Yet another SNL shake-up has been announced. Following the May 20 news that cast members Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, and Kyle Mooney would not be returning for the show’s upcoming 48th season, Lindsay Shookus, the show’s veteran producer and head of talent, has announced that she will be departing the show as well. In an Instagram post, Shookus revealed that she’d be leaving her role to pursue other endeavors after 20 seasons, 415 live shows, and a bundle of fond memories. “I found my place at SNL and I’ve spent the past two decades developing the most incredible friendships and memories alongside some truly brilliant and talented people,” she wrote in the post. “I also met the man with whom I would have my beautiful daughter Maddie with - and what could be a greater gift from my time at the show than my sweet, funny girl who makes every day brighter.” She continued, “I will be forever grateful to Lorne for this once in a lifetime opportunity…thank you for your support, encouragement and freedom to bring my voice to this legendary stage.”
Shookus joined SNL in 2002, working under legendary producer Marci Klein. She quickly rose through the ranks, starting off as an assistant in the talent department before becoming associate producer, co-producer, and, finally, producer in 2012. In her role as head of talent, she was responsible for identifying and booking the show’s hosts and musical guests as well as scouting potential cast members. Kristen Wiig and Beck Bennett, among others, credit Shookus for shepherding them onto the show. Many cast members and former SNL hosts voiced their support for Shookus’s decision under her Instagram post. “It’s been a pleasure of a journey my friend!!!” commented Kenan Thompson. “May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.” Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson wrote that Shookus’s run at SNL had been “phenomenal, impactful and wildly successful.”
Shookus’s departure leaves a large void at SNL. Perhaps it’s time for Jake Novak to fire up his phone and make another TikTok.