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Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah Are Leaving SNL

Featured player Jon Rudnitsky is also departing

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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.

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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.