‘Saturday Night Live’ Sends Off Veteran Cast Members Including Kate McKinnon & Pete Davidson
Saturday Night Live has gone through a significant cast transition as of its 47th season finale which aired this past weekend. Longtime cast members were announced to be departing the show including Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson and Kyle Mooney.
McKinnon has been an SNL staple since her introduction to the show in 2012. She had trademark impressions including political figures like Hillary Clinton and Jeff Sessions, and some iconic original characters like elderly actress Debette Goldry who shared exaggeratedly horrifying Hollywood experiences in actress roundtable spoofs.
McKinnon’s sendoff came at the very top of the show with the swan song of another great character, the serial alien abductee Colleen Rafferty. You can watch the sketch to witness Colleen’s final ascension here:
Both Bryant and Davidson got to speak on their departures during segments on Weekend Update. While he didn’t have that many iconic characters or do strong impressions, Davidson had enough natural charm and wit that made him a great fit for just being himself on Weekend Update.
Davidson’s casual and witty Update appearances riffing on everything from timely events, to the ups and downs of personal life as it began to be more closely examined always kept the interest in Davidson high even if his sketch appearances were low.
The comic humorously reflected on his early appearances saying, “Back then, I was just a skinny kid and no one knew what race I was. And like now everyone knows I’m white because I became hugely successful while barely showing up to work.”
Bryant worked in subtle references to her coming exit when playing Update characters the Trend forecasters who decree extremely passionately what’s in or out, which she does with Bowen Yang. While they began railing against navel oranges and airplane captains greeting passengers, Bryant and Yang’s final bits, “Future Trends,” included sweet references to her time on the show.
“In: ten nice years,” Bryant began the category as she took Yang’s hand. “In: A friend I couldn’t have done this without,” Yang responded. While it wasn’t as bombastic as McKinnon departing on a spacecraft, it was a very sweet moment between two hilarious cast members of the show.
Unlike his other cast members, Mooney did not get much of any sendoff during the live broadcast. Most of his iconic performances came in pre-taped bits. Check out the hilarious “A New Kyle” sketch from three years prior, which shows him trying to impersonate Davidson to get more time on the show.
Natasha Lyonne hosted this episode with musical guest Japanese Breakfast. SNL will definitely not be the same with these core cast members gone and moving on to other ventures, but it still has veterans in the cast including Kenan Thompson and Cecily Strong. They also have great fresh new talents like featured players who may be able to step up to the plate Sarah Sherman and James Austin Johnson.
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