According to the news outlet, the performers’ contracts won’t be renewed for the upcoming 42nd season of the sketch comedy show, which means we can say goodbye to Pharoah’s spot-on celebrity impressions. TV Line notes that both performers will be pursuing other projects.
Killam commented on his departure over Twitter:
He also spoke about the news in an interview with Uproxx, admitting that he doesn’t really know why his contract wasn’t extended.
“You sign for seven years, so I had one more year. I had sort of had it in my head I would make this upcoming year my last year, but then heard they weren’t going to pick up my contract,” he said. “I was never given a reason why, really. I can assume until the cows come home. But I do know I’m directing this movie [’Why We’re Killing Gunther’] and I’ll have two months of post-production that would have bled into the SNL production schedule, so we kind of communicated that.”
He continued, “I honestly don’t know what happened on the other side, but I do know we had expressed I have work on this film and in bonding this picture, that has to get cleared with ‘SNL.’ And then [another offer] came up. I wasn’t going to have to take any time off to do it, but it was a thing that they would have had to okay.”
Both comics appeared on “SNL” for six seasons. Killam will likely be remembered for his hilarious Matthew McConaughey imitation (and this amazing video of him dancing to Robyn), while Pharoah will no doubt be remembered for his ability to mimic pretty much every famous black comedian.
“SNL” creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels is expected to add a crop of new cast members before the season starts in September, TV Line reports. So here’s to finding more stars like Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon.
This post has been updated to include Taran Killam’s comments regarding his departure.