Taran Killam, Jay Pharoah to Leave 'Saturday Night Live'

"I have no gripes at all," Killam says of departure

‘Saturday Night Live’ cast members Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah will not return next season.
Taran Killam, Jay Pharoah to Leave 'Saturday Night Live'

Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah will not be returning to the cast of Saturday Night Live next season, according to The New York Times

Though Killam had one year left in a seven-year contract, SNL declined to bring him back for the upcoming season. The circumstances surrounding Pharoah's departure remain unclear. Killam and Pharoah both started appearing on SNL in 2010, before joining the main cast in 2012.

In an interview with Uproxx, Killam said he did not know the reasoning behind SNL's decision. "You sign for seven years, so I had one more year," he noted. "I had sort of had it in my head I would make this upcoming year my last year, but then heard they weren’t going to pick up my contract. I was never given a reason why, really. I can assume until the cows come home."

Killam is currently working as the director of Why We’re Killing Gunther, a movie about assassins starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and he suggested that this project might have conflicted with his time as an SNL cast member. "I'll have two months of post-production that would have bled into the SNL production schedule," the comedian explained. "I honestly don’t know what happened on the other side … I wasn’t going to have to take any time off to do it, but it was a thing that they would have had to okay."

"My feeling about it is I got my dream job," he continued. "I set out to be on SNL and I got to do that and I did very well. And I love and adore and will forever have close ties and tight bonds with the brilliant, smartest, funniest people I’ve ever met in my life. So, I have no gripes at all."


Watch our top 10 SNL cast members of all time.