Brooks Wheelan, one of six featured players hired by "Saturday Night Live" before the start of the show's 39th season, will not return for Season 40. Wheelan tweeted the news on Monday:
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
When contacted by HuffPost Entertainment to confirm Wheelan's ouster, an NBC representative said that neither the network nor show comment on casting changes. That "SNL" would see some turnover before its 40th season is no surprise: Back in June, executive producer Lorne Michaels told Deadline.com that cast adjustments were forthcoming.
"We're still in the middle of rebuilding," Michaels said. "So there will be changes this year."
Wheelan was a stand-up comic before being hired by "SNL." The 27-year-old was initially brought onto the show as a writer, but he became the sixth and final addition to the cast before the 39th season began. (Colin Jost and Sasheer Zamata were added as featured players during this past season.)
"Each step of the way I thought it was pretty neat that I had gotten this far, so I didn't put too much pressure on myself in that way," Wheelan told the Bellevue Reporter about auditioning for "SNL" in an interview published earlier this year. "As far as the audition itself, they saw me perform in Montreal, then in L.A., and then I auditioned on the stage where they shoot the show in New York. It was all scary, but I tried to [minimize that]."
During his stint as a "Saturday Night Live" featured player, Wheelan made a couple of appearances on Weekend Update. He recalled those moments and some of his other favorite memories in a video published by NBC at the close of the season.
As ScreenCrush.com senior editor Mike Ryan pointed out, however, Wheelan's last appearance on "SNL" might have foreshadowed his exit.
Brooks Wheelan's last sketch was being shot and killed by Andy Samberg's Legolas -- a portion of a sketch that was cut after dress.
— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) July 14, 2014
Watch that sketch, without Wheelan included, below.