Chris Redd, Melissa Villaseñor, Alex Moffat, Aristotle Athari leave

Chris Redd, Melissa Villaseñor, Alex Moffat, Aristotle Athari leave

More big changes are coming to NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”.

As the long-running sketch comedy series enters its 48th season, USA TODAY has learned that Chris Redd will also be leaving the series, in addition to the previously announced departures of cast members Alex Moffat, Melissa Villaseñor and Aristotle Athari.

Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson and Kyle Mooney confirmed their departures during the Season 47 finale in May.

New additions this season include comedians Marcello Hernandez, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow and Devon Walker.

Redd, who has spent five seasons on “SNL”, has an HBO Max comedy special “Chris Redd: Why Am I Like This?” coming later this year and will currently star in the upcoming Universal feature “Cyber ​​Monday”.

“Being part of ‘SNL’ has been the experience of a lifetime,” Redd said in a statement. “Five years ago I walked into 30 Rock knowing it was a great opportunity for growth. Now, with friends who have become family and memories I will cherish forever, I am Lorne Michaels and the entire ‘SNL’ organization I can’t thank you all enough from the bottom of my heart.”

‘SNL’: After several departures, meet the four new faces of NBC’s 48th season

Moffat joined “SNL” in 2016 as a featured player before being promoted to a main cast member in 2018. The Chicago native became known for playing Eric Trump and a “Guy Who Just Bought a Boat” on Weekend Update. He will next be seen in the Apple TV+ comedy “Bad Monkey” with Vince Vaughn and Michelle Monaghan.

More: ‘SNL’: Alex Moffat Takes on the Role of Joe Biden from Jim Carrey, Falls Into Mike Pence’s Vaccination

“SNL” cast member Melissa Villaseñor at the 2019 Los Angeles World Premiere of “Toy Story 4”

Villaseñor was also promoted to a regular in 2018 after two years on the show, memorablely posing as celebrities like Lady Gaga and Dolly Parton. Outside of “SNL,” she has worked extensively on animation, voicing characters in “Toy Story 4,” Netflix’s “Q-Force,” and Cartoon Network’s “Adventure Time.”

Athari’s departure comes after just one season: He joined the cast last fall as a featured player along with Sarah Sherman and James Austin Johnson, but struggled to get screen time and launch signature characters save for “international singing sensation” Angelo.

“Saturday Night Live” stars Kate McKinnon, left, as Laura Ingraham and Alex Moffat as Tucker Carlson. Neither cast member will return for the sketch show’s upcoming 48th season.

It’s considered the biggest cast shake-up since 1985, after Michaels returned to the show after a five-year absence, when nearly the entire cast was replaced, including Billy Crystal and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

“SNL” has struggled to gain a foothold in recent years, with fewer political sketches after Donald Trump left the White House and faced COVID-related obstacles. Fan-favorite players such as Bryant, Davidson and Cecily Strong have also been absent from the show for extended periods while filming other projects. Strong will also be absent for at least the first part of the upcoming season.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ‘SNL’: Chris Redd, Melissa Villaseñor, Alex Moffat, More Don’t Return

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