Tonight’s season finale of “Saturday Night Live” promises to be especially poignant as not just the previously reported Bobby Moynihan but also Vanessa Bayer depart the NBC sketchfest.
Deadline reports that Bayer, a veteran of Chicago improv, has decided to move on as her “SNL” contract concludes. The seven-year veteran is the longest-running female cast member of the current “SNL” ensemble.
Bayer made a splash early on with garrulous impression of Miley Cyrus, performed more than once alongside the singer herself, and went on to impersonate Jennifer Aniston circa her “Friends” years and “Fox and Friends” co-host Gretchen Carlson. Her characters include Jacob the nervous Bar Mitzvah boy and emotive child actress Laura Parsons.
“I don’t think you ever feel like you’ve mastered it or know what’s going on,” Bayer told the Sun-Times in 2015. “To be honest with you, that was the same thing I remember a lot of our improv teachers saying in Chicago: Like, if you feel like you’ve mastered improv then you’re not good at it. So I think the thing for me with ‘SNL’ is, the moment you think that you’ve got it, you don’t really have it. It’s a constant learning process.”
In Chicago, Bayer made the rounds of all the key improv houses — touring with Second City, improvising with the team Revolver at iO and performing in sketch shows at the Annoyance, including “Swear Jar” alongside another future “SNL” player, Aidy Bryant. In recent years she’s made the leap to the big screen with roles in “Trainwreck” and “Office Christmas Party.”
Moynihan, known for the Weekend Update characters Drunk Uncle and secondhand news reporter Anthony Crispo, is departing to star in a CBS sitcom, “Me, Myself and I.”