SNL stars spark exit buzz with emotional moments during show

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Are some of the biggest stars of “SNL” leaving the show?

Fans began speculating that heavy hitters Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Kenan Thompson, Cecily Strong and Aidy Bryant took their final bows this week as Season 46 came to an emotional close.

Davidson, a fan favorite who joined the show in 2014, sparked major exit buzz when he closed out the “Weekend Update” segment with a heartfelt message.

“I’m very grateful to be here and it’s been an honor to grow up in front of you guys,” he told the audience, quickly leading fans to speculate all over social media that he was leaving.

“:((((( WAIT WHAT THE HELL IS PETE LEAVING SNL?” one fan wrote on Twitter.

Another tweeted, “I love #PeteDavidson! I hope he isn’t leaving #SNL #SNLFinale made nervous.”

But cast exit speculation started from the show’s get-go when McKinnon, Thompson, Strong and Bryant — the show’s most seasoned current cast members — gave the cold open as the first full audience since the pandemic showered them with raucous applause, noted Deadline.

“… when Aidy, Kate, Cecily, and Kenan were just out there at the beginning i started freaking out because i thought they were about to say they’re leaving the show…,” one fan wrote on Twitter.

Another fan posted a pic of McKinnon and Bryant and lamented, “remind me to never get emotionally invested in a fandom again. ik its not confirmed yet but ill be utterly devastated if they leave snl bc they legit got me through 2020.”

“wait ppl are saying cecily is leaving snl?!?? pls say it isn’t true i love her sm,” another wrote.

The opening was peppered with emotional moments, including a choked-up Bryant recognizing the death of the show’s “beloved music producer Hal Willner” during the pandemic.

At one point, McKinnon was so caught up with tears she had to repeat one of her lines: “This is the year we realized we are more than just a cast, we’re a family.”

Adding more fuel to the fire, Thompson crossed his fingers when he said they’d all be back on the air around Thanksgiving — though he did note in a recent interview that after 17 seasons he was “never in a rush to leave” the NBC program.

An NBC source told Page Six that Saturday’s episode wasn’t meant to be a final sign-off for anyone and that contracts for the next season are not decided until later in the summer.

The source noted that it’s been a “very emotional year” for the cast members.

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