Sep 27, 2021 1 min, 27 secs
Vice President Mike Pence over eight seasons at the show, will leave the venerable NBC late-night series even as it welcomes back a number of senior cast members who hinted they might be ready to depart!

Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Colin Jost, Michael Che and Kenan Thompson will all return for the show’s 47th season, along with Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, and Melissa Villaseñor.

Two featured players from last season, Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang, have been promoted to be members of the regular cast, while another, Lauren Holt, will not return to the program.

In decades past, “SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels insisted that cast members make the program their primary focus.

Some veteran members of the cast are likely to appear less frequently than usual, according to a person familiar with the program, and will have some leeway to pursue projects outside the show.

“SNL” demonstrated some of its new elasticity last season, when both Strong and Bryant were able to commit to outside projects like Apple’s “Schmigadoon” and Hulu’s “Shrill” while missing multiple episodes of “SNL.” Michaels has also worked to find ways for Kenan Thompson and Chris Redd to take part in the NBC sitcom “Kenan” without missing much of “Saturday Night Live.” It helps that all of these series are produced under the auspices of Michaels’ own Broadway Video.

McKinnon, Bryant, Thompson and Strong appeared in a segment in which they discussed the challenges of producing the show during the pandemic and the 2020 election, and some of their on-camera emotion spurred conjecture they may have been hinting at a farewell.

The three new featured players hail from a broad range of projects

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