‘Saturday Night Live’ has hired two new primetime players into the mix, Jenny Slate and Nasim Pedrad.
But unfortunately, two cast members had to go to make room for the newbies: Michaela Watkins and Casey Wilson. And one is speaking out about her sudden firing.
Watkins sat down with EW.com, where she said she felt “shock. And sadness [because] it just felt premature,” upon being let go by show mastermind Lorne Michaels.
“The only explanation I got from him — and he’s not known to say things just to make people feel better — was that he felt deep down that I should have my own show,” she explained. “And I agreed. SNL was a dream come true for me. It was a fantastic year. I don’t have any regrets.”
So does this mean she will be getting her own series and follow in the footsteps of SNL giants like Tina Fey (’30 Rock’) and Jimmy Fallon (‘Late Night’)? “I honestly don’t know,” she said. “What he said is he’s trying to get what’s best for him and best for me. He said it had nothing to do with talent. And I’m just going to go on that. That was his only explanation.”
Fortunately, her former cast mates were more than supportive, treating her to a “farewell dinner with a lot of wine.”
Watkins was most popular for playing blogger Angie Tempura, Ann Coulter, Barbara Walters, Glenn Close, Hoda Kotb, and Joan Rivers, while Wilson did dead-on impersonations of celebs like Jennifer Aniston, Christina Hendricks, Rachel Ray, and Elizabeth Taylor. Both also starred in the sketch ‘Cougar Den.’
But however embarrassing it is to be fired from a legendary series, the ladies are in good company.
In past seasons, Lorne Michaels or his team has fired Robert Downey Jr., Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Damon Wayans, Norm MacDonald and Chris Farley. Lorne Michaels was himself nearly fired at one point early on in the show’s history, and the entire series was cancelled in 1985, only to be brought back to life at the last hour.