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Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah Are Leaving ‘Saturday Night Live’

Taran Killam, Jay Pharoah
Taran Killam, Jay Pharoah Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic; Jim Spellman/WireImage

Saturday Night Live will be down two vets come fall. Cast members Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah are leaving the sketch-comedy franchise ahead of its 42nd season, NBC confirms to Us Weekly.

Killam, 34, and Pharoah, 28, both joined the Emmy-winning series in 2010. According to, the stars have decided to pursue other projects. Featured player Jon Rudnitsky also won’t return.

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Killam and Pharaoh have entertained audiences for six seasons with their memorable impressions. The Nature Cat actor is best known for impersonating Donald Trump, Matthew McConaughey, Christoph Waltz and Brad Pitt.

Killam opened up about his departure in an interview with Uproxx. “I had sort of had it in my head I would make this upcoming year my last year, but then heard they weren’t going to pick up my contract,” he said this week. “I was never given a reason why, really. I can assume until the cows come home.”

Jay Pharoah as President Obama and Taran Killam as Senator Mitch McConnell during the skit ‘A Drink at the White House’ on Nov. 15, 2014. Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

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“I was there for six years. I have not been anywhere in my life for six years. I don’t know that the end of something that you’ve committed that much time and energy to is ever going to feel great. And I think that just bodes well in both directions,” he continued. “Not feeling great leaving means that you were where you were supposed to be. And not feeling great leaving also means you didn’t overstay your welcome. You know what I mean? Like ‘Oh, thank God I’m done with that,’ and there was time wasted, you know? It doesn’t feel like that.”

Pharoah, meanwhile, has often made headlines for his dead-on portrayals of President Barack Obama, Chris Rock, Drake and Jay Z. The comedian has yet to speak out about his SNL exit.

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Killam’s and Pharoah’s spots will soon be filled. TVLine reports that showrunner Lorne Michaels will introduce new faces before the season begins.

Tell Us: Will you miss Killam and Pharoah?

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