Paul Brittain Departs SNL, Jonah Hill To Host

Saturday Night Live is making some unaccustomed midseason casting news. As first reported by Entertainment Weekly, featured player Paul Brittain is leaving the show, effective immediately. A source claimed the comic “had the opportunity to pursue other projects, and he and the show parted ways amicably.”

No word on what the project might be (NBC has had no comment yet), though given the time of year, a strong possibility is that he is involved with a pilot for a potential series. But Brittain has made little impact on SNL to this point, and he was halfway through his second season, after which featured players are typically either promoted or fired. With luck, he will land on his feet like Casey Wilson, who was canned from SNL after it failed to find a way to use her, and ended up on a primetime hit in Happy Endings.

In hosting news, NBC has revealed that Oscar nominee Jonah Hill will return to headline SNL for the March 10 edition. He first hosted the show back in 2008, when the whole idea of “Oscar nominee Jonah Hill” would have seemed like a potential sketch. Hill’s 21 Jump Street co-star Channing Tatum hosts SNL this coming weekend.

The network has not officially mentioned any other future hosts – curious since there’s typically confirmation of two or three at a time – but during a Monday airing of his podcast, friend of SNL Alec Baldwin asked show chief Lorne Michaels if it was true that Justin Bieber was set as a host and musical guest. Michaels said yes, but did not elaborate. Bieber made a previous appearance on SNL as a musical guest only.

If you hear an otherwise unexplained deafening teenage girl scream in the coming days, you can consider the Bieber rumor confirmed.

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