A longtime cast member is leaving Saturday Night Live — and this one comes as something of a shock.
Beck Bennett is departing NBC’s late-night sketch series after eight seasons. In addition, featured player Lauren Holt, who made her debut last fall, will not be returning for a second season.
Bennett confirmed his departure on Instagram Monday morning, writing, “Gonna miss you so much. Thank you for eight years of remarkable people and incredible experiences that completely changed my life. I had so much fun.”
Meanwhile, SNL staples Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong and Pete Davidson — whose returns had been in question — will all be back. Similar to last season, however, sources confirm that the trio — as well as other vets — will likely dip in and out throughout the season as they juggle outside projects.
To help fill the Bennett/Holt void, SNL is adding three new featured players: comedians Aristotle Athari (Silicon Valley), James Austin Johnson (Tuca & Bertie) and Sarah Sherman (The Eric Andre Show). Meanwhile, both Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang have been promoted to repertory status for Season 47.
All told, SNL‘s Season 47 ensemble will consist of 21 cast members, including repertory players McKinnon, Strong, Davidson, Fineman and Yang, as well as Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, Colin Jost, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson and Melissa Villaseñor; and featured players Andrew Dismukes, Punkie Johnson, Athari, Johnson and Sherman.
Bennett was perhaps best known for his impersonations of former Vice President Mike Pence and Russian president Vladimir Putin. He made his debut as a featured player at the start of Season 39, and was upped to repertory player ahead of Season 41. He had been with the series since 2013.
As previously reported, SNL Season 47 premieres Oct. 2 (NBC, 11:30/10:30c), with host Owen Wilson and musical guest Kacey Musgraves. For October’s full slate of hosts/musical guests, click here.