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Taran Killam Is Looking for Jobs on Twitter in The Wake of News He’s Leaving SNL

It was announced last night that Taran KillamJay Pharoah, and Jon Rudnitsky are leaving SNL before the upcoming season. At first, we all thought that Killam and Pharoah, who are longtime players, were leaving to pursue other projects. It seems that their departures may not be their choice. In an election year, it’s an interesting move by the show.

Killam and Pharoah each had another year left in their standard seven-year contracts, and Pharoah frequently plays President Obama. It seems like he would have stayed on to finish out the role as Obama finishes his. He’s also one of the strongest impressionists the show has ever had, though we will admit that’s where most of his value comes from. And, while it’s not uncommon for Lorne Michaels to let a featured player go after one season, Rudnitsky was kind of awesome. Allow us to show you this:

 

At least he gave that to us.

The fact that Killam is leaving is unexpected and seems kind of odd. Even though he is no longer playing Donald Trump (O.G. impressionist Darrel Hammond has taken over the gig), he’s one of the most loved cast members on the show and he consistently stars in more sketches than almost any of the other actors. In an interview with Uproxx this week, Killam said he didn’t fully understand either : “I don’t know the other side of it. You sign for seven years, so I had one more year. 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.”

It’s worth noting that he is currently directing a movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger which would have cut into SNL’s season, so maybe that had something to do with it. He isn’t bitter though. He said:

My feeling about it is I got my dream job. 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. I am so, so, so lucky to have been given the time I’ve been given.

He also has a sense of humor about it. This morning he Tweeted:

Michael Ian Black got in on the fun, replying:

They went back and forth for a bit, discussing rates and logistics. Josh Gad also joined in:

Killam, Pharoah and Rudnitsky’s exits leave room for promotions and new cast members. Featured player Leslie Jones will likely join the cast full time, especially after her coverage of the Olympics this weekPete Davidson and Michael Che both have an opportunity here as well. We’ll also probably get to see a new face or two.

[image via screengrab]

[H/T Gossip CopVanity Fair, Uproxx]
Follow Dana Eisenberg on Twitter.

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