Brooks Wheelan, Noel Wells & John Milhiser All Fired From ‘SNL’

It's official -- three out of five 'Saturday Night Live' newbies have been cut after their first year, and one repertory player is leaving after five seasons. Lorne Michaels wasn't kidding when he said that there would be 'changes' this year! Following Brooks Wheelan's tweet in which he announced he was "Fired from New York, it's Saturday night," first-years Noël Wells and John Milhiser also got the axe in advance of Saturday Night Live's 40th season, according to Deadline. Nasim Pedrad has also officially left after five seasons, but for greener pastures over at Fox's John Mulaney vehicle, Mulaney.

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Brooks Wheelan Noel Wells John Milhiser Fired SNL
Image Credit: Courtesy of NBC

Brooks Wheelan, Noel Wells & John Milhiser Fired From ‘SNL’

Neither Noel nor John have directly commented on their firings as Brooks did, though John did retweet Jon Cryer‘s well wishes as an acknowledgement of sorts (John was best known for his impression of… well, Jon):

Back in June, showrunner Lorne Michaels told Deadline that “We’re still in the middle of rebuilding. So, there will be changes this year.” Looks like they weren’t idle words!

We’re sorry to say it, but John’s departure is not so much of a shock; he received barely any screentime. However, Noël’s firing is a little more surprising — she had some great impressions (Lena Dunham, anyone?) and she seemed to get along with the more popular members of the cast (Kate McKinnonCecily Strong, etc.) cast, which does wonders in getting your material to air.

Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, Sasheer Zamata & Mike O’Brien — Are Their Futures At ‘SNL’ Now Secure?

New SNL cast members sign a one-year contract that requires a renewal once their first year is up in advance of the upcoming season, so the contracts of Kyle MooneyBeck Bennett, Sasheer Zamata and Michael Patrick O’Brien (or Mike O’Brien) are still up in the air. However, their futures at SNL seem pretty solid considering that three of their castmates have already been fired.

Furthermore, Kyle’s digital shorts have made him the new, quieter, weirder, and slightly more abstract Andy Samberg, filling a role that SNL fans have been sorely missing since Andy’s departure in 2012.

Mike, for his part, was a writer on SNL for four years before being promoted to the cast. Even if he’s not kept on the cast, it’s likely that he’ll always have a job at SNL. Note that Tim Robinson, who was a featured player in SNL‘s 38th season, stayed on as a writer after being fired from the cast in advance of Season 39.

Meanwhile, Sasheer was hired following controversy that SNL lacked diversity; that, and the amount of screentime she’s already received since her joining the cast in January, make her an unlikely candidate for the chopping block. Beck doesn’t receive a whole lot of screentime, but the odds are in his favor, at this point.

Nasim Pedrad Is Also Leaving ‘SNL’

Meanwhile, Nasim Pedrad is officially leaving after five seasons now that her future is (relatively) secure over at Fox, co-starring in Mulaney, which premieres October 5. Nasim had a pretty split effect on the SNL audience — either you loved her, and thought she wasn’t used properly, or you hated her. In any case, we loved her, and we’re glad that she’ll get a chance to shine on Mulaney after putting in a respectable five years at SNL.

So, HollywoodLifers, are you surprised by any of the cast changes so far, or did you see them coming? Are there any up-and-comers you’ve got in mind to fill the many vacant seats on SNL for its 40th season? Let us know!

— Amanda Michelle Steiner

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