Saturday Night Live Fires Brooks Wheelan After One-Season Run

Brooks Wheelan Fired SNL

Saturday Night Live is shedding a little weight during its summer hiatus.

Brooks Wheelan, who joined the cast of NBC’s long-running sketch-comedy series last fall, announced on Twitter this evening that he’s been “fired” from the show.

Wheelan was one of eight featured players — alongside Beck Bennett, Mike O’Brien, Kyle Mooney, John Milhiser, Noel Wells, Sasheer Zamata and Colin Jost — who debuted during SNL‘s critically uneven 39th season.

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Wheelan’s ouster does not come as a complete shocker, given his failure to introduce any particularly notable characters or recurring sketches in his limited time on screen.

You can check out one of Wheelan’s solo moments — an alcohol awareness PSA during “Weekend Update” — embedded below:

Surprised by Wheelan’s ouster? Saddened? Sound off below!

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49 Comments
  1. rod says:

    Im sorry he is out of a job but in all honesty, he added nothing during his time on the show.

  2. Eric says:

    I thought he was okay, but didn’t really have any memorable characters or sketches. He was just kind of the straight man in every sketch. Sorry, Brooks.

  3. Tran says:

    Hope John Milhiser will be next to get the pink slip and Mike O’Brien should be removed from the cast and headed back to the writing staff. Still no word on the fate of Nasim Pedrad whether she’s leaving SNL to move forward with Mulaney.

  4. Jill says:

    Colin Jost needs to leave the update desk.

    • Tran says:

      Do you think Cecily Strong should do Update by herself this upcoming season or who do you think should “replace” Colin Jost as Update co-anchor?

      • Maggie says:

        I think Beck Bennett should join Cecily Strong on Weekend Update.

      • jbj says:

        I don’t get why a woman can’t anchor Update by herself, it’s not like they don’t do it in the real world nowadays. All of the previous female co-anchors have been stronger than their male counterparts, although they’ve made great teams. Colin just sets Cecily up and makes goofy faces.

    • AnnieM says:

      Agreed. Cecily Strong would do fine as a solo anchor.

      • Bad Samaritan says:

        Yes, she would do fine. That being said, I still miss “the girl you wish you hadn’t started a conversation with at a party”. That character made her career.

    • LaLucci says:

      Glad to see Brooks Whelan go….nothing memorable about him. Yes, Colin Jost adds nothing to Weekend Update. I think they should just have guest appearances by others. Release John Milhiser and Mike O’Brien and look for a couple more solid male performers. Jay Pharroah really stepped it up this past season and the female cast is great. I will miss Naseem but, since Lorne is producing the show she is leaving for, maybe she will come back when it fails (which is very likley since it’s on FOX)

  5. SJ says:

    Damn, they fired the hottest guy! :( I hope he goes on to do bigger and better things. There are a few people on that cast who I’d fire before him, but I’m guessing they won’t make it til September either.

    Also, I love how all of the websites are reporting that he was “fired” when he was clearly making a joke, which he even spelled out in his Tweet… Journalism at its finest. Whatever gets the clicks, I guess…

  6. Critically uneven? I thought that season pretty much sucked.

  7. jo jo jo says:

    Only new guy i liked. Fire Colin Jose. That guy is AWFUL

  8. jo jo jo says:

    I meant Jost. Yes thus whole season was bad

  9. guest says:

    how about adding a Latino or Latina to the cast – or heaven forbid may be an Asian performer!
    is it really so hard to acknowledge to give non-white actors a shot??

    • Dan says:

      It is if they’re not ready for a show like SNL. I’m all for diversity, but if someone isn’t talented enough, they don’t belong on the show, regardless of race. SNL needs to worry about being funny first and being a reflection of the cultural melting pot second. Simple as that.

      • Hannah says:

        Except they add 209535 boring white actors every year- like this guy- so that argument doesn’t really work. And SNL parodies American current events, so actually they do need at least a moderately diverse cast. Like think how many famous black women there are in America who never get parodied unless Maya comes around or Kenan puts on a dress, it’s a joke.

        • The scouts choose the best of who they can find that fit within the extensive criteria of the show (writing skills, acting skills, impressions, possibly singing). That said, if the white people they do hire aren’t very good, you have to assume that other ethnicities were even less impressive. Sasheer Zamata should be the most talented black performer the show has ever seen if she has to carry that weight, but at the risk of speaking for every other fan, I haven’t been impressed by her presence in the least. It’s a case of needing to put bodies on the show if they can’t find the next Will Ferrell or Chris Rock.

          • justsaheyin says:

            you are wrong. it’s not that talent isn’t out there, it’s that they’re scouts suck. remember MadTV? For awhile there, they actually had a much funnier sketch show than SNL. Just not the same cache. And their cast? Diverse. And funny. Your argument is like saying that because an actor sucks in a movie it’s because there were none that existed who didn’t suck. When it’s just that casting is LAZY and looks for people with an existent following when deciding who to cast. I know. I’m in the industry. Talented actors exist everywhere, but trying to get on the radar with the big studios and casting agents is very difficult. They’d rather hire untrained reality stars who they think are pretty and then hire the “real” talent from England. Just saying…

          • justsaheyin, I remember MadTV enough to say that watching it was a chore. White, black, male, female, everyone on that show was obnoxiously unfunny to me. And that’s probably why it was cancelled. It boldly challenged SNL and it lost. I much preferred the early years of In Living Color, which had an insane amount of talented comedians who easily made the transition to acting (Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans, Jamie Foxx).

            You have quite a strange take on the world. There are many talented actors in England and the UK, but most of the stuff that gets imported to the states tends to be on the good side. But bad acting might be more rampant in the less competitive pool. It doesn’t take a lot of Doctor Who episodes to find minor characters who have really bad American accents, poor timing, line delivery, etc. And the girl who played Effy from Skins was clearly cast for her looks. What you have is called bias. A certain belief based on prejudices and not all the facts. Not everyone we get from England is Hugh Laurie. Most of the time, it’s probably people like Jedward. You know, from one of Simon Cowell’s many reality shows. When in the entire history of SNL has there been untrained reality stars in the cast? Name one.

            Casting is not lazy. They have limited time and money. They can’t have extensive international casting auditions like big budget films do to find who plays James Bond or Harry Potter. Most of their hires have improv experience with Second City or The Groundlings, a must for live performers. The cast members who have come out of those are some of the most talented stars in the world. That said, it is a limited pool of talent to choose from, but as I already stated, they have limited resources to devote to casting outside of it. The show requires so much more than a stand-up material on YouTube. The ability to act in a live, high-pressure environment is a requirement that precludes probably 90% of all comedians, no matter how funny their material is.

        • Joe Kool says:

          Then watch BET and stfu.

    • Maggie says:

      Since Fred Armisen is part Japanese and part Venezuelan, SNL most likely thinks they already acknowledged Asian and Latino actors.

    • David says:

      I just hope they bring Big Les back next season.

  10. Steven says:

    It’s not really fair considering they never him much to work with. How about you fire Kyle Mooney who has sucked in every digital short he’s done.

    • Tran says:

      In case you didn’t know, Kyle is best friends with Beck Bennett. Hate to wonder if the BFFs are breaking up from the cast this upcoming 40th season.

    • cuius says:

      Aren’t cast members expected to also contribute ideas for sketches rather than just be allocated work.

      • Bad Samaritan says:

        It’s not required, but they do offer a big cash bonus if any of them write a sketch that makes it to the live show.

  11. Tricia says:

    It feels like they never really gave some of these guys a chance. It’s a shame, because I liked Brooks. Honestly, what do they expect when they bring in extra guests every other week and hired EIGHT new people in one season?

    ALSO, I don’t understand the Colin Jost hatred on here. Give the guy some time, he and Cecily are filling big shoes. Seth Meyers is one of the most likable people on television and it’ll take a while to get used to the new anchors – for us and for them.

    • AnnieM says:

      Honestly? I think the main thing that puts people off about Colin Most is how he constantly is smirking into the camera. I remember seeing many comments here on TV Line mentioning that.

  12. Mike R. says:

    To be fair, I don’t think he was really given enough opportunities to produce any memorable characters like some of the other new cast members were. Kyle Mooney was literally given the ending sketch at the end of every episode, time which could have been used to try out new character for those of the cast that were rarely used thoughtout last season. I thought he showed promise and had he been given the opportunity a few other had, he could of been a hit, but if SNL is not going to use I hope he finds success elsewhere.

  13. JohnNYC63 says:

    Cecily would be good solo, let her fly. She’s too good to be a Weekend Update as it is. Bring back drunken Scottish fish!

  14. April says:

    Honestly, I’m a little surprised. He’s the only one whose name I know that started this season. But that’s probably because when he was in a sketch, he played himself. I really think this summer they should go back to the drawing board and fix what didn’t work from last season. Beck Bennett would probably be awesome to replace Colin Jost who needs to go back to being just the head writer. Obviously having him split his focus didn’t work for the show. Find some people to expand their digital shorts, maybe even a cartoonist like Robert Smiegel.

    • justsaheyin says:

      ah. robert smeigel, jack handy, the good ol days…. They really need to do a referendum (not an in house one, bc obviously they are not being objective) about what is not working with the show. They should do more digital shorts and more topical humor. The nature of comedy has changed especially since the internet. when real people who aren’t professional comics produce funnier things than these “pros” do? there is a problem. They can look a funny or die for some good examples. But topical humor has always been SNL’s strong suit. That and parodying pop culture. It seems like now they just try and come up with random weird caricatures based on nothing. So why is that funny to anyone other than a 3 year old?

  15. A says:

    I enjoyed the family feud where he played himself and was on team NBC and no one believed him that he was on SNL. I thought that was really funny.

  16. June says:

    No big loss. His name was the most interesting thing about him.

  17. But was his lack of presenting a memorable character more about the writers or his ability to act ?

  18. soso says:

    But he was SO pretty! He was the only attractive male comedian on the show this season, yeah, we got Collin Jost midway through once Seth left, but I really really liked Wheelan and always looked forward to hopefully seeing him shirtless as he was in that e-meth commercial. Tis disappointing news. :*(

  19. AnnieM says:

    They should court Josh Robert Thompson to join them when Craig Ferguson’s run on Late Late Show ends later this year.

  20. dman6015 says:

    Milhiser, O’Brien and Jost (sorry, he sucks on Weekend Update) should be next.

  21. Bad Samaritan says:

    Brooks Wheelan? Wasn’t he one of the white guys Tina Fey had twerking in hot pants? What a horrible image!
    If SNL is having trouble finding people, why not hire some of the ones that get voted off Last Comic Standing this year? A lot of them are the very people they should be looking for.

  22. Kitty says:

    Now if they could only get rid of Keenan…

  23. Joe Kool says:

    They had to make room for the new black girl who was hired mid swason bevausw black people complained, but they kept Keenan Thompson the longest serving and least funny actor in the history of SNL. Truth is they can’t fire him because he’s black.

  24. mydaema says:

    I cant remember one scetch he was in. You have to make yourself memorable to the audiance. He did not do that. One SNL cast member that is also new is Beck Bennet. Hes hilarious. SNL better not fire him. Hes one of the more memorable cast members. Funny guy. If he leaves, it would be because hes going into the movies, not cause hes not funny on SNL.

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