'SNL' Featured Player Luke Null Not Returning for Season 44
Luke Null will join the club of one-and-done Saturday Night Live stars. The actor, who joined at the start of season 43, will not take part in season 44.
A source told Vulture that the 28-year-old Null will not be back. He was one of three new faces brought in last year, alongside Heidi Gardner and Chris Redd.
While they had a few opportunities to develop characters — like Gardner's tween YouTube movie reviewer on "Weekend Update" — Null was stuck in small supporting roles in a handful of sketches. His two best sketches came in John Mulaney's episode. In one sketch, he played a best man who revealed he had an affair with Mulaney's wife, played by Cecily Strong.
In another sketch, he played a man getting his horn implants removed, with Mulaney playing his doctor.
Lorne Michaels hired Null thanks to his experience at Chicago's iO Theater with an improv/sketch group called Newport Hounds and his musical comedy chops, which Null never really got a chance to show off.
There is some good news for Null. The one-and-done SNL club also includes luminaries like Joan Cusack, Martin Short, Chris Elliott, Michaela Watkins, Ben Stiller, Sarah Silverman, Laurie Metcalf and Robert Downey Jr.
Null is the first castmember to leave SNL this summer. Earlier this month, there was concern that Aidy Bryant would be leaving after she joined a Hulu show, but she is expected to stay.
Bryant signed on to star in Hulu's six-episode Shrill. Filming in Portland, Oregon will end before SNL's new season starts.
Shrill is based on Lindy West's Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman, and will star Bryant as Annie, who wants to succeed in journalism, but does not feel she needs to change her body to do so. The rest of the cast includes Lolly Adefope, Luka Jones, Ian Owens and John Cameron Mitchell. Elizabeth Banks, Bryant and Michaels are executive producers, and Bryant, West and Alexandra Rushfield are writing.
NBC has not announced when SNL's 44th season will start.
Without Null, the remaining featured players on SNL are Mikey Day, Gardner, Redd, Melissa Villasenor and Alex Moffat. The repertory players are Beck Bennett, Bryant, Kenan Thompson, Cecily Strong, Colin Jost, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon and Kyle Mooney.
Bryant, Thompson, McKinnon, Jones and Alec Baldwin were nominated for Emmys this year. Hosts Tiffany Haddish, Tina Fey, Bill Hader and Donald Glover were also nominated for their episodes.
Photo credit: NBC / Mary Ellen Matthews