Noel Wells leaving ‘Saturday Night Live’
By Dale Roe
Editor’s note: This article was originally published July 15, 2014
Lots of online sources, including The Wrap, are reporting that “Saturday Night Live” featured player Noel Wells is leaving NBC’s popular sketch comedy show. News of her departure comes alongside reports that fellow featured player John Milhiser’s contract has, likewise, not been renewed. They join Brooks Whelan, who we discovered was leaving when he announced the departure via Twitter on Monday.
Wells, a San Antonio native who graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010, performed with the Esther’s Follies cast while earning a degree in Radio-TV-Film. She next gained popularity on YouTube with a series of videos impersonating celebrities including Zooey Deschanel.
Wells seemed to come on strong at “SNL,” aping Lena Dunham, the star and creator of HBO’s “Girls,” in a pitch-perfect parody of that program in the 2013-2014 season-opening episode hosted by Tina Fey. But, in a year during which the sketch show’s female roles were dominated by Weekend Update anchor Cecily Strong and cast member Kate McKinnon — and, surprisingly, a particularly strong run by Nasim Pedrad, also leaving (she’ll co-star on the new NBC sitcom “Mulaney”) — Wells seldom got a chance to shine.
Her turn as Nancy Grace was funny, but was probably too little and too late.
There’s no word yet on the fates of other featured players Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, Mike O’Brien and Sasheer Zamata.