Live from New York, it’s … a new season and a new cast of “Saturday Night Live.”
Long-running cast member Beck Bennett, known for outlandish depictions of U.S. VP Mike Pence, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and included player Lauren Holt, one of three newbies last season, won’t be getting back to “SNL” this fall, NBC declared Monday.
“Love you, SNL,” Bennett wrote in an Instagram post Monday. “Gonna miss you so much. Thank you for 8 years of remarkable people and incredible experiences that completely changed my life. I had so much fun.”
The rest of the cast – including Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong, every one of whom were reputed to weighing an exit from the sketch comedy show – will be back.
Aristotle Athari, James Austin Johnson and Sarah Sherman, will join as featured players, which likewise incorporates last year’s Andrew Dismukes and Punkie Johnson.
Bowen Yang and Chloe Fineman, previously featured players, are promoted to the regular cast. Yang got an Emmy nomination this year for his performances on “SNL.”
This season will be the 18th for cast member Kenan Thomson. Recently, the comedian told USA TODAY he doesn’t have the foggiest idea when he’ll leave the show, however would “love to get to 20” seasons.
“I feel like I’m very close to that number and that’s a really cool sounding, rounded, even number,” he said. “At that point, I might be able to let it go a little easier. It’s a very special place to me.”
“SNL” gets back to NBC on Oct. 2 with “Loki” actor Owen Wilson and CMA-winner Kacey Musgraves. Reality star and entrepreneur Kim Kardashian West follows on Oct. 9, matched with musical guest Halsey. Oscar winner Rami Malek will host Oct. 16 and Grammy winner Young Thug (born Jeffery Lamar Williams) will make his debut as show artist. Oct. 23 will be a homecoming for Jason Sudeikis, who composed or potentially featured on “SNL” from 2003 to 2013. Singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile will be the musical act (her first time).