Last season’s featured player Lauren Holt also did not return. The remaining cast of last season-regulars Eddie Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Mitch Day, Chloe Finman, Heidi Gardner, Colin Yost, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Igor Envodim, Chris Reid, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villaseñor and Bowen Yang and featured players Andrew Dismukes and Punkie Johnson will return.
Fineman and Yang have been promoted to repertoire players. SNL also has comedian Aristotle Atari, comedian and actor James Austin Johnson (famous for his viral impression of Donald Trump), and writer and actress Sarah Sherman China added three new actors for the 2021-22 season. “Love you, SNL,” Bennett wrote on Instagram on Monday. “I will miss you very much. Thanks to the outstanding people and incredible experiences over the past 8 years, they have completely changed my life. I am so happy.”
Although Bennett and Holt have left, the next season, which will premiere on October 2nd, will maintain a basically complete cast for the second consecutive season. The 2020-21 season marks the first time since 2007 that the regular lineup has remained unchanged from the previous year. As in the previous season, several actors with other promises will be on vacation this season.
Last year Bryant and Strong missed a few episodes respectively during filming, Hulu’s Shrill and Apple’s Schmigadoon! Thompson and Reid sometimes film their NBC primetime comedy Kenan for part of the week, and then return to New York to participate in SNL.
Bennett joined SNL as a featured player at the beginning of the 39th season of 2013 and was promoted to a regular actor in 2015. His famous roles include Senator Mitch McConnell, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, former Vice President Mike Pence, and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.