‘Saturday Night Live’: Three More Veteran Stars Exit Show Ahead of Season 48

by Craig Garrett

The cast of season 48 of the venerable tv sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live just got a little smaller. TVLine reports Melissa Villasenor and Alex Moffat, two well-known veterans, will not return for the new season this fall. Aristotle Athari, a cast member who just debuted last season, is also departing.

That adds up to seven cast members who have departed. Veterans Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, and Kyle Mooney have all announced their exits ahead of the Season 47 finale in May. After 20 seasons of working as a producer on Saturday Night Live, Lindsay Shookus is also leaving.

There have been several hints that Sarah Villasenor would be leaving the show. On her Instagram Story in early August, Villasenor shared several memories of her time on Saturday Night Live. She also posted a title card that read “The End.” In addition, she announced a fall standup tour with dates in October and November. Whoops . . . I’m Awesome: A Workbook with Activities, Art, and Stories for Embracing Your Wonderfully Awesome Self Diary will be released in October as well.

Two Departing Saturday Night Live Cast Members Have Been There Since 2016

In 2016, Villasenor joined Saturday Night Live as a featured player, and in 2018 she was promoted to regular. Her remarkable celebrity impersonations earned her a fan favorite, including Dolly Parton, Gwen Stefani, Sarah Silverman, Jennifer Lopez, Kathy Griffin, and many more. Her Parton imitation in a December 2020 episode became an instant classic “Weekend Update” skit. Villasenor also fooled everyone during the 2019 awards season with her flawless Lady Gaga impression.

Alex Moffat also joined Saturday Night Live in 2016, proving to be a dependable and flexible player. When Jim Carrey completed his brief run as President Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential election, Moffat assumed the part before James Austin Johnson took over in Season 47. He had a talent for portraying obnoxious individuals, such as his recurring “Weekend Update” character “The Guy Who Just Bought a Boat.”

Aristotle Athari, is a recent addition to the cast having only joined Saturday Night Live last season. However, he never quite had a chance to shine with a break-out character. Athari’s most memorable role was Laughintosh 3000, the stand-up robot comedian he played in a November 2021 episode. Athari also had a recurring character, Angelo, but only one of the character’s three sketches aired due to time constraints.

SNL Season 47 featured a whopping 21 actors. In addition to those leaving, the cast also included Michael Che, Mikey Day, Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, Colin Jost, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, and Bowen Yang. Kenan Thompson will be returning for a record-breaking 19th season. The season also included digital shorts from the Improv group “Please Don’t Destroy.” NBC has yet to announce an air date for the first episode of Season 48.