Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels has confirmed that there will be four new cast members joining the long-running comedic variety show in the upcoming Season 48. Michaels and co. were celebrating a 2022 Emmy win for SNL and during the post-win interview the question of casting for Season 48 quickly came up. Lorne Michaels' response was short and concise: "I think there are four new people. At least for now."
The question of Saturday Night Live's cast has been looming large over Season 48, after losing seven cast members since the end of Season 47. Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, Melissa Villasenor, Alex Moffat, and Aristotle Athari have all left the show, with Sarah Sherman, James Austin Johnson, Punkie Johnson, Bowen Yang, Andrew Dismukes, and Chloe Fineman, still in the cast alongside longtime vets like Kennan Thompson, Cecily Strong, Ego Nwodim, Heidi Gardner, Chris Redd, Mikey Day, Colin Jost, and Michael Che. I
It will be interesting to see which new performers Michaels and SNL's staff have picked for Season 48. Like the entire television landscape around it, SNL has been re-examining and re-tooling its casting practices for the modern age. More inclusive nets of casting have brought in more female comedians, as well as more actors of varying ethnicities, with Latino, Asian, and (openly) LGBTQ+ cast members often stepping into the spotlight.
SNL has also been leaning more and more into the realities of the digital era over the last decade or so – to the point that the show now exists more as piecemeal content shared on social media and YouTube than it does as a late-night variety show. So, again, it will be interesting to see who gets cast for the next phase of SNL, as social media and digital content creators may be just as valuable as cast members who actually have to be in Rockefeller Plaza and Studio 1-A (with all its new COVID restrictions and costs).
Cast member Kenan Thompson also stated that SNL could well be done (as we know it) if it was to end in Season 50:
"I mean, there could be a lot of validity to that rumor because 50 is a good number to stop at, you know what I'm saying, that's an incredible package. [Michaels] will be, you know, probably close to 80-years-old at that point and, you know, he's the one that's had his touch on the whole thing," Kenan told Charlamagne that God. "So if somebody tries to come into his shoes, you know it's a good opportunity for NBC as well, you know what I'm saying, so maybe they might slash the budget. And then at that point you can't really do the same kind of show, so that's unfair to just watch it really go down kind of in flames or whatever like for real for real because of those restrictions, you know what I'm saying. And it'll just be a different thing, so capping it at 50 might not be a bad idea, I don't know."
Saturday Night Live Season 48 premieres on Saturday, October 1st on both NBC and Peacock.