'SNL': Another Veteran Star Leaving Before Season 48

Another Saturday Night Live veteran is leaving the series before Season 48 kicks off in early October. Chris Redd, who joined the show in 2017, announced his departure from the long-running sketch comedy series. Although the St. Louis native will not be seen on NBC this fall, he does have an HBO Max special, Chris Redd: Why Am I Like This?, coming soon.

"Being a part of SNL has been the experience of a lifetime," Redd said in a statement NBC shared with The New York Times. "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 began his comedy career in Chicago and was part of The Second City's touring company. He moved to Los Angeles to start his acting career and nabbed a role in SNL alum Andy Samberg's Popstar: Never Stop Stopping. He also starred in Netflix's 2017-2018 series Disjointed.

Redd made his SNL debut in September 2017 and quickly made an impact. He joined Kenan Thompson and Chance the Rapper in the now-classic pre-taped sketch "Come Back Barack," which won the 2018 Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics. Redd was promoted to a repertory player in 2019. During his time on the show, Redd performed impressions of Katt Williams, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Jaleel White, Sen. Cory Booker, Wesley Snipes, Sterling K. Brown, and Nick Cannon. While still on SNL, Redd starred in Thompson's short-lived sitcom Kenan.

Redd is the latest star to leave SNL this off-season. When the Season 47 finale aired, it was already known as the final episode for Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, and Pete Davidson. Earlier this month, Alex Moffat, Melissa Villasenor, and Aristotle Athari followed them out of the Studio 8H exit.

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Last week, NBC announced the four new cast members replacing them. Marchello Hernandez, Michael Longfellow, Devon Walker, and Molly Kearney were cast. All four have backgrounds in stand-up comedy, but Kearney was recently seen in Amazon Prime Video's A League of Their Own. Walker wrote for Netflix's Big Mouth and Freeform's Everything's Trash. Longfellow performed on NBC's Bring the Funny, while Hernandez is the creative director of Only in Dade.

During the Emmys last week, SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels described Season 48 as a "transition" year. "Change years are always difficult but always exciting. There are new people. There are four new people at least for now," he told reporters. SNL Season 48 will premiere on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock. New episodes will also air on Oct. 9 and Oct. 15.