Chris Redd is leaving Saturday Night Live after five seasons on the iconic show.
Chris Redd is the latest Saturday Night Live cast member to leave the show ahead of its 48th season. The comedian joined the late-night sketch show as a featured player in season 43. During his five-season tenure, he became known for his impressions of Kanye West, Mayor Eric Adams, and others.
Redd’s departure follows those of Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, Alex Moffat, Melissa Villaseñor, and Aristotle Athari.
“Being a part of Saturday Night Live has been the experience of a lifetime,” Redd said in a statement via Deadline. “Five years ago, I walked into 30 Rock knowing that this was an amazing opportunity for growth. Now, with friends who have become family and memories I will cherish forever, I’m grateful to Lorne Michaels and the entire organization,” he added. From the bottom of my heart, I can’t thank you all enough.”
Chris Redd first joined Saturday Night Live as a featured player in September 2017 for season 43. He was promoted to repertory status in 2019 ahead of the show’s 45th season. During his time on the series, the 37-year-old won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for the song “Come Back Barack” in 2018. Now, the comedian is set to headline his own comedy special for HBO Max called, Chris Redd: Why Am I Like This? It is set to debut later this year.
Every season hiatus brings changes to the Saturday Night Live roster. But these past few months have marked an unusual period of exit activity for the long-running show, leaving the handful of remaining members with more responsibilities.
Those who have got regular screen time recently include Heidi Gardner, Chloe Fineman, Ego Nwodim, Mikey Day, and Bowen Yang. The status of SNL veterans like Colin Jost, Michel Che, Kenan Thompson, and Cecily Strong has yet to be revealed by NBC.
There has also been notable departures backstage as senior producer Lindsay Shookus is leaving the program after years of managing talent relations. However, the network has already announced the debut of four new featured players ahead of the Saturday Night Live season premiere in October. This includes Marcello Hernandez, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow, and Devon Walker. According to the NBC website, a full cast list for season 48 will be released in due course.
As more viewers move to streaming services to watch their favorite scripted dramas and comedies, Saturday Night Live has taken on new importance for NBC. Once relegated to airing after the late local news, the show now runs live across America all at once. It even airs during primetime in some parts of the country. Additionally, the 2020-2021 season of SNL was the most-watched entertainment program on television among viewers in the 18 to 49 demographic, Variety reports.
This isn’t surprising since Saturday Night Live has been a staple of weekend television for decades. The comedy sketch show is also known for launching the careers of legendary actors like Steve Martin, Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, and Adam Sandler. Their ever-growing list of stars also includes Andy Samberg, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Ana Gastayer, and Maya Rudolph. The 48th season of Saturday Night Live returns on October 1st.