Photo: Courtesy of Saturday Night Live.
Lorne Michaels giveth, and Lorne Michaels taketh away.
The SNL czar was handing out pink slips left and right at Studio 8H yesterday and today, letting go a trio of first year cast members. Noël Wells and John Milhiser will be joining fellow rookie Brooks Wheelan (who was fired yesterday) as the departing players. The fate of the remainder of last season's freshman class has yet to be announced, but fan favorites Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett are certain to return next year, as is mid-season addition Sasheer Zamata. It's unknown if Mike O'Brien's future as a cast member is up in the air, though he's been a writer on the show since 2009.
With very minimal screen time in the latter half of the season, both Wheelan and Milhiser were destined to be shown the door. The departure of Wells however, comes as more of a surprise. With SNL expected to lose Nasim Pedrad to the Fox sitcom Mulaney, Wells, a gifted impressionist, seemed primed to take her place.
After the departures of Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg, Fred Armisen, and Bill Hader, this last year of SNL was supposed to be a rebuilding one. But, after today's bloodbath it looks like it's back to the drawing board for Michaels as the show ramps up for its 40th season.