5 Saturday Night Live cast members we're worried could be leaving SNL next

Cast members of Saturday Night Live come and go and it will happen again. The following five cast members are the ones who are most likely on their way out to begin life after SNL.
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This upcoming season will be Saturday Night Live’s 50th. The only shows that can say they’ve done this are soap operas and Sesame Street. This is an accomplishment for a couple of reasons. First, times have changed. If you don’t adapt, you’ll be canceled. SNL has spent 49 seasons adapting to people and how they watch TV. Second, Saturday Night Live was made fun of more than it was revered.

For years, people looked at SNL as a joke. Not in the way they’d wanted. The sketches were “too woke” or looked at as corny. Despite that, they had a large enough fan base to keep them on the air. And when the worldwide pandemic affected the world, SNL still put out a few shows at home for their audience. That’s why the show is still relevant going into its 50th season.

Like most long-term shows, cast members come and go. It usually leads to people going on to bigger and better things. Tina Fey, Eddie Murphy, and Will Ferrall are all megastars who got their big break on Saturday Night Live. They aren’t the first, and they won’t be the last. These five cast members (and one kind of cast member) could leave after season 50.

Michael Che

Michael Che has been busting his butt as one of the head writers for SNL for the last seven-plus years. He’s part of why the show hasn’t gotten the criticism it once did. He keeps his eye on the news and knows how to give the people what they want.

I don’t expect Michael Che to leave the show until after the 50th season. This way he can say that he was part of a monumental season. At the very least it wouldn’t be shocking if he stepped down as the cohost of Weekend Update and continued to be a writer.

Bowen Yang

Saturday Night Live is full of talented cast members, but Bowen Yang stands tall among them. He puts his all into the sketches and it shows. There are bad segments where he’s still funny and others with incredible guests where he’ll steal the show.

After joining SNL in 2018, it may be time for Bowen Yang to spread his wings. If he does leave, he’ll be missed. Thankfully, he won't be without work. He’s too talented not to be in high demand.

Kenan Thompson

Kenan Thompson is a veteran. He’s broken the SNL longevity records with 21 seasons and over 1,500 sketches. That’s an accomplishment that’s not likely to be broken. However, while it’s doubtful he’ll leave soon, it’s possible.

If you’re a fan of the show, you can’t help but notice that his appearances have gone down over the past couple of seasons. Maybe he’s prepping the future cast members to take his spot. I feel that Kenan understands that someone will take his place. Until then, I’m glad to see him and his wonderful sketches.

Heidi Gardner

It’s hard to believe she’s been on the show for five years and nearing 100 episodes. While it’s not likely that she’ll leave, I am worried she will. Heidi Gardner is the most consistently funny member of the cast. But, like Bowen Yang maybe it’s time to show the world that she’s more than a sketch comedy performer. Her role in Shrinking is a perfect example that she’s destined for big things.

Ego Nwodim

Ego Nwodim leaving isn’t something that will happen soon, but I’m still worried. She is one of my favorite cast members of all time. She brings amazing delivery and looks during sketches that many people can’t pull off. When she has a straight face while everyone else is breaking character, it makes the sketches even better. Out of everyone on this list, she’d be missed more than anyone. 

Lorne Michaels

And now we come to the man behind the curtain. He isn't technically a cast member, but Lorne Michaels is part of the Saturday Night Live family. Michaels started producing SNL from 1975-1980, left, and returned in 1985. It’s doubtful the show goes on without him. Leaving the show after the 50th season is a nice swan song. Over the years, Michaels has stated that he’s thought about retiring. Don’t be shocked if Tina Fey steps in after he steps down.

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What cast members do you think are leaving? Are any of the ones mentioned in this article sticking around for a while?