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Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah Are Leaving SNL

Featured player Jon Rudnitsky is also departing

Liam Mathews

Saturday Night Live cast members Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah will not return to the late-night institution for Season 42, TVLine reports. Both had been with the show for six seasons, and their contract options were not renewed for a seventh. Featured player Jon Rudnitsky is also leaving, according to Deadline.

The dismissal came as a surprise to Killam, who has been a prominent player since his hiring. He told Uproxx that he doesn't know why his contract was not renewed, but did speculate that it has something to do with post-production on Why We're Killing Gunther, a movie he's directing that stars Arnold Schwarzengger, cutting into the SNL production schedule.

Jay Pharoah and Taran Killam, Saturday Night Live NBC, NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Pharoah has not yet commented on his departure; however, with President Obama leaving office early next year, Pharoah's most well-known impression will no longer be as relevant, so his services are probably no longer needed.

Rudnitsky joined the show last season and made a positive impression with sketches like his Dirty Dancing parody, but apparently it was not enough to keep him in the cast.

SNL returns this fall.