Lorne Michaels Explains Why Taran Killam, Jay Pharoah Were Fired From ‘SNL’

Truth rating: 10
Lorne Michaels Fired Taran Killam Jay Pharoah

By Andrew Shuster

Lorne Michaels Fired Taran Killam Jay Pharoah

(Getty Images)

Lorne Michaels comments for the first time in a new interview about former “Saturday Night Live” cast members Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah getting fired from the show, explaining the reason why their “SNL” contracts weren’t renewed.

As Gossip Cop reported, the news emerged in August that Killam and Pharoah, both of whom have been on the sketch show for several years, weren’t asked back for the upcoming 42nd season. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, “SNL” creator and executive producer Michaels finally breaks his silence about the casting shakeup. “I think that the lifeblood of the shows change,” he says. “I love Taran, I love Jay, I think they’re both super-talented. They’ve both been here six years. And if you don’t keep making changes you don’t change. You know?”

Michaels goes on to note, “Every now and then new voices come in — both in the writing staff and the cast,” but when pressed about why Killam and Pharoah were specifically let go, the “SNL” mastermind references the history of other veteran cast members. “Chevy Chase was there for a year-and-a-half. John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd were there for four years. Jimmy Fallon was there for five years. Fred Armisen was I don’t know how many years,” he notes. “It’s whether or not they’re — I don’t know. There’s people’s lives involved here… There are decisions that you intuitively come to, that now we have to do something different, that’s all.” Season 42 of “SNL” premieres Saturday night, and Gossip Cop will have coverage of the show.

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