Losing Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader and Fred Armisen in one fell swoop is by no means the largest exodus Saturday Night Live has ever dealt with — as HuffPo’s Mike Ryan details, the NBC sketch series gave 25 players the hook across two early-’80s seasons.
Still, since you’re talking about a world-class utility player, a master impressionist and an 11-year vet, all eyes will be on Studio 8H as it tees up Season 39.
“It’s certainly a rebuilding effort, but I don’t think it’s any bigger than ones that have happened historically,” Weekend Update anchor/headwriter Seth Meyers (accurately) noted Wednesday morning at the Television Critics Assoc. press tour, where he was touting his new animated superhero series The Awesomes (hitting Hulu Aug. 1).
In fact, Meyers — who himself will say sayonara to SNL at midseason, to take over Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night — says it’s “a really exciting time to be at the show. I’m really glad I’m going back for the first half of next year.”
To support his point, Meyers shared, “The most fun I ever had at the show was the first year with Andy [Samberg], Bill [Hader] and Jason [Sudekis] and Kristen [Wiig], when they all came in” for the 2005-’06 season.
Michael Shoemaker, a veteran SNL producer (and cocreator/panelist for The Awesomes) added, “That time when a bunch of people leave is thrilling, because we know the new people and we’re introducing them to you. It’s a lot of work but it’s great.”
Besides, Meyers’ SNL pals will never be far. The Awesomes in fact features voice work by Hader, Taran Killam, Kenan Thmopson and scribe Emily Spivey. Asked if he was able to cast them at a discount, Meyers answered, “‘Discount’ is not even a fair [word]…. It was so much worse than even that!” That said, he got incredible bang for his buck, employing such comedy pros. “They’re so quick to give what you ask them to do,” he raved. “One or two takes for everybody.”