And two more bite the dust: A source confirms to EW that Saturday Night Live has elected not to renew the contracts of Noël Wells and John Milhiser, both of whom joined the sketch show last fall as featured players. Deadline first reported the news.
Word of Wells and Milhiser’s oustings comes one day after another former featured player, Brooks Wheelan, announced his own exit from the show in an irreverent tweet (“Fired from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”).
Milhiser’s booting shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who kept up with SNL last season; the New Jersey-born comedian got a minimal amount of screen time throughout the year, performing just a handful of impressions (including Jon Cryer and Matthew McConaughey) and a single recurring character (if “student in three Shallon sketches” even counts). The departure of Wells, the only new female cast member to join the show last fall, is slightly more surprising (Sasheer Zamata didn’t join the show until January). Since SNL will presumably lose Nasim Pedrad to the Fox sitcom Mulaney in September, it seemed as though Wells, who specializes in impressions (Zooey Deschanel, Kristen Stewart, Lena Dunham), may have been kept around to help fill Pedrad’s old spot.
Milhiser, Wells, and Wheelan were just three of the eight new featured players added to SNL during the rebuilding year that was season 39. The futures of Beck Bennett, Colin Jost (the show’s head writer as well as its new Weekend Update co-anchor), Kyle Mooney, Mike O’Brien (a longtime writer and first-time featured player last year), and Zamata remain unclear—though Deadline writes that O’Brien could return to the writers’ room full-time come September.
SNL had no comment about Milhiser and Wells.