I predict that by the time fall rolls around, SNL will have fired at least 5 out of 7 of the new cast members. (They’ve already fired three.)
I’m fairly certain Sasheer Zamata will return. She hasn’t particularly impressed me, but the producers made such a big deal out of hiring her that they wouldn’t want to back down now. (And to be fair, she hasn’t really had time to build up a repertoire, since they hired her so late in the season.)
I think there’s a chance that Kyle Mooney will return. I find him patently anti-funny, to the point that I’ve started instantly fast-forwarding any skit that he’s featured in. In terms of unfunniness, I’d rate him at about 130 centi-Wiigs, meaning he’s 30% more anti-funny than Kristen Wiig. But much like Kristen Wiig, the producers seem to like him, or at least keep featuring him in skits that are invariably awful.
I literally cannot think of a single skit that starred Beck Bennett or Mike O’Brien, which makes me fairly certain they’ll be joining Brooks Wheelan, Noel Wells, and John Milhiser in the pink slip club.
(I’m not counting Colin Jost as a cast member, since he’s the Head Writer who co-hosts Weekend Update and doesn’t appear in any skits.)
They really need to bring in some competent male cast members to take the pressure off Taran Killam. He’s great, but right now he’s filling all the parts that a couple years ago would have been played by Fred Armisen, Jason Sudeikis, Andy Samberg, Bill Hader, Paul Brittain, and himself. One man doing the work of six isn’t sustainable. Jay Pharoah usually only does impressions and isn’t very funny. I like Kenan Thompson and Bobby Moynihan, but they both have limited range. Taran Killam is the only male cast member who is consistently funny in any kind of role.
Anyway, it’s a shame they’re losing Nasim Pedrad. She was great, and her departure leaves Vanessa Bayer as the only female cast member who works in a wide variety of skits. Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong are both funny, but have limited range. And I’m not an Aidy Bryant fan.