Season 48 of Saturday Night Live is going to look drastically different to fans of the classic sketch comedy series.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chris Redd is leaving the show after five seasons. He joins the previously announced exits of cast members Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson, Kyle Mooney, Alex Moffat, Melissa Villaseñor and featured player Aristotle Athari.
Redd is most well known for playing rapper Kanye West, New York City mayor Eric Adams and the Emmy-winning music video “Come Back Barack.”
“Being a part of SNL has been the experience of a lifetime,” Redd said in a statement. “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 to the entire SNL organization. From the bottom of my heart, I can’t thank you all enough.”
Redd co-starred on Kenan Thompson’s self-titled NBC comedy, which was canceled earlier this year after two seasons. He also co-created and starred in the Peacock series Bust Down, which hasn’t been renewed for a second season yet, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
There’s a hard truth we don’t talk about a lot with SNL, but it’s always there: Only one Black person at a time is allowed to be a star. There may be multiple Black cast members, but only one of them gets to be the center of attention. For most of his 20 season run, it’s been Kenan. However, other actors like Leslie Jones and Ego Nwodim have managed to stand out from the crowd. While Redd has had his breakout moments, he’s spent most of his five seasons in supporting roles or on “Weekend Update” doing impressions. His outside work on Kenan and Bust Down gave him a chance to show his personality, something he’ll probably do more of on his upcoming HBO Max comedy special Chris Redd: Why Am I Like This?
Thankfully, it’s not all bad news at SNL, as the show has also added four new featured players, among them Devon Walker, a stand up comic who’s also a writer on Freeform’s Everything’s Trash. Plus, as of right now, Kenan is set to return when Saturday Night Live Season 48 premieres Oct. 2 on NBC at 11:30 p.m. ET.