The SNL exodus continues: 3 more stars will depart the sketch series


Three more comedians are departing Emmy Award-winning “Saturday Night Live,” part of a cast shake-up ahead of the series’ 48th season this fall.

Melissa Villaseñor, Alex Moffat and Aristotle Athari are leaving the show, according to a person familiar with the exits who was not authorized to speak on the record.

Villaseñor, who was a semifinalist on NBC reality talent show “America’s Got Talent,” made history as the show’s first Latina cast member when she joined in 2016. She is best known for her celebrity impressions, including portrayals of Kristen Wiig and Lady Gaga.

Moffat was also cast in 2016 and is known for his parodies of Eric Trump and Anderson Cooper. He has several movies in production, including the comic thriller “Susie Searches” and holiday comedy “Christmas with the Campbells.”

Last season was the first and only for Athari, SNL’s first Middle Eastern male cast member. He made his mark as Laughingtosh 3000, a stand-up robot character who appeared in SNL’s satirical news sketch, “Weekend Update.”

Villaseñor, Moffat and Athari join four former castmates — Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney and Pete Davidson — who said their goodbyes in May during last season’s finale.

The departures come after SNL creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels said a “year of change” was possible for the series. Longtime SNL producer Lindsay Shookus, who has been instrumental in booking the comedy show, revealed in an Instagram post in August that she was also leaving after 20 seasons.

Since SNL’s debut in 1975, the show has shattered Emmy Award records for nominations and wins. Its 2020-2021 season was the most-watched entertainment program on TV for adults ages 18 to 49, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

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