Plus: Michaels explains how Alec Baldwin's Donald Trump impression came about

By Christian Holub
Updated September 30, 2016 at 07:12 PM EDT
Credit: Chance Yeh/Getty Images; Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

When season 42 of Saturday Night Live premieres this weekend, the show will be missing some familiar faces. Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah were released from their contracts earlier this year, a move that surprised both fans and the actors themselves. In a new interview with USA Today, SNL creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels finally broke his silence on the matter.

“I think they were great, and they did wonderful work when they were with us,” Michaels said. “They served the show well, and are two people I really care about. Change is the lifeblood of the show; it always has been. And you have to keep bringing new people in. Hopefully it’s for the best. I’m not worried about either of them going on to success.”


“She said, ‘You know who would be a great Trump is Alec!'” Michaels explained. “I talked to Alec, who was finishing a movie, he was getting ready to have a baby — it couldn’t have been worse timing. But, slowly, the idea grew on me. People on the show liked it, and I thought he’d be great with Kate [McKinnon].”

This weekend’s SNL season premiere is expected to begin with a recreation of a presidential debate between Baldwin’s Trump and McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton.

Episode Recaps

Saturday Night Live - Season 42

Saturday Night Live

The original late-night comedy sketch show from the one and only Lorne Michaels.

  • TV Show
  • 46
  • TV-14
  • Saturdays at 11:30 PM
  • Lorne Michaels
  • NBC
stream service