Which Saturday Night Live cast members are coming back next season?

Which Saturday Night Live cast members are coming back next season?

Are longtime cast members Kenan Thompson, Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, and Pete Davidson returning? We're keeping track of comings and goings

Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson in SNL season 46
Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson in SNL season 46
Photo: Will Heath/NBC

Live from New York, it’s the limbo phase for Saturday Night Live cast members who are still working out deals for the upcoming season! SNL usually renews contracts or adds new players during the late summer, just before a new season premieres in fall. The season 46 finale, hosted by Anya Taylor-Joy, left things up in the air for four major, recently Emmy-nominated cast members: Kenan Thompson, Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, and Aidy Bryant. They took center stage during an emotional cold open and talked about what SNL has meant to them, especially during the last year. They could very well go the route of former SNL stars like Andy Samberg, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Jason Sudeikis to focus on work beyond Studio 8H. (Strong’s turn as Jeanine Pirro during the finale’s “Weekend Update” segment could easily double as goodbye.)

Bryant, McKinnon, Strong, and Thompson have all branched out beyond SNL into individual starring roles. Thompson, who’s had the longest run on the sketch comedy, now leads his own sitcom, Kenan, for which he recently earned an Emmy nomination (along with his Supporting Actor nomination for SNL). McKinnon is set to portray Carole Baskin in Peacock’s true crime series Joe Exotic. Strong and Bryant were absent for multiple episodes of season 46 to film Schmigadoon! and Shrill season three, respectively. Pete Davidson, who fueled exit rumors last month, has also slowly made a name for himself outside SNL. Last year, he co-wrote and starred in The King Of Staten Island. He will next appear in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, the thriller Bodies, Bodies, Bodies, and a rom-com called Meet Cute opposite Kaley Cuoco.

If these longtime favorites leave SNL before season 47, they’d pass the baton to featured players like Emmy nominee Bowen Yang, Ego Nwodim, and Chloe Fineman. Of course, there are also dependable repertory players like Chris Redd, Beck Bennett, Mikey Day, and Alex Moffat. They haven’t addressed their futures on or beyond SNL as much. That doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but any of them could follow in the footsteps of Leslie Jones, who left in 2019 after five seasons.

While we wait for more information, we’ll be keeping you updated on who will be back to walk the hallowed halls of 30 Rock for season 47.

This slideshow will be updated periodically.

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Kenan Thompson

Kenan Thompson

Kenan Thompson in SNL season 46
Kenan Thompson in SNL season 46
Photo: Will Heath/NBC

Seasons on the show: 2003-present (18 seasons)

Recurring characters:

  • Deandre Cole (host of “What Up With That?”)
  • Steve Harvey, Al Roker, Charles Barkley
  • Darnell Hayes (host of “Black Jeopardy!”)

Updates on coming back for SNL season 47:

People, February 2021: “I have a certain number I would love to get to. I think 20 is a good, round, even number that I’m close to. I feel like that is in reach, but also it would be respected if I don’t get there. Like, 18 is fine, 19 is fine. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is, will I have time for my family? There’s only 24 hours in a day.”

Deadline, March 2021: “I am never in a rush to leave because I have never seen anything like it and number two, there aren’t many live shows left. It never gets old because it’s a sketch comedy and it changes every week.”

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Kate McKinnon

Kate McKinnon

Seasons on the show: 2012-present (10 seasons—joined the cast mid-way thorough season 37)

Recurring characters:

  • Hillary Clinton
  • Ellen DeGeneres
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Anthony Fauci
  • Olya Povlatsky on “Weekend Update”
  • “Somebody’s Mom” Deenie
  • Colleen Rafferty

Updates on coming back for SNL season 47:

Variety, April 2021: “It’s April. It’s early, and I really love working there, and I really love everyone who works there, so we will see.”

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Aidy Bryant

Aidy Bryant

Aidy Bryant in SNL season 46
Aidy Bryant in SNL season 46
Photo: Kyle Dubiel/NBC

Seasons on the show: 2012-present (9 seasons)

Recurring characters:

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders
  • Ted Cruz
  • Meghan McCain
  • Morgan of “Girlfriends Talk Show” with Cecily Strong’s Kyra
  • Carrie Krum on “Weekend Update”

Updates on coming back for SNL season 47:

AZCentral, May 2021: “This is genuine—I’m not dodging. I don’t know. I really don’t know. And I kind of keep thinking I’ll have a moment of clarity where I feel like okay, it’s the time, or no, I need to stay. And I haven’t quite had that moment yet. I honestly think doing SNL in COVID has been a really odd experience because ‘Oh, I’m a vet now, I’ve been at the show, I know how it works.’ And COVID’s kind of turned that upside down. So it’s almost like learning it in a whole different way. I’m still having fun [Laughs.] I still enjoy being there. So I don’t know. And I think in a weird way I need to get on the other side of this season and on the other side of getting Shrill out there to have a little space to think about it.”

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Cecily Strong

Cecily Strong

Seasons on the show: 2012-present (9 seasons)

Recurring characters:

  • Jeanine Pirro
  • Melania Trump
  • The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started A Conversation With At A Party on “Weekend Update”
  • Kyra of “Girlfriends Talk Show” with Aidy Bryant’s Morgan

Updates on coming back for SNL season 47:

Entertainment Tonight, June 2021: “I’ll be thrilled if I go back, I’ll be thrilled if that was my last show. I feel good either way. Things are a bit more up in the air and I’m okay with that. My lesson from last year is sort of see what happens.”

Collider, July 2021: “I’m still thinking about it, to be honest. I know that, if I leave, I’m so happy with the time I’ve had there and I’ve been so lucky. And then, if I say stay, it means I get to go back to a place that I love so much. I’m just not sure yet. I know it’s a boring answer, but that’s the truth.”

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Colin Jost

Colin Jost

“Weekend Update” co-anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che
“Weekend Update” co-anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che
Photo: Will Heath/NBC

Seasons on the show: 2014-present (8 seasons—joined the cast mid-way through season 39; writer since 2005)

Recurring characters:

  • “Weekend Update” co-anchor with Michael Che
  • Pete Buttigieg

Along with Michael Che, Kent Sublette, and Bryan Tucker, Jost is the co-head writer of SNL.

Updates on coming back for SNL season 47:

E!/The Ellen DeGeneres Show, October 2020: “I don’t have a real timeline. I just mean like I started to potentially psychologically brace for the concept of leaving, which I hadn’t really done. And I don’t really know. Certainly, quarantine makes you appreciate having any job—and very much appreciate having friends you get to work with and enjoy seeing.” Jost further explained that he’s in “no rush to leave,” but is interested in taking on other ventures. “And that’s kind of what I’m trying to figure out a way to do.”

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Michael Che

Michael Che

Seasons on the show: 2014-present (7 seasons; writer since 2013)

Recurring characters:

  • “Weekend Update” co-anchor with Colin Jost

Along with Colin Jost, Kent Sublette, and Bryan Tucker, Che is the co-head writer of SNL.

Updates on coming back for SNL season 47:

The View, May 2021:  “I’m like 99.9% sure I’m coming back to SNL. But at the end of theseason, I always think I’m going to quit because I [just] went through a whole season.”

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Beck Bennett

Beck Bennett

Beck Bennett in SNL season 46
Beck Bennett in SNL season 46
Photo: Kyle Dubiel/NBC

Seasons on the show: 2013-present (8 seasons)

Recurring characters:

  • Mike Pence
  • Vladimir Putin
  • Jake Tapper
  • Casey from “Inside SoCal”
  • Office Boss, genius businessman with body of a baby

Updates on coming back for SNL season 47: As of this writing, Bennett has made no statements on the record about his future at SNL.

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Kyle Mooney

Kyle Mooney

Kyle Mooney in SNL season 46
Kyle Mooney in SNL season 46
Photo: Kyle Dubiel/NBC

Seasons on the show: 2013-present (8 seasons)

Recurring characters:

  • Criss Angel
  • Tom Cotton
  • Todd from “Inside SoCal”
  • Stand-up comedian Bruce Chandling

Updates on coming back for SNL season 47: As of this writing, Mooney has made no statements on the record about his future at SNL.

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Pete Davidson

Pete Davidson

Seasons on the show: 2014-present (7 seasons)

Recurring characters:

  • Chad
  • Pete Davidson on “Weekend Update”

Updates on coming back for SNL season 47:

Gold Derby, June 2021: “Right now it’s still, it’s all up in the air. I gotta talk to Lorne [Michaels]. It’s a big cast; there’s a lot of new guys in there, and there’s a lot of great new talent that it’s their time to shine. I have no idea what’s going on right now.”

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Alex Moffat

Alex Moffat

Alex Moffat, Colin Jost, Michael Che in SNL season 46
Alex Moffat, Colin Jost, Michael Che in SNL season 46
Photo: Will Heath/NBC

Seasons on the show: 2016-present (5 seasons)

Recurring characters:

  • Guy Who Just Bought A Boat for “Weekend Update”
  • Eric Trump
  • Anderson Cooper

Updates on coming back for SNL season 47: As of this writing, Moffat has made no statements on the record about his future at SNL.

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Mikey Day

Mikey Day

Mikey Day in SNL season 46
Mikey Day in SNL season 46
Photo: Will Heath/NBC

Seasons on the show: 2016-present (5 seasons)

Recurring characters:

  • Donald Trump Jr., Sean Evans
  • Jeff Deeley on “Weekend Update”

Updates on coming back for SNL season 47: As of this writing, Day has made no statements on the record about his future at SNL.

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Melissa Villaseñor

Melissa Villaseñor

Melissa Villaseñor and Colin Jost in SNL season 46
Melissa Villaseñor and Colin Jost in SNL season 46
Photo: Will Heath/NBC

Seasons on the show: 2016-present (5 seasons)

Recurring characters:

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Dolly Parton, Marge Simpson, Dua Lipa

Updates on coming back for SNL season 47: In May 2021, Villaseñor posted on her Instagram Stories that “I’m not coming back to snl next year. Cause i deserve better.” She promptly deleted the post, later clarifying that she doesn’t know if she will leave SNL. She shared she had a drink and her “ego got too cocky.”

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Chris Redd

Chris Redd

Chris Redd in SNL season 46
Chris Redd in SNL season 46
Photo: Rosalind O’Connor/NBC

Seasons on the show: 2017-present (4 seasons)

Recurring characters:

  • Barack Obama

Updates on coming back for SNL season 47: As of this writing, Redd has made no statements on the record about his future at SNL.

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Heidi Gardner

Heidi Gardner

Seasons on the show: 2017-present (4 seasons)

Recurring characters:

  • Bailey Gismert a.k.a. Giggly Teen Film Critic on “Weekend Update”
  • Goop staffer Baskin Johns
  • Jill Biden
  • Famous ’80s Cocaine Wife Carla on “Weekend Update”
  • Angel, Every Boxer’s Girlfriend From Every Movie About Boxing Ever on “Weekend Update”

Updates on coming back for SNL season 47: As of this writing, Gardner has made no statements on the record about her future at SNL.

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Ego Nwodim

Ego Nwodim

Ego Nwodim in SNL season 46
Ego Nwodim in SNL season 46
Photo: Will Heath/NBC

Seasons on the show: 2018-present (3 seasons)

Recurring characters:

  • Dionne Warwick
  • Pam Barrett
  • A Weary Mother in Her Darkest Hour on “Weekend Update”
  • Edith Puthie, the inappropriately named middle-aged woman

Updates on coming back for SNL season 47: As of this writing, Nwodim has made no statements on the record about her future at SNL.

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Bowen Yang

Bowen Yang

Seasons on the show: 2019-present (2 seasons; writer since 2018)

Recurring characters:

  • Andrew Yang
  • Chen Biao, a Chinese government official

Updates on coming back for SNL season 47: As of this writing, Yang has made no statements on the record about his future at SNL.

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Chloe Fineman

Chloe Fineman

Seasons on the show: 2019-present (2 seasons)

Recurring characters:

  • Britney Spears
  • Drew Barrymore
  • Ella Emhoff
  • Reese Witherspoon
  • Ooli, host of “The Ooli Show”

Updates on coming back for SNL season 47: As of this writing, Fineman has made no statements on the record about her future at SNL.

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Punkie Johnson

Punkie Johnson

Punkie Johnson in SNL season 46
Punkie Johnson in SNL season 46
Photo: Rosalind O’Connor/NBC

Seasons on the show: 2020-present (1 season)

Recurring characters:

  • Pineapple on “Weekend Update”

Updates on coming back for SNL season 47: As of this writing, Johnson has made no statements on the record about her future at SNL.

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Lauren Holt

Lauren Holt

Lauren Holt and Heidi Gardner in SNL season 46
Lauren Holt and Heidi Gardner in SNL season 46
Photo: Rosalind O’Connor/NBC

Seasons on the show: 2020-present (1 season)

Recurring characters:

  • Relationship expert Mackenzie Taylor-Joy on “Weekend Update”

Updates on coming back for SNL season 47: As of this writing, Holt has made no statements on the record about her future at SNL.

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Andrew Dismukes

Andrew Dismukes

Andrew Dismukes in SNL season 46
Andrew Dismukes in SNL season 46
Photo: Kyle Dubiel/NBC

Seasons on the show: 2020-present (1 season)

Updates on coming back for SNL season 47: As of this writing, Dismukes has made no statements on the record about his future at SNL.

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