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A Third Longtime Cast Member (Not Jason Sudeikis!) May Not Be Back On SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE When It Returns This Fall!!

Published at: July 5, 2012, 6:12 p.m. CST

I am – Hercules!!

Showbiz 411 is reporting that longtime “Saturday Night Live” head writer and longtime Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers is now the leading contender to permanently fill Regis Philbin’s old seat next to Kelly Ripa on the syndicated morning show “Live With Kelly.”

Former footballer Michael Strahan and recording artist Josh Groban are also considered likely hires, but Meyers is the frontrunner, according to the site's source.

ABC and Disney are expected to announce Ripa’s new co-host in September.

Meyers, 38, is the longest-tenured current SNL player, have joined the cast in 2001. He became the series’ co-head writer in 2006, and began his stint as Weekend Update anchor (initially alongside Amy Poehler) that same year.

Two other longtime SNL cast members, Kristin Wiig and Andy Samberg, recently announced they won’t be returning to the show when it returns this fall. Jason Sudeikis, who starred in “Hall Pass,” “Horrible Bosses” and “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy” in 2011, has long been rumored to be ready to put SNL behind him as well, though there’s still no word as to whether he’ll be back this fall or not.

A key question now is who will replace Meyers at the Update desk should he be tapped for the morning show. Jay Pharoah? Kate McKinnon? Nasim Pedrad? Fred Armisen has the most seniority after Meyers, followed by Kenan Thompson, Bill Hader, Sudeikis, Abby Elliott and Bobby Moynihan.

But relative newcomers Vanessa Bayer and Taran Killam strike me as the obvious frontrunners for that job.

Find all of Showbiz’ exclusive on the matter here.

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Readers Talkback

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  • July 5, 2012, 6:22 p.m. CST

    Taran Killam? YES!

    by ciroslive

    I love his Brad Pitt impression :)

  • July 5, 2012, 6:35 p.m. CST

    A vote for Sudeikis

    by Fixxxer

    If Jason Sudeikis is waffling on staying with SNL, giving him one weekly bit to work on makes the most sense. If he does WU and is not the lead writer on it, that frees him up for movies, other TV appearances, and whatever else he'd like to do. It also keeps Bill Hader, Taran Killam, Kenan Thompson and others doing the strong character work that the show needs from them. Jay Pharoah would be interesting -- and giving WU its first non-white anchor would grab some headlines and show that SNL is capable of progress -- but I think someone as relatively high-profile as Sudeikis makes the most sense.

  • July 5, 2012, 6:42 p.m. CST

    damn got all excited that it could be Keenan leaving

    by professorjack

    ive tried for years to not see him as the child actor but he just never seemed in the same league as the rest of the talent. It would be exciting to see Seth leave, he's very solid at the news but i'd like a more personality-based news anchor (like Norm) rather than just a guy who is good at saying punchlines

  • But it doesn't, so they won't.

  • RE: tylerzero - I always figured Fred Armisen was gay but I guess he's not?

  • July 5, 2012, 6:56 p.m. CST

    Bring Back DENNIS MILLER!

    by Drunken Busboy

    Still one of the best that ever was!

  • July 5, 2012, 6:59 p.m. CST

    Hire someone new specifically for the gig.

    by Shermdawg

  • July 5, 2012, 7:01 p.m. CST

    OR.....bring Fallon back for Weekend Update.

    by Shermdawg

  • July 5, 2012, 7:01 p.m. CST

    Seth Myers is also head writer. Who's going fill that spot?

    by mistergreen

  • July 5, 2012, 7:02 p.m. CST

    RE: mistergreen

    by Fixxxer

    Paula Pell?

  • July 5, 2012, 7:11 p.m. CST

    Strahan, Groban, and Meyers?

    by SenatorJeffersonSmith

    Really? That's the best you could get to take over one of the more prestigious daytime shows of all-time? Why not Chris Elliot? I'm sure he'd love to get the work, and he's way funnier than those three guys combined.

  • July 5, 2012, 7:13 p.m. CST

    cancel SNL already!

    by Titus05

    bring back In Living Color and Mad TV

  • July 5, 2012, 7:30 p.m. CST

    Seth was terrible without Amy Poehler on Update

    by richievanderlow

    Never liked him as the singular anchor. He may be a good writer, but I don't think he's that funny. If he get's the Kelly Lee Ripa gig, he should run with it while he can.

  • July 5, 2012, 7:30 p.m. CST

    John Mulaney

    by maverick2484

    He's the man for the Update desk - absolutely perfect for that gig.

  • Don't get me wrong Herc, I actually enjoy and respect a lot of what you do here (& am slowly catching up on those KERN podcasts and liking your contributions), but seriously felt like I wanted to strangle you when I saw you put that lame joke (that almost came with its own implied, self-satisfied smirk) into LITERALLY EVERY ONE OF THE WEEKLY SNL EPISODE POSTS. :p lol

  • July 5, 2012, 8:27 p.m. CST

    just hire seth's brother to do weekend update

    by yourSTEPDADDY

  • July 5, 2012, 8:33 p.m. CST

    The thing about Weekend Update is that the anchor...

    by jeffty

    ...usually doesn't do anything else on the show. Sometimes a bit player in a sketch, but but typicaally not even that. It's been that way since at least the Dennis Miller years.

  • July 5, 2012, 8:47 p.m. CST

    Bayer and Killam as co-anchors could be funny

    by Bass Ackwards

    Sudekis or Hader would be fun too (but not if its means no more Stefon). No one else in the current cast seems like they'd bring much to it. Armisen and Kenan don't need anymore screen time, they get enough by doing shitty impressions of any minority celebrity, and the rest of the cast seems pretty bland.

  • July 5, 2012, 8:50 p.m. CST

    Good.

    by daggor

    He'll be buried entertaining housewives and the elderly. It bothers me to know he'd be making money, but at least I won't be seeing him.

  • July 5, 2012, 8:51 p.m. CST

    Jeffty

    by Bass Ackwards

    To your point, I think the guys who are tagged for update are also generally not great sketch performers, which is why they ended up liking the spot (Fey and Meyers have said as much, Norm and Miller also strike me as being not great sketch guys). When it's had guys like Nealon, Fallon, Poehler doing it, they all still had pretty a pretty large presence during the show as well.

  • July 5, 2012, 8:54 p.m. CST

    Re: Bring Back DENNIS MILLER!

    by HB_Dad

    You can't! He went to the dark side 11 years ago and is no longer funny!

  • July 5, 2012, 8:56 p.m. CST

    If Seth is gone along with Samberg and possibly Sudekis...

    by HB_Dad

    ...SNL is dead to me. Seth is great on weekend update which is my favorite part of the show! Sudekis is also a fave! Maybe they can have Abbey do nudes? Then I'll never miss an episode! :-)

  • July 5, 2012, 8:56 p.m. CST

    theseeker7

    by Hercules

    You may have to actually strangle me to get me to stop. I continue to like the talkback "poll" for two reasons: 1) It reminds everybody that if SNL ever stopped being funny, it didn't stop for long; and 2) It gives me an excuse to post great old SNL sketches. I eagerly anticipate your hands around my neck.

  • July 5, 2012, 9:05 p.m. CST

    Give Jay Pharoh something to do

    by theBigE

    They don't use him on the show anyway, might as well give him a chance to do something on a regular basis. Besides his Denzel impersonations and that old principal, what else do he do regularly?

  • July 5, 2012, 9:12 p.m. CST

    Get Armisen off the show already!

    by lowpassat

    I cant stand that guy, hes not funny, he drags down every sketch hes in, and I dont think I have laughed at a single thing hes done.

  • July 5, 2012, 9:24 p.m. CST

    I second that vote for John Mulaney

    by Toe Jam

    Anyone who remembers him from VH1's "I Love the ..." series knows he can do "Weekend Update." Also, I think he already writes some of the "Weekend Update" jokes, as well as the Stefan bits. (Though it's really Bill Hader's delivery that makes it so funny.)

  • July 5, 2012, 9:48 p.m. CST

    Bill Hader

    by Tar Heel

    But only in character. Some of the best Weekend Update moments were played straight instead of as standup routines with a nudge-nudge, wink-wink air about them.

  • July 5, 2012, 9:55 p.m. CST

    bass ackwards

    by jeffty

    Yeah, good point.

  • July 5, 2012, 9:58 p.m. CST

    Best news ever!

    by Dasinfogod

    I don't care who sits behind the WU desk mid-show every week, but dumping Meyers from the Head Writer's post is the best move Lorne could make. Meyers' frat boy level jokes and meandering sketches have been dragging the show down ever since Tina left. And while SNL has relied on TV program parodies since 1975, that seems to be Meyers' almost constant theme. --- It's time again for the Blah Blah Blah Show! Jesus! The guy couldn't write a situational sketch or blackout joke if his life depended on it. Samburg's Digital Shorts displayed more consistent originality in three minutes than Meyers could summon up in the remaining 87. Glad to see him fester in the bowels of daytime chat shows... There still is an ounce of justice out ther in TVLand. This is a cause for celebration; fire up a colortini, sit back, relax, and watch the pictures, now, as they fly through the air...

  • July 5, 2012, 11:35 p.m. CST

    I vote for Killam or Sudekis.

    by Mel_Gibsons_Nazi_Dad

    Just keep Sudeikis around to do Romney and WU, kind of like Norm with Dole.

  • July 5, 2012, 11:46 p.m. CST

    Another vote for John Mulaney

    by SifoDyasJr

    He'd be perfect. Taran would be good behind the desk, but not at the expense of being in sketches which he has quickly risen to Hader and Sudekis levels. I hope we don't lose Sudekis just yet, and the whenever Hader decides it's time, it will be a sad day at SNL.

  • July 6, 2012, 1:14 a.m. CST

    No change to Update

    by LethargicJ

    It says in the article that if Meyers gets the job he will step down as head writer at SNL but will continue to do Weekend Update, so why are trying to predict who is going to take the job he's not leaving?

  • July 6, 2012, 2:53 a.m. CST

    titus05

    by emeraldboy

    In living color is coming back...

  • July 6, 2012, 4:24 a.m. CST

    Boston Powers

    by Matthew

    Fred Armisen is funny as hell. I like the idea of Jay Pahroah having a weekly segment but his impersonations are his strong point. If they replace Seth at weekend update bring in a writer or someone new. Norm was my all time favorite. How the hell did Dennis Miller become Bill O Rielly's opening act? Damn did his career fall flat. Dennis Miller is rumored to be an ass to people, I don't like how he is a conservative now (I think he is cool on the gays and pro choice, so is he really conservative?) anyway in Bill Carters Late Night book it asserts some producer thought Miller was a dick, and I heard that from a few other sources. I am saying even no matter what his politics Miller is said to be difficult. Everybody wants to rule the world

  • July 6, 2012, 5:49 a.m. CST

    Stefon would be heartbroken

    by Zorak5

    What would our favorite city correspondent do without the man built by gay scientists?

  • July 6, 2012, 6:59 a.m. CST

    Re: Bring Back DENNIS MILLER!

    by professorjack

    politics aside, watch his last stand-up special. Its terrible. He's reading off a teleprompter, he doesn't care about making the audience laugh. He is just explaining his beliefs of conservatism with social liberalism like that alone should be the most interesting thing in the world. I heard an interview with Ron White where he said that it was horrible too.

  • July 6, 2012, 7:37 a.m. CST

    He seems a bit smug to be a good daytime host.

    by tonagan

    Not to compare him to Letterman, but he didn't work in daytime either.

  • July 6, 2012, 8:22 a.m. CST

    titus agreed!

    by jsfithaca

    also bring back whitest kids you know

  • July 6, 2012, 8:40 a.m. CST

    Please no Vanessa Beyer.

    by Cletus Van Damme

    Nothing personal, but I hate her face.

  • July 6, 2012, 9 a.m. CST

    Give Hader a shot.

    by CatVutt

    Just a feeling, but I think he could really run with it.

  • July 6, 2012, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Stefon should definitely take over as host

    by SenatorJeffersonSmith

    I don't know which is better: How hilarious I find that character, or how Hader can't keep a straight face while playing it

  • July 6, 2012, 9:48 a.m. CST

    I love Bill Hader, but don't make him carry the show.

    by fredwordsmith

    Bill Hader already has enough to do, being the funniest member left who gives a shit. Sudeikis won't care about next year at all now that he has a few movies coming out and knows he's leaving. Hader is the most versatile cast member in years who hasn't worn thin because he doesn't do the same thing every damn time in every sketch. To make him do everything he does each week, plus Update, is too much. If I had my way, I'd give every vote to John Mulaney. His stand-up is ridiculous.

  • July 6, 2012, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Ditch Lorne and Fatburger fattie and maybe I'll watch

    by FrodoFraggins

    The show survives on nostalgia alone.

  • July 6, 2012, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Let Drunk Uncle do the news!

    by vin_diggler

  • July 6, 2012, 1:04 p.m. CST

    "Ditch Lorne and Fatburger fattie and maybe I'll watch"

    by LethargicJ

    The show is doing just fine without you. You people are truly just weird. I don't watch this show! It sucks! How do I know I don't like it? No idea, but it's fun to go along with the crowd and not have to come up with my own opinion!

  • July 6, 2012, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Thompson has grown a decent utility player with a couple of characters locked in:

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    The Whatsup With That guy and the Scared Straight guy, and he can handle a lot of dialogue without a)cracking up or b) stare directly at the cue cards. And who else will do the black-guy-with-bulging-eyes-in-surprise routine? Oh yea, Jay Pharoah will....

  • July 6, 2012, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Dark side or not, Dennis Miller was the best one. Norm, second.

    by Chuck_Chuckwalla

    It's too bad DM painted himself into a political corner. I can't stand to listen to him anymore.

  • July 6, 2012, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Orci and Kurtzman are currently working on all the scripts.

    by Arcadian Del Sol

  • July 6, 2012, 6:15 p.m. CST

    I don't know why people shit on Keenan so much...

    by _Venkman

    He's had a lot of funny bits over the years. Whats Up With That alone made his tenure worth it

  • July 6, 2012, 8:45 p.m. CST

    what lethargicj said

    by Hercules

    In terms of ratings, SNL beats everything in late night, almost everything in primetime and every scripted show on NBC's primetime grid. Kindly ignore SNL (which has never mounted an unfunny season under Lorne Michaels) and save your advice for sketch shows with much smaller audiences. "Tim & Eric" and "Key & Peele" are perhaps among those still in production. Fax Bahr and Adam Small, the writer-producers behind "Mad TV," "House of "Buggin'," "In Living Color," "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment," and "Blue Collar TV," probably have another sketch show in the works. You should give them your advice; that way they'll be careful not to hire the wildly successful Lorne Michaels.

  • ...maybe Samberg can still make the odd Digital Short, and Wiig can return for some of her signature stuff, like "Secret Word", and the Lawrence Welk skit. Even Will Forte returns here & there to do the "ESPN Classic" segments (as do outside celebs, like Tom Hanks & Carmelo Anthony)

  • July 8, 2012, 8:38 a.m. CST

    Head SNL Writer

    by Killdozers Evil Twin Brother

    should be someone new, from outside the festering cast. It's also probably way more important to the show than whoever the next smarmy talking face will be on Weekend Update. People tuned in to watch Kevin Nealon talk. That proves anyone can do it. With the exception of some great TV show cameos, Samburg won't be doing anything worth mentioning. It's looking like he will die on the vine once he leaves SNL. He's signing on to some truly horrible shit in Hollywood. Throwing down with Adam Sandler never made anyone's career, aside from Rob Schneider (if you can call that a career). The trailer for that romcom that he's doing with Rashida Jones gave me hives. Is Armisson just hanging around to keep dating Abby Elliot? If he put 100% into Portlandia, it could actually be consistently funny. Please please hire someone from outside the show to be head writer...