And just like that, another season of Saturday Night Live has come and gone. SNL Season 46 was filled with a number of memorable moments, from Jim Carrey and Maya Rudolph’s portrayals of the President and Vice President to John Krasinski and Pete Davidson’s on-air liplock. The season ended with a show hosted by The Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy and headlined by musical guest Lil’ Nas X. However, a few cast members, such as Kate McKinnon and Pete Davidson, made some comments that have some people thinking the major SNL players are leaving the show.
The Saturday Night Live season finale opened with a segment called “What I remember about this year.” The segment featured sentiments about the past season from different members of the cast. The cast members were grouped and in different areas of 30 Rock, with even Chris Rock joining in on the segment. But the longest-tenured cast members: Kenan Thompson, Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong and Kate McKinnon were all positioned center stage and closed out the segment.
While the four stood on stage and thanked everyone for supporting SNL throughout the past year, some of the stars seemed to become a bit emotional. Kate McKinnon, while reflecting on the bond between the cast, became emotional and choked up, saying “This is a year when we realized we are more than just a cast, we are a family.” Cecily Strong and Aidy Bryant became visibly emotional during McKinnon’s comments as well. The segment ultimately ended with the rest of the cast joining the four on stage and officially kicking off the show.
And if those moments were enough to get people speculating about the future of the cast, there were also some notable moments during this week’s Weekend Update. Pete Davidson appeared during the segment to discuss Mental Health Awareness Month. He closed out his segment by saying that the pandemic has taught him to be grateful and that he’s “very grateful to be here, and it has been an honor to grow up in front of you guys.” Cecily Strong also appeared on Weekend Update, doing her impression of Judge Jeanine Pirro, and she ended by singing a rendition of “My Way,” which closed out the entire Weekend Update segment.
As of this writing, nothing has been officially announced regarding the future of these Saturday Night Live stars. However, it would make sense if at least some of them were planning to depart. Cecily Strong and Aidy Bryant have each been on the show for nine seasons, while Kate McKinnon has been on the show for 10. And of course, Kenan Thompson is the longest tenured cast member in the show’s history, with a whopping 18 seasons. Meanwhile, Pete Davidson has been on the show for seven seasons.
Each of these cast members have emerged as fan-favorites in their own ways, and losing any of them would be massive for SNL. However, their stars have been rising, as they’ve been pursuing other projects in either television or film over the past few years. Still, this may not necessarily mean that everyone will leave, as Kenan Thompson has expressed interest in staying with the show, saying that the series remains fresh for him. Nevertheless, Deadline seems to indicate that a summer of change could be on the horizon for the iconic sketch comedy series.
The end of a Saturday Night Live season is rarely easy, as fans are always anxious regarding the futures of their favorite stars. Nothing may be set in stone at the moment but, if the stars do leave, it would mean the show will have a very new look come this fall.