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Taran Killam & Jay Pharoah Leave ‘Saturday Night Live’ After 6 Seasons

Featured player Jon Rudnitsky will also not be returning to the series this fall.



Dana Edelson/NBC

This fall, “Saturday Night Live” will look a little differently than usual. Veteran cast members Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah will not be returning to the long-running sketch comedy series for its 42nd season. They’ve both been with the series for six years.

READ MORE: ‘Brother Nature’ Trailer: Taran Killam Faces Humiliation From Bobby Moynihan In New Comedy

In an interview with Uproxx, Killam suggested that he’s not sure what happened. “You sign for seven years, so I had one more year. I had sort of had it in my head I would make this upcoming year my last year, but then heard they weren’t going to pick up my contract. I was never given a reason why, really. I can assume until the cows come home.” Pharoah declined to comment about his departure.

Additionally, featured player Jon Rudnitsky, who joined the cast during the 2015-16 season, will also not be returning to the series.

Killam is best known for his celebrity impressions and off-beat character work on “SNL.” He previously appeared on one season of the FOX sketch series “MADtv” and co-starred on Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker’s animated Hulu original series “The Awesomes.” He can be seen in the upcoming film “Brother Nature,” opposite Bobby Moynihan, Gillian Jacobs, and Kumail Nanjiani, and will direct the upcoming comedy “Why We’re Killing Gunther,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a hitman being hunted down by rival assassins.

READ MORE: Arnold Schwarzenegger To Star In Taran Killam’s Hitman Comedy ‘Why We’re Killing Gunther’

Meanwhile, Pharoah is also known for his effortless celebrity impressions, including Barack Obama, whom he has impersonated on the show since 2012, Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy, Kanye West, Jay-Z, and more. He has also appeared in the films “Lola Versus,” “Ride Along,” “Top Five,” and will appear in the upcoming animated musical “Sing.”

“Saturday Night Live’s” 42nd season will premiere this fall.

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