Let the bloodletting begin! It wouldn't be summertime if we weren't talking about fired SNL cast members. First up, Brooks Wheelan.
I’ll give you a moment to do the typical. “Who? Never heard of him. Who even watches SNL anymore? That show has been shit ever since Jim Carrey* left! It used to be edgy but now it’s old and tired. Hard to believe this is still on the air when things like I Want to Marry “Harry” are canceled! Outrage!”
Is it out of your system? Good.
On to Brooks Wheelan.
Had a blast and loved every second of it. I'm totally honored to be able to make this next joke… FIRED FROM NEW YORK IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT!
— Brooks Wheelan (@brookswheelan) July 14, 2014
To those who actually do watch SNL and follow the news surrounding the show, this is really a surprise. I take that back, it’s only a surprise in so much that Wheelan got the boot before John Milhiser (who I will take yet another probably incorrect stab at predicting will be either fired or moved to the writing staff).
Wheelan appeared in a paltry number of sketches in the 39th season of SNL none of which featured any characters of his that took off. This isn’t entirely surprising as Wheelan came from a stand-up career as opposed to an improv one, but as the season went on it became incredibly clear that the actor does not do characters. He could be himself wearing a wig pretending to be a character, but that was it. Put that in contrast with Jay Pharoah who does a mean Denzel Washington as well as my person favorite, “Attention Teachers and Students” and it isn’t hard to see why Wheelan is no longer “not ready for primetime”.
With one of the largest casts in SNL history, it is likely this won’t be the first departure this summer. Nasim Pedrad has all but officially announced she won’t be returning (which is a shame because her Arianna Huffington is one of my favorite characters) and it wouldn’t be an SNL summer in this decade if we weren’t asking if Keenan Thompson is leaving.
The show is still in a rebuilding stage so who knows what the cast will look like when the cameras come up on the 40th season.
We just now know it will be less one man. Good luck to you Brooks Wheelan. We’ll always have “Boy Dance Party” to remember you by. Oh, wait. No we won’t. That was the other 20-something white guy. Sorry about that.
* I am fully aware that Jim Carrey wasn’t on SNL.