Yesterday first-year Saturday Night Live cast member Brooks Wheelan announced his firing from the show on Twitter. Now two more new featured players from last season will also not be returning in the Fall. John Milhiser and Noel Wells are also leaving. John had the same “new white guy” problem as Brooks and most of the other new SNL cast members added last season, but Noel was the only new woman in the bunch (until Sasheer Zamata was added later for diversity), so seeing her go is a little more surprising.
You might remember Noel, who was known for her “Hey! The Zooey Deschanel Show” webseries before joining the cast, for playing Lena Dunham in the Girls parody. John’s characters included Jon Cryer. But if I’m being honest, I barely remember those impressions, let alone anything else these two did. Like most of the new players last season, neither of them had much to do in any given episode, and as a result they were pretty forgettable. It’s a shame they didn’t have the opportunity to show off everything they could do.
So what happens now that the show’s down four people, including Nasim Pedrad? No new casting has been announced yet, and Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett are rumored to still be safe, as is Sasheer. But for Mike O’Brien, who was added to the cast from the writers’ staff and honestly felt pretty out of place to me as a performer, things apparently aren’t as certain. According to Deadline, the show might keep him as a writer but not a cast member.
Let’s hope that when the show looks for new talent for its upcoming fortieth season, it makes a better attempt at diversity than the last time. There are plenty of talented white guys already on the show, okay? You don’t need to hoard them.