SNL is in a bit of a cast crisis. The turnover of SNL cast members has been steady throughout the iconic TV show's 38 seasons, but now the show seems to be losing its regular cast members with increasing frequency. Bill Hader's last episode was last night, and last season we said good-bye to comedian Kristen Wiig, but according to reports, the 2013-14 season may see a decline in cast members like never before.
The current season of SNL didn't experience a cast crisis with the loss of Kristen Wiig and Andy Samburg, but can the loss of another major power player on the SNL stage (Hader) spell trouble for the late-night comedy program? Not only is Hader gone, but it's been announced that Seth Meyers (head writer and anchor of Weekend Update, in case you're living under a rock) plans to transition away from SNL and towards his own late-night show on NBC by next January.
To add to the SNL cast crisis, the rumor mill pegs Jason Sudeikis and Fred Armisen as being among the next to leave, according to a New York Post report that insinuated that this season will be the last for both comedians. The finale's last sketch "certainly strongly" hinted that the two would be departing, according to Variety. Fred Armisen is on his 11th season of SNL, while Jason Sudeikis is on his eighth.
However, Variety notes that losing "at least four" prominent cast members before 2013-2014 might just appear to be a death sentence. In SNL's history, the damage done by mass amounts of cast members leaving at once has actually had a "restorative" effect, paving the way for the future growth of the cast. Call it nature's ebb and flow of late-night television.
The SNL cast crisis was certainly foreseeable. Jason Sudeikis was originally slotted to leave the show midway through the current season, but stayed on all the way through, presumable planning to exit at the end of next season. The two have also been used less and less in recent episodes, for example, Fred Armisen's Obama impersonations are now up to Jay Pharaoh.
The last SNL cast crisis of these proportions was the 2005-2006 season, when SNL lost five cast members including the irreplaceable Tina Fey. Other mass exits from SNL cast members include the 1985-86 and 1994-95 season, which both resulted in new, fresh talent coming to the SNL stage and allowing the television program to endure even longer.
Fans of SNL in the wake of this cast crisis are looking to Taran Killam and Bobby Moynihan to step up to the plate as the show's brightest and most promising newer talent. Bobby Moynihan, who's been on the show for four seasons, continues to see increasing popularity, and industry rags are pegging Killam as the next Andy Samburg.
In the female camp of the SNL cast crisis we see incredible leading ladies the likes of Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph dominating the stage and paving the way for funny girls to really shine. Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong are the rookies of the year here, the former celebrated for her celebrity impersonations and the latter excelling in her versatility.