In the 40-plus years that the NBC sketch comedy institution Saturday Night Live has been on the air, the show has naturally seen lots of cast turnover. Sometimes cast members leave after long tenures, some leave after short runs to move on to solo projects, and others are let go after having been deemed expendable by producers. To date, SNL has played host to nearly 150 regular cast members, and it’s hard to imagine the seemingly eternal show, which has garnered some of its best ratings this season, not one day hitting the 200 cast member mark.
Having joined the SNL cast back in 2008, Bobby Moynihan looks likely to be the next long-term SNL fixture to leave the series. Known for characters like recurring Weekend Update agitator Drunk Uncle, Moynihan has also impersonated politicians Newt Gingrich and Chris Christie, as well as pop culture celebrities like George Lucas and George R.R. Martin. Prior to joining SNL, Moynihan spent a couple years as a regular sketch performer on fellow NBC late night series Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
According to Deadline, Moynihan looks poised to exit SNL following the completion of the series’ currently airing season 42, which marks his ninth year as part of the cast. Moynihan’s original SNL contract was for 7 seasons – the standard length for new cast members – but he and producers ultimately agreed to extend the deal for an additional 2 seasons.
While Moynihan has reportedly yet to sit down with SNL producers to formally discuss his exit, he’s just signed on as a lead in CBS’ sitcom pilot Me, Myself and I, which follows an inventor named Alex Riley through his life over three different time periods. Moynihan will play Alex in present day, at age 40. Were that show to get picked up to series, he would definitely not be able to do both. With Moynihan’s contract ending though, SNL brass likely both knew about and signed off on him making himself available for pilot season.
In addition to his years on SNL, Moynihan also counts among his resume guest appearances on TV shows like 30 Rock, The Simpsons, Girls, and Happy Endings. Moynihan was also a regular voice on the Hulu animated series The Awesomes, and is set to voice Louie in Disney’s upcoming reboot of DuckTales. The second-longest tenured member of the current SNL cast, Moynihan’s potential departure would leave Kenan Thompson as the only current SNL player to be hired on prior to 2010.
Saturday Night Live returns March 4, with host Octavia Spencer.