 years, thanks in part to Michaels’ decision to continue featuring Alec Baldwin as President Donald Trump. As the Inquisitr noted, Melissa McCarthy’s various appearances as Press Secretary Sean Spicer have become viral hits.

Season 42 will come to close tonight. Dwayne Johnson, who is currently promoting his new film, Baywatch, will host. Katy Perry is scheduled to be tonight’s musical guest.

What do you think? Did you enjoy this season of SNL? Are you sad to see Vanessa Bayer and Bobby Moynihan go? Is there a different cast member that you would like to see exit Saturday Night Live?

[Featured Image by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Rolling Stone]

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