'Saturday Night Live': Alex Moffat, Melissa Villaseñor and Aristotle Athari Exit Ahead of Season 48

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Alex Moffat, Melissa Villaseñor and Aristotle Athari
Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images; Emma McIntyre/Getty Images; Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Saturday Night Live is losing three more cast members. Alex Moffat, Melissa Villaseñor and Aristotle Athari will not return for the sketch series' 48th season.

Moffat and Villaseñor both joined the show as featured players in 2016, and were promoted to the main cast two years later. Athari joined the show last season as a featured player.

The latest exits come after multiple cast members revealed their departure from the series. Pete Davidson left the show in May after seven seasons. 

"I owe [executive producer] Lorne Michaels and everyone at SNL my life. I'm so grateful and I wouldn’t be here without them. I appreciate you guys always having my back and sticking up for me even when that wasn’t the popular opinion," Davidson wrote on Instagram at the time. "Thank you for always believing in me and sticking by my side even when it seemed comical. Thank you for teaching me life values, how to grow up and for giving me memories that will last a lifetime."

Kate McKinnonAidy Bryant and Kyle Mooney exited the series shortly thereafter. It's a decision Bryant told Variety she would've made years earlier if not for the COVID-19 pandemic.

"If it weren’t for COVID, I probably would have left a few years earlier. But it was such a huge change. When COVID hit, it was so jarring that we were all like, 'I’m definitely going to come back next year.' And then I had to shoot Shrill for half of last season, and so I missed a lot," Bryant explained. "And then it was like, 'Well, now I should go back one more.'"

"I kept trying to seek one last normal year," she added. "This year wasn’t the normal year that I hoped for, but it was closer to that. It was like, 'OK, it’s really time now.' And 10 felt like a nice, solid round number."

Elsewhere, during an appearance on Live With Kelly and Ryan, McKinnon revealed why she finally decided to exit the series.

"I thought about it for a very long time, and it was very, very hard," she said. "All I ever wanted to do in my whole life was be on Saturday Night Live. So, I did, I loved it, I had the best decade, and then I was just like, my body was tired, and I felt like it was time."

As for how the rest of the cast feels about the exits, SNL star Bowen Yang called the departures "so emotional" while speaking to ET.

"I haven’t worked there when they haven’t," he said. "So, it’s going to be an interesting sort of envisioning of the show and recalibration. But I’m excited to see where it goes."

Meanwhile, SNL mainstay Kenan Thompson assured ET that he wasn't going anywhere anytime soon.

"I know we're at least trying to get to the 50th [season], 'cause that's gonna be a special year, you know what I mean? And then after that, it's like, I don't know exactly how long I can do it," he said. "What keeps me coming back is them asking me to come back. If I felt like I was overstaying my welcome, or unwanted, then I would like to show myself the door, but yeah, it's also a one-of-a-kind place."

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