Don Roy King, the longtime director of “Saturday Night Live,” is set to retire. He will be replaced by “Ellen” director Liz Patrick.
King has been the “SNL” director for 15 years. He was just the fourth director in the sketch-comedy show’s 46-year history.
Patrick will be mostly observing King for the first few episodes of “SNL’s” upcoming season, a show insider told TheWrap. He’ll then pass her the baton.
Patrick has directed more than 2,000 episodes of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” King is believed to have directed more hours of live U.S. television than anyone else in history. He previously worked mostly in news programming, directing “CBS Evening News with Dan Rather,” “CBS This Morning” and ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Owen Wilson is hosting this weekend’s “SNL” Season 47 premiere with musical guest Kacey Musgraves. They’ll be followed, in order, by Kim Kardashian/Halsey, Rami Malek/Young Thug and the return of Jason Sudeikis. The “Ted Lasso” star’s musical guest is Brandi Carlile.
Beck Bennett is exiting the show’s cast after eight seasons. Lauren Holt, who was a featured player last year, will also not return. Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant and Cecily Strong will all be back in the cast, as will Michael Che, Mikey Day, Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, Colin Jost, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villaseñor and Bowen Yang.
Featured players will be newbies Aristotle Athari, James Austin Johnson and Sarah Sherman, as well as the returning Andrew Dismuke and Punkie Johnson.
Bennett commented on his exit Monday morning, writing in an Instagram post: “Love you, SNL. Gonna miss you so much. Thank you for 8 years of remarkable people and incredible experiences that completely changed my life. I had so much fun 1. after the finale our first year 2. officemates for 5 years 3. Jessy in the dressing room 4. Team of 8 years: Jason (makeup), Ruth (hair), Jason (dresser) 5. last table read, with Kyle 6. writers room on 9 before Saturday meeting 7. meeting before live show 8. audience at goodnights 9. goodnights 10. my nipps.”
“Saturday Night Live” is produced in association with Broadway Video. The creator and executive producer is Lorne Michaels.