After six years, comedian Melissa Villaseñor will not be returning for the upcoming 48th season of Saturday Night Live.
Villaseñor started on SNL in 2016 during its 42nd season as a featured player. She became only the second Latina ever to be cast in the history of the long-running show after Noël Wells.
During her six seasons on SNL, Villaseñor used her talents as an impressionist to play several celebrities, including Ariana Grande, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Lady Gaga, Dolly Parton, and El Chapo. In December 2020, she played actor Macauley Culkin’s character, Kevin McCallister, from the 1992 sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. And this past season, fans were divided when she portrayed a chola alongside host Selena Gomez.
As talented as Villaseñor was during her time on SNL, she was extremely underused and underappreciated. According to Vulture magazine, out of the 22 cast members who got screen time last season, Villaseñor, who was already in her sixth year, got the sixth least. The only cast members who got less were two rookies (Aristotle Athari and Sarah Sherman), a second-year feature player (Punkie Johnson), and Michael Che and Colin Jost, who normally only do the Weekend Update sketch.
During season 46, Villaseñor got the fifth least screen time out of 21 cast members. During season 45, she got the third least screen time out of 17 cast members. And that would definitely make one think about moving on to different projects with more creative control.
Her lack of screen time as an SNL cast member wasn’t something lost on her. Last year, when a fan tweeted that they wanted to see more of her on the show, she responded with, “Shit, me too.”
We’re disappointed that Villaseñor’s time has come to an end, but we’re also hopeful that in the next chapter of her career, she’ll get the time she deserves to do what she does best – make people laugh.