September 13th, 2012
02:48 PM ET
With Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg and Abby Elliott gone and three newbies coming in, "Saturday Night Live" is also doing some recasting.
An NBC rep tells CNN that the role of President Obama will now be played by Jay Pharoah - whom we already adore for his dead-on impression of Jay-Z - rather than Fred Armisen.
Jason Sudeikis is also returning, and according to the New York Times, he'll keep portraying Mitt Romney.
"Right now, the idea is that Jason will go through at least until January," "SNL" executive producer Lorne Michaels told the paper.
While talking over the changes on "Today" with Matt Lauer Thursday, "SNL's" Seth Meyers said it's about time for the show to let some of its younger members shine.
Speaking of Pharoah's new role as Obama, Meyers pointed out that the performer is "in his third season, and I feel like this is a transition year for us. It's time for the young cast to sort of become the vets on the show," Meyers said.
The new season of "SNL" returns on Saturday with Seth MacFarlane as host and three new names in the mix: Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant and Tim Robinson.
"When you have new people, you don't really know the breadth of their talents or anything like that," Meyers said. "We had our first table read yesterday, [and] you could just see, looking around making eye contact with people, the vets like Bill [Hader] and Fred [Armisen] being like, 'Wow, those kids are really good, they have a lot of moves.'"
As far as who's going to play Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, "I feel like that's going to be a surprise," Meyers said, adding that he does know it won't be him. "Lorne doesn't like it when I'm in sketches," he quipped, adding, "Nor does America."
He's also not losing any sleep over not getting the "Live! With Kelly" gig that he was said to be in the running for.
"I'm so half-asleep right now I can barely remember who you are," Meyers told Lauer. "I belong to the night."
About this blog
Our daily cheat-sheet for breaking celebrity news, Hollywood buzz and your pop-culture obsessions.