This past season of SNL was, politely speaking, up and down. For all the high moments like The Beygency and the terrific “Your Love” sketch that you can’t legally watch online due to infuriating copyright issues, there were lots and lots of swings and misses. Some of that was to be expected given the large amount of cast turnover recently, but some of that also was because certain cast members didn’t exactly light the world on fire. You knew that, though, both because you read Dustin’s “Who’s gotta go” oddsmaker last month, and because you, like, watched the show.
But none of us get to actually affect change on the show. (If we did, I would spend hours and hours trying to get Noel Wells and Kyle Mooney more airtime). The important question here is “Does Lorne Michaels think cast changes need to happen?” And now, thanks to an interview with Deadline, we know that the answer is “Yuuuuuuuup.”
DEADLINE: You’re coming off a rebuilding season at SNL. How challenging was it?
MICHAELS: We lost four leading men at the end of last season, Fred and Bill and Andy and Jason, all of whom were very seasoned, very strong cast. We lost Kristin the year before. All have been here a long time, and you get used to how good people are. Losing the fifth leading man in Seth (in early February) was a hard thing, in the middle of a season, because there’s only one other time in the 39 years that we ever changed Update in the middle of a season, and that was Norm Macdonald to Colin Quinn. And that was more because a whole other set of reasons, but I think that that made it a much harder thing, in addition to having to focus on launching Jimmy and launching Seth. But SNL, we put a lot of pressure, a lot of new people. It was a hard season.
DEADLINE: Are you considering any casting changes heading into next season?
MICHAELS: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. We’re still in the middle of rebuilding. So, there will be changes this year.
I love that last answer. It’s the three yeahs that do it for me, like the whole thing is so obvious that there’s not even a point to giving an evasive, politically delicate answer. It’s the same way you or I would answer a question like “Hey, that beloved family pet of yours… you like it?,” except instead of that, it’s about HUMAN BEINGS who are about to get FIRED. Just ruthless. Classic Lorne.