Jason Sudeikis Exit Creates Casting Crisis at ‘Saturday Night Live’

Jason Sudeikis Saturday Night Live

Hader, Armisen, Meyers, and now this? Lorne Michaels better work miracles quickly

Now there’s four out the door.

Jason Sudeikis confirmed Wednesday at a “Late Show with David Letterman” taping that he will not be returning for the 2013-14 season. He joins Fred Armisen and Bill Hader, who signaled their departures when the 38th season concluded. To make matters worse, “Weekend Update” anchor Seth Meyers steps out midseason to get his own late-night show on NBC.

Yes, “SNL” has weathered its fair share of cast defections over its long run but this is a huge talent drain for the franchise to suffer all at once.

Because “SNL” has such a broad ensemble, you might figure the series could sustain their losses. But all four of these men were featured attractions on this show. Any one of them leaving at any time is problematic; all together, it’s big trouble.

SEE ALSO: Jason Sudeikis Confirms ‘SNL’ Exit (Video)

It might have come as some surprise that Sudeikis would leave considering the considerable leverage he would have in negotiations with “SNL” impresario Lorne Michaels, who would presumably be desperate to pay up to retain some semblance of stability.

This wasn’t the first time Sudeikis had Michaels by the short hairs; he was on the verge of leaving last season as well but stuck around despite the fact he’s had a bustling movie career going for quite some time now. His next film, “We’re the Millers,” comes out next month.

The quadruple exit leaves “SNL” in the unenviable position of having to recruit multiple new gentlemen. Even if all the new entries turn out to be the next Will Ferrells, it’s a lot of new blood to take in at once. Few new cast members ever have an instant impact on “SNL”; it can take years for rookies to really grow into their own skin.

That said, this is not assured destruction by any means. There is a second-tier of male cast members on this show that are no slouches. Taran Killam has seemed like a star in the making for quite some time now; this coming season could be the year he really comes into his own. Bobby Moynihan and Jay Pharoah are solid players, too.

But none of them are stars. Michaels may want to consider a move he’s made only a few times over the run of “SNL” and rather than recruit untested freshmen, draft someone with experience, as he’s done in the past with Michael McKean and Chris Elliott. Granted, those aren’t exactly exemplary casting decisions but in theory there’s still some potential in the concept if done correctly.

It’s your move, Lorne. Better make it count.

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  1. Trunner56 says:

    A comedian with some actual talent would be good. Sigh…I miss the days when SNL was funny.

  2. Gregory Dodds says:

    How about Tim Robinson? Everybody in Chicago knows how versatile and hilarious this guy is (My Mans and Cook County Social Club), but he’s been working with scraps so far on SNL. Hear me, Variety? TIM ROBINSON.

  3. Mary Baird says:

    “The quadruple exit leaves “SNL” in the unenviable position of having to recruit multiple new gentlemen.”

    Why does it have to be dudes to replace dudes? Some of the strongest stars and talents of the last decade have been women. Amy Pohler, Tina Fey, Kristen Wiig, And even the featured cast members, Cecily, Kate and Aidy have done leaps and bounds more than a lot of the men last year.

    You may not have intentionally been gender specific, but c’moooon dude. People notice that kind of stuff..

    • Ramsay says:

      The women were great last season as they have been over the past decade but with the strong female cast members currently there need to be some new strong male cast members to replace Hader, Armisen, Sudeikis and Meyers!

  4. caleb says:

    Jason is a one-note comedian; he talks loudly with a gruff voice in every skit and thinks it’s funny. It’s not. Good riddance.

  5. Walter says:

    Last year when Kristen Wiig left, it was all about how the other female cast members would now rise to the top…didn’t happen. This article is spot on about one thing. The cast that’s left is good, but they’re not stars. No one will raise a ruckus when Kenan Thompson leaves.

  6. Leanne says:

    I think it would be great to see a return of some of the stars who got their start on SNL. I love when people give back and remember their humble beginnings. It could help SNL out a bit while they replace some of those that have left recently.

  7. Mark M says:

    Yawn. What a boring and obvious article. There have been many like it each time snl has had to turn a corner. Next up this scribe will probably jump the gun and pen something with the original title ‘Saturday Night Dead’ and then we’ll yawn again. SNL will endure because it is live – which is still exciting and there will always be talent ready to move in. Lorne is expert at spotting it. End O story.

  8. Blank says:

    Well, maybe the show will finally be FUNNY again…

  9. BRice says:

    I’m happy to see Seth Meyers go but was hoping John Mulaney would replace him which won’t happen now. I hope they ditch Tim Robinson as well who has contributed nothing to the show this season.

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