SNL Loses Beck Bennett, Adds Featured Players Sarah Sherman, Aristotle Athari & James Austin Johnson – Gothamist

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With Saturday Night Live’s season 47 premiere coming up this weekend (October 2nd), the show has finally announced the full cast for the new season, which includes three new featured players and at least one surprising longtime exiting cast member. Sarah Sherman, Aristotle Athari & James Austin Johnson are joining the show, bringing the cast to a whopping 21 people, and Beck Bennett is leaving, along with Lauren Holt.

After eight seasons on the show, starting as a featured player in season 39 in 2013, Bennett announced his departure in an Instagram post: “Love you, SNL. Gonna miss you so much. Thank you for 8 years of remarkable people and incredible experiences that completely changed my life. I had so much fun.”

In addition, Lauren Holt, who started as a featured player last season, will also not be returning. Two other previous featured players, Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang, have been made full cast members.

Despite some indications at the end of last season that SNL heavyweights Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson, and Kenan Thompson might be considering leaving the show, they’re all staying put, just like Lorne Michaels wanted.

Sherman, known online as Sarah Squirm, is already pretty well known for her use of body horror and technicolor DIY creations, as well as for work she’s done with Adult Swim, Means TV, and her “unconventional and popular traveling freaky variety show, Helltrap Nightmare.”

“SNL just made a HUGE mistake!!” she tweeted today.

You might recognize Aristotle Athari from Silicon Valley, where he played chair-pants wearing programmer Gabe in season six. He’s also a successful stand-up comedian who was part of Hasan Minaj’s sketch group Goatface.

In addition to being a stand-up comedian, podcast host, and having a role on Better Call Saul, James Austin Johnson is best known for having perfected arguably the only good Trump impression in the world. “That’s the main thing I focus on, is that this is a rasping old man who is inches from death at any moment,” he told Discourse about getting into the Trump headspace and finding the voice.

Season 47 kicks off on Saturday. The show previously announced the hosts for the first four episodes, kicking it off with Owen Wilson and musical guest Kacey Musgraves. Kim Kardashian West, Rami Malek, and Jason Sudeikis will host other episodes throughout October.

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