Yes, in case you were wondering, I am heartbroken.
Splitsider broke the story today that after four years with the show, Abby Elliott will not be returning to Saturday Night Live this season. The news comes on the heels of fellow cast members Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg jumping ship, though I suspect their exits might be for different reasons.
I was always rooting for Elliott (daughter of the legendary Chris Elliott, who was also a cast member for a brief, dark time in the mid-90s), both because she's very talented and because we are in love. But she was never quite the right fit for Saturday Night Live; though she became known for her impressions of Zooey Deschanel, Angelina Jolie and Rachel Maddow, the show couldn't really figure out how to use her. There were a number of episodes where she didn't appear in a single sketch; in others, she was reduced to a glorified extra. I get why it's time for her to move on to something new. Besides, look at Casey Wilson, who had a similar experience on SNL and is now starring on the ABC sitcom Happy Endings, a very funny show which knows exactly how to use her specific talents. Let's hope the same happens for Abby Elliott.
This upcoming season (the 38th!) is a big deal for the late night sketch show. It's an election year, and last time we had one of those, Saturday Night Live experienced a huge ratings bump and a cultural relevance it hadn't enjoyed for several years. It might be difficult to break in this many new cast members with so many eyes on the show -- especially if, as rumored, Jason Sudekis leaves (his contract was up last season) and/or head writer and "Weekend Update" anchor Seth Meyers takes over for Regis Philbin on Live! with Kelly, as he is currently rumored to be the frontrunner for that job.
The new season of Saturday Night Live premieres September 15th.
Photo courtesy NBC