As it enters season 48, Saturday Night Live is again cutting its staff. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Alex Moffat, Melissa Villasenor, and featured actor, Aristotle Athari won’t return to the show in the autumn. After spending nearly six years at SNL, Moffat and Villasenor joined the show in 2016 as featured actors before being elevated to full cast members in 2018.
Before James Austin Johnson joined the cast this past season, Moffat was arguably most recognized for his portrayal of Vice President Joe Biden. Along with his castmate Mikey Day’s imitation of Donald Trump Jr. and the Guy Who Just Bought a Boat, he frequently played entitled fools like Eric Trump on the Weekend Update desk.
Village-or, a talented vocal impressionist who performed on America’s Got Talent before being hired for Saturday Night Live, regularly played Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the show and was frequently chosen for musical segments. Villasenor talked about embracing her Hispanic roots in a shortened Weekend Update piece. She was the first Latina cast member to be upgraded to regular status.
Villasenor gained notoriety after season 46 after sharing an Instagram story in which she seemed to leave the program and stated, “I’m not coming back to SNL next year. I deserve better, after all. After deleting that Instagram story, she published another one where she admitted to drinking and that her “ego became too smug.” In the end, Villasenor stayed for the entire 47th season.
Athari appeared on Saturday Night Live for one season, joining the cast in 2021 as a featured player with Johnson and Sarah Sherman. These three comedians’ departures from NBC’s venerable sketch show are the most recent in a string of releases. During the final episode of season 47, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, Pete Davidson, and Emmy winner Kate McKinnon expressed their final farewell to Saturday Night Live.
In August, Lindsay Shookus, a longtime senior producer who oversaw talent relations, also left SNL. The show announces you type announceseturning cast members typically in the weeks preceding up to the season premiere, which is usually in September. Executive producer Lorne Michaels often arranges tryouts for the program in the late summer. NBC has not yet disclosed season 48’s debut date.
The request for comment from VF received no immediate response from NBC. Day, Michael Che, Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, Colin Jost, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, and Bowen Yang will all be returning for Season 48 of Saturday Night Live in addition to featured performers Sherman, Johnson, Andrew Dismukes, and Punkie Johnson. But given the number of departures, that list might get a few more names in the upcoming weeks.