The cast leaves a potential farewell for next year

There is a lot of time Saturday night Cast members, yet there were no major exits — or hints of departures — in tonight’s Season 49 finale of the venerable NBC late-night show.

no SNL The veterans were crying at the end of their sketches like Kate McKinnon did in the 2022 finale, and it was all smiles and fist bumps as the curtain closed, and after exchanging another brutal prank, Colin Jost and Michael Che wrapped up their 10th season together in Weekend update By wishing everyone a wonderful summer.

This was to be expected, given that none of this year’s 17-member band would willingly miss next year’s major celebrations – the Big 50.

Host Jake Gyllenhaal set the stage for what was to come in his opening monologue, noting that the finale was “the last episode before the big anniversary season.”

“I know we’re all waiting for Season 50,” he said, jokingly revealing that he was chosen to host the Season 49 finale after a lot of big stars backed out.

“I think they’re all holding on to the 50th,” he joked.

Saturday Night Live It is expected to take a course of honor for its 50th season, culminating with a celebratory weekend planned for February, punctuated by a live prime-time special on Sunday, February 16. It is expected that many of the show’s leading stars and other A-list stars will be involved.

like SNL Boss Lorne Michaels is gearing up to go all out for season 50, and he himself may decide to cut some cast members over the summer but is not expected to add to the cast as it approaches half a century on the show.

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There are also a number of marquee players expected to be promoted; Deadline understands that Marcelo Hernandez, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow and Devon Walker are all likely to become reference players next season after joining in Season 48.

Michaels’ future after the 50th anniversary is uncertain. He has previously said he is considering retirement after the celebration, although the likes of Seth Meyers and Adam Sandler don’t expect him to go anywhere. “I think that’s a false narrative that Lorne is going anywhere,” Myers said. “I think it made sense for Lorne – who has a flair for the dramatic – to say: ‘I think I’ll be done at 50.’ “It’s not like Lorne has anything else he wants to do more than this.”

Whatever happens with Michaels, the spring and summer of 2025 is expected to be another transitional moment for the show, drawing parallels with the post-pandemic turnaround in 2022, which saw the departures of veterans McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson and Kyle Mooney. in the Season 47 finale in May, followed by Cecily Strong’s exit in December.

But that’s work for next year. Tonight, Gyllenhaal closed the show with congratulations ‘SNL’Team Q “at the end of an incredible season.”

For many of the new cast members, the closing ceremony will be extra special. “It’s the first big finale for a lot of people,” One said SNL said the performer.

This is because last year’s season ended abruptly as a result of the writers’ strike and the seasons prior to it were under Covid protocols.

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Weekend updateJost began as a writer in 2005 before becoming co-anchor in 2014. Chi joined the program as a writer in 2013 before becoming co-anchor alongside Jost in 2014.

Mikey Day joined as a writer in 2013 before being promoted to the on-air cast in 2016. Heidi Gardner and Ego Nwodim have been on the show since 2017 and 2018 respectively, while Bowen Yang joined as a writer in 2018 and a cast member. In 2019, he saw his stock rise with appearances in films like Fire Island And Bruce And also a turning point in the future evil.

Then there’s Kenan Thompson, who at this point will likely be the last one out the door.

Thompson, along with Nwodim, Devon Walker and Punky Johnson, joined Gyllenhaal for the opening monologue to perform Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” to bid farewell to the current season and celebrate. SNLlongevity.

“It’s been 49 years, over 900 shows, costumes and wigs, and a room full of hits,” they sang.

You can watch the song below and the rest of the opening monologue as well as the final curtain.

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