Add Chris Reed to the list of veteran cast members who have walked away from “Saturday Night Live.”
Deciding to exit the venerable NBC late-night show after five seasons on the show, Redd is the latest member of what has been one of the show’s biggest actors in recent memory to leave before its 48th season. Longtime executive producer of the series Lorne Michaels predicted a season of change earlier in the year and recently suggested that the current group of comics stay together to help each other weather the pandemic.
“Being a part of ‘SNL’ was the experience of a lifetime. Five years ago, I got into 30 Rock knowing this was an amazing opportunity to grow,” Reed said in a statement. “Now, with friends that have become family and memories I will cherish forever, I am grateful to Lorne Michaels and to the entire ‘SNL’ organization. From the bottom of my heart, I cannot thank you all enough.”
During his time on the show, Redd gained traction for his impression of New York Mayor Eric Adams and participated in a large number of taped videos and sketches. He also shared an Emmy Award for his work helping to write “Come Back Barack”, a song mourning the passing of former President Barack Obama. Redd joined the series as a featured player in 2017.
He has a comedy special on HBO Max in the works “Chris Reed: Why Do I Love This?” Which will premiere later this year. Redd was co-creator and set to voice a lead role on an as-yet-unnamed project from Michaels’ Broadway Video and Audible. He is also linked to star in the feature film “Cyber Monday”, which is currently in development at Universal.
Each summer hiatus brings with it changes to the “SNL” talent roster, but the past few months have seen an unusual period of activity for the show. The departures of Alex Moffat, Melissa Villasinor and Aristotle Atari were revealed earlier this month, following the announcement in May of the departures of Kate McKinnon, Eddie Bryant, Kyle Mooney and Pete Davidson.
There was a notable departure behind the scenes, too. Senior Producer Lindsey Shokos is leaving the show after years of managing talent relationships.
With more TV viewers turning to streaming services to watch their favorite on-demand dramas and comedies, “SNL” has taken on new importance for NBC. Once aired after local news late at a time when time slot network executives weren’t considered critical, “SNL” now runs across the United States once, meaning it’s aired at prime times in certain parts of the country. In the 2020-2021 season, “Saturday Night Live” was the most watched entertainment program on television among viewers aged 18-49, the demographic most favored by advertisers.
Casting shifts will likely leave a handful of current members with more responsibilities each. week. Among those who have regularly spent time in front of the screen in recent seasons are Heidi Gardner, Chloe Feynman, Ego Nodim, Mickey Day and Bowen Yang. The status of veterans including Colin Jost, Michel Che, Kenan Thompson and Cecily Strong for the upcoming season has yet to be officially revealed by NBC. SNL has already announced that it will feature four new featured players before the show’s first season kicks off in October.
The plethora of exits brings to mind the transition on Saturday Night Live in 2012, when Andy Samberg, Abby Elliott and Kristen Wiig departed at the end of the season, followed a few months later by Jason Sudeikis, and one year later, by Fred Armisen and Bill Hader. The show’s remaining cast and some of the new members had to work to hold it together even more.
#Chris #Reed #latest #Saturday #Night #Live