Beck Bennett announced that he’s leaving Saturday Night Live. The performer departs a week ahead of the season 47 premiere and after eight years.
Bennett was one of several veteran SNL cast members whose future was up in the air following season 46. However, he will be the only main cast member not slated to return when season 47 premieres on Oct. 2.
Bennett, 36, joined SNL as a featured player for season 39. It was a pivotal year for the show, having just lost fan-favorites Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, and Jason Sudeikis. However, Bennett and writing partner/fellow featured player Kyle Mooney proved that the success of their Good Neighbor YouTube channel could translate to SNL.
Since then, Bennett showed off his versatility year after year. He could play the straight man in any sketch as well as play the most absurd or oddly-specific character in any given episode. His “Digital Shorts” with Mooney continued the segment’s popularity after The Lonely Island moved on from Studio 8H.
Beck Bennett says goodbye to Saturday Night Live with a heartfelt Instagram post
Some Saturday Night Live fans held out hope that with only a week until the season premiere, every member of the cast would be back for season 47. However, SNL has become accustomed to uncertainty over the past two years thanks to the pandemic.
Bennett’s timing means he won’t get an ovation or any special attention unless he returns for a cameo or to host. The comedian made things official with an Instagram post on Sept. 27.
Bennett leaves SNL at his peak. His impersonations of Vice President Mike Pence, the MyPillow Guy, and Vladimir Putin were standouts over the past couple of seasons. His recurring characters such as the Baby Boss, Jules Who Sees Things a Little Differently, and Casey, the co-host of “Inside SoCal” will also be missed.
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