Huge SNL News: Will Forte Is Out, As Many As Three New Performers In?

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It may be sacrilegious to say such a thing, but we’re glad that summer is almost over! It’s not that we’re bitter shrews that abhor all things outdoorsy, but rather, we’re just geeked because the impending arrival of Labor Day signals that a brand-new season of Saturday Night Live is just around the corner. And, as has come to be tradition at this time of year, Lorne Michaels is tinkering with the cast of writers and performers who will be appearing on the 36th season of the show.

First, the big news. Dave Itzkoff of the New York Times is reporting that longtime SNL mainstay Will Forte will NOT be returning to the show this season. Nooooooooo! According to Itzkoff’s sources, the parting was “amicable,” but that doesn’t mean that we’re not going to get upset about this. Forte, along with his writing partner John Solomon, have been responsible for creating some of the show’s most hilariously bizarre/off-kilter sketches and characters, including Hamilton, The Falconer, Clancy T. Bachleratt and, of course, MacGruber. Forte has always been willing to push the comedic boundaries on the show, often times turning the show’s mainstream-leaning sensibilities into something more forcibly awkward and memorable (think “Potato Chip”, think “Fart Face”). His presence will certainly be missed.

As for the other cast members? Well, from what our sources tell us, a lot of that is still up in the air. A number of the show’s Featured Players are still awaiting word from Dr. Evil Lorne as to whether or not they’ll be returning this fall. And, from what we hear, as many as three new performers are rumored as possibilities to join the ensemble cast this fall. The Apiary seems fairly convinced that one of them will be Los Angeles based Groundlings perfomer Taram Killam, and the Chicago Tribune reported yesterday that Second City’s Tom Flanigan has been snatched up as a staff writer. None of this is official yet, of course, as Lorne Michaels is well-known for being tight-lipped about cast moves until all of the T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted on the contracts of his cast members. That said, we’ll certainly keep you posted when we get further confirmation.

But really, what we’d really like to do is honor the contributions that Will Forte has made to the show since joining on in the 2002-2003 season. After you feast on the juicy deliciousness of “Fart Face” above, follow along below for four more of his most memorable sketches.

MacGruber is, of course, one of the most memorable characters from the last decade of the show. Below, see what happens to him after he starts freaking out about getting older and visits a sketchy plastic surgeon:

One of Forte’s earliest contributions to the show was his outlandish character Ken Mortimer, better known as The Falconer. In this memorable installment, The Falconer (along with guest host Kevin Spacey) creates a time machine to help save his trusty falcon, Donald, from certain death. Of course, things don’t go exactly as planned:

Hamilton was one of the weirdest, most memorable characters in the show’s history (and not just because he’s a total racist). Watch as he tries to woo his ex, Gabourey Sidibe, bag into his arms with promises of tracing passages from Robert Ludlum novels onto her back (with his penis) and offers of dates at the local Larry Bird Theater:

Clancy T. Bachleratt likes four things and four things only: spaceships, toddlers, Model T cars and jars of beer.

We’ll miss you, Will! If you ever make a sequel to The Brothers Solomon, we’ll be there on opening night!