SNL Scraps: Casting Changes And Favorite Moments

Right off the bat, I am very sorry to report that Jay Pharoah, Taran Killam, and Jon Rudnitsky will not be returning for the forty-second season of Saturday Night Live. I was worried that this might happen to Jon because it seemed like the studio audience never really took to him as they did to some of the other new cast members. Additionally, he didn’t have too terribly much screen time, except for a Weekend Update segment on Dirty Dancing near the end of his run. I wish him well in his future comedic endeavors.

As for Jay Pharoah and Taran Killam, the circumstances regarding their position on the program is slightly more murky, and I would rather not go into it until anything is officially confirmed. I don’t want to spread gossip. Instead, I would like to celebrate some of their best moments and discuss what this means for the future of the program.

Out of all of Taran Killam’s various impressions and characters, my absolute favorite moment would have to be his Weekend Update character, Jebidiah Atkinson. The character is meant to be an ornery movie critic, based on the retraction of a one hundred and fifty-year-old negative review of the Gettysburg Address. Atkinson first appeared critiquing various politicians, but later evolved into a general critic, insulting movies, stars, and even SNL itself. All of them are scathing and brilliant. You can find them on NBC’s website. For your viewing pleasure, here is his first appearance. Farewell, Jebidiah, you will be missed. I would have loved to see more of you roasting Donald Trump.

Next, I would like to say goodbye to Jay Pharoah. His Barack Obama impression is absolutely wonderful, as well as his other impressions on the program. It’s remarkable that he could do multiple impressions in a row with barely a pause between changing his vocal impressions and speaking style. As for my favorite sketch, I think it would have to be Principal Frye. It’s a simple premise, with the principal giving out nonsensical warnings during a school event, but it’s funny. Jay’s vocal tics and mannerisms combine with the scripted dialogue to create a bizarre character. The first sketch can be found here.

Who will be chosen to replace Jay, Taran, and Jon? As of now, nothing new has been announced. More information will most likely be given near the end of August. I am particularly interested in seeing if they hire any people of color, given their issues with it in the past. Will they cast someone new to play Barack Obama, or will they simply recruit Michael Che to take it on? Personally, I hope that they hire some fresh talent.

To end this article on a lighter note, two videos detailing Kenan Thompson’s and Pete Davidson's favorite SNL moments have been posted on the show’s YouTube channel. I like hearing them discuss their favorite moments from the most recent season. It’s a nice way to find out about some comedy trivia straight from the source.

Zachary Krishef is an evil genius. Do not question his knowledge of Saturday Night Live trivia or the Harry Potter books.