Comedian Melissa Villasenior may be leaving Saturday Night Live.
Villasenor made the announcement in a since deleted Instagram post (see below) in which she plainly stated, “I’m not coming back to SNL next year. Cause i deserve better”
It is unclear as to whether she will still be participating with the show’s season finale, which airs tomorrow. NBC has made no official statement and the deletion of the Instagram post does call into question whether she was just venting steam and thought better of it or if she had been instructed to wait until after Saturday’s show to make an official announcement.
Villasenor’s sentiment that she deserves better is certainly one that has been echoed by fans and critics of the show during her time there. A talented impressionists – her desk piece during Weekend Update a few weeks ago where she impersonated Dolly Parton was a highlight – the show rarely seemed to know what to do with her. Often she was stuck with thankless supporting roles in sketches, playing average people setting up jokes for others, never getting much of a chance to create her own memorable characters.
Personally, I think that part of the problem that Villasenor has been facing is the struggle to get on camera in order to make an impression on the audience. Currently the show has a combination of twenty main and supporting players, all of them vying for airtime. Villasenor’s material can be a bit quirky and odd – which is what I like about it. But it might also be a harder sell to get on the air when in competition with another comedy piece that might be more broad with wider appeal.
Villasenor joined the show in the fall of 2016 as a supporting player and was promoted to main cast status two season later. She is only the second Latina cast member after Noël Wells in SNL‘s 45 year history, and the first to have been promoted to the main cast.