Saturday Night Live axes Taran Killam and Jay Pharaoh

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by Madmick, Aug 9, 2016.

  1. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    They're really committed to rebooting their cast. They almost completely jettisoned every lingering longtime member of their great post-20th century cast from 2012-2014 (the first diaspora took place from 2006-2008).
    These were two of the only remaining members who I thought were good. Killam is easily the best facial actor on staff, and the best male comedian. My best guess is that he couldn't hack a Trump impersonation. Pharaoh was the most versatile.

    Taran Killam (2010-2016)
    [​IMG]

    Jay Pharaoh (2010-2016)
    [​IMG]

    The last man standing is Bobby Moynihan who joined in 2008 before Hall of Famers like Darrell Hammond, Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig, Will Forte, and Andy Samberg dipped out in the first diaspora (maybe Samberg not so much for his SNL work...but he does have "Dick in a Box"). So at least there will still be some more "drunk racist uncle" as a silver lining.

    Bobby Moynihan (2008-Present)
    [​IMG]

    *Edit* Bullitt reminds me that Kenan Thompson is still an active, and the longest reigning cast member on the show.

    Kenan Thompson (2003-Present)

    [​IMG]


    Even the core of the "new" breed of female comics who are a bit more seasoned and overlapped with other cast greats are themselves only four in number: enough for a coven, I suppose. That would be Vanessa Bayer (2010-), and Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, and Aidy Bryant (all 2012-). So most only worked 1-2 years with heavy hitters like Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, Seth Myers, and Nasim Pedrad.

    IMO: Moynihan, Strong, and McKinnon are all genuinely talented performers with some great characters and skits under their belts. Bryant and Bayer aren't star standouts, but they are really strong at filling out skits in supporting roles. Thompson is a prolific writer. I'd opine that McKinnon is easily the best of their remaining cast. Killam was her only rival on the show. Strong is good, but they already ripped the Weekend Update away from her. I'm a little surprised she escaped the guillotine that took Killam and Pharaoh. Stab in the dark is her sex appeal. She's easily the most attractive cast member.


    The other 8 newbie cast members are pretty much complete unknowns except for Leslie Jones, who is more famous for flare-ups on Twitter with Breitbart than anything she's ever done in terms of comedy (including Ghostbusters itself) and Beck Bennett who you probably recognize from his famously deadpanned AT&T commercials:

    Beck Bennett (2013-present)

    [​IMG]

    Michael Che is modestly famous for being the most disappointing Daily Show correspondent in history. Given, none of these eight have been there more than 3 seasons, tops, but I can't think of a single SNL skit from any of them that has trended or gone viral. I also can't think of a single skit with any of them I've caught late on a Saturday night that wasn't boring, unmemorable, or downright groan-worthy.

    A few years ago I made a bleak thread when the second exodus of the great late-90's-to-early-00's cast was completed. That prophecy appears to me to have been fulfilled even more bleakly than it was forecast. Now Lorne seems to be prematurely chopping off two of their only surviving talented content creators in pursuit of....well, I'm not sure.

    But whatever it is, it doesn't seem to be working.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
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  2. streets ahead

    streets ahead Purple Belt

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    They fired Taran Killam? I really enjoyed his 1800 critic character.
     
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  3. Hyperglide

    Hyperglide Enrolled at Synth-a-holics Anonymous

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    Who??? Show sucks and haven't watched it since the 90s. Surprised that shit is still airing.
     
  4. Bullitt68

    Bullitt68 Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    I'm with you on pretty much everything here, @Madmick. I've felt for a long time that I was the only person around actually following SNL, and I've enjoyed doing so. You're right, though, that most of the newer cast members have failed to really hit with a big sketch/character, and as they lose more of the talented and seasoned members who have been tasked with carrying sketches, the burden is going to fall to them and I don't know that they have the skill for it.

    I'm curious, though, why there's no mention of Kenan anywhere in your post. The only silver lining that I can see here is that they give him more work to do, and that'd make me happy. He's the fucking work horse of the cast who can always be counted on, whether he's doing an impression (his Steve Harvey has been one of my favorite parts of the last few seasons), a character (that Willy character he does on Weekend Update always fucking kills me), or just lending support in an ensemble sketch (that Russell Crowe episode from last season where he's playing an old King hologram and Kenan shows up is a perfect example).

    Every time people leave SNL, I always get worried and think it's the end, but credit to them, they always find a way to keep on keeping on. Hopefully they'll find some decent new talent to fill out the cast, hopefully the remaining cast members step it up, and hopefully the writing staff makes it easy on the cast with some strong material.
     
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  5. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Oh, I just totally blanked on Kenan, that's why. I had it in my head that he left in 2014 with the rest of them. I didn't even double-check for him on the Wiki table as I referenced it in a secondary tab while composing the OP.

    From what I understand-- of separate podcast interviews with Bill Hader and Will Forte-- Kenan is one of the most prolific writers on the show. He writes all of his own stuff and a lot of stuff for the other comics, especially the new comics who come aboard without having ever been charged with creating their own material (something SNL actively encourages). That's probably why he hasn't been tasked with as much performing. I suspect he's the chief writer on the show at this point.
     
  6. Dragonlordxxxxx

    Dragonlordxxxxx Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Sad to hear about Killam. He's one of the best male cast member among the current lineup.

    Also following SNL.
     
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  7. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Yeah, yeah, yeah, so I've heard. You might check in with the "Best Comedy" nominees at the Emmy's, late night television, or the box office.

    Cliffs: cast members who staked their fame long after the 90's have sort of been a big deal.
     
  8. Jballer

    Jballer Red Belt

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    It's Beck Bennet not Bill Beckett. Not that it matters he'll probably still be in one sketch per show.
     
  9. Bullitt68

    Bullitt68 Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Wow, I didn't know any of that. Makes sense, though. Sketch comedy has been his thing since All That when he was, what, 14? And he's been on SNL now for over a decade. He's clearly in his element. It's probably in everybody's best interest if he's at the helm.
     
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  10. Harry Ellis

    Harry Ellis Gold Belt

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    That sucks. I am a big fan of Killam, and Pharaoh was good, too. My favorites are now McKinnon and Strong.

    Beck Bennet and Mooney are underrated/underutilized. And Leslie Jones SUCKS.
     
  11. TheVenom

    TheVenom Black Belt

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    Maybe that'll give Davidson and Mooney a chance to do... ANYTHING. SNL has a seriously underused cast
     
  12. I Am Legion

    I Am Legion Red Belt

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    Keenan may be a great writer but he isn't funny as a performer.
     
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  13. NHB7

    NHB7 Steel Belt

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    Did they axe them, or did those two voluntarily just move on. It's hard to imagine them axing Killan. He is clearly one of their bests and they use him in 2-3 skits every episode.

    Jay Pharoah has moments, but there are only so many skits that call for Denzel Washington impersonations.

    And Keenan Thhompson, how is he not cut? Since he has been on the show, I think I've maybe laughed at one of his bits on two occasions.
     
  14. I personally thjnk Leslie Jones is hilarious

    Not since Grace Jones growled at Conan did a black woman instill such feelings of fear, intimidation and uneasiness in me.
     
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  15. RighteousWar

    RighteousWar @JesusFreak Banned

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    Killam is the real deal...there's some solid talent on SNL at the moment.

    Not sure why so many on this board hate on SNL.

    How many can watch the sketches below, and still say SNL isn't legit!?



     
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  16. Jayzer193

    Jayzer193 Purple Belt

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    This. I've stopped by once a year to check out a skit or two and was blown away by how terrible and groan worthy they are. Almost like a parody level towards not funny if that makes sense. Or I guess I should say purposely not funny?

    I remember one time sitting through almost a whole show, because the first skit was so bad I thought it was a fluke bad one, so I stayed tuned in to see, and sure eniugh- yikes, effing terrible.
     
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  17. Dolomite

    Dolomite Red Belt

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    They all look like they're Financial Success Planners or aspiring Realtors.

    Can't - won't - ever touch this guy:

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Jesus X

    Jesus X Gold Belt

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    you underestimate the impact samberg and the lonely island had on snl he carried the show after robert smigel and his cartoons left. his digital shorts were a big deal.
     
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  19. Jesus X

    Jesus X Gold Belt

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    keenan being a writer makes more sense I thought he had just blackmailed someone to be on as long as he has.
     
  20. drstrangelov

    drstrangelov Hey.

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    Killam will probably have a career in sitcoms or playing the cheating boyfriend in romantic comedies.

    Hard out there for a black comedic actor though, Pharoah was funny, but hes gonna have to work a little harder to maintain moderate success.
     

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