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'SNL' writers shuffle: Mike O'Brien leaves, six newcomers added

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Dana Edelson/NBC/Getty Images

Less than a month away from its season premiere, Saturday Night Live tinkered around with its staff and got the writers’ room set. EW has learned that Mike O’Brien, a one-season featured player and writing vet, has left the show, along with four other scribes: Nick Rutherford, Natasha Rothwell, Alison Rich, and Claire Mulaney.

O’Brien popped on the show in season 39 in 2013 and returned for the 40th anniversary. Of his notable sketches, O’Brien penned “Monster Pals,” which featured James Franco, and “The Jay Z Story,” which comically and inaccurately recounts how the rapper made his bones. (For one, O’Brien played Jay.) 

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As for Rutherford, he was a co-founder of comedy group Good Neighbor along with Kyle Mooney, who as of now remains a repertory player on SNL.

To fill the vacancies, 30 Rock tapped three former UCB performers in Fran Gillespie, Sudi Green, and Will Stephen; a pair of former David Letterman contributors in Paul Masella and Chris Belair; and stand-up comic Dave Sirus.

Season 41 of SNL goes live Oct. 3, with host/musical guest Miley Cyrus taking the stage.

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