5 Comedy Characters and Cast Members We Wouldn’t Miss If They Were Gone

Time for some addition by subtraction
5 Comedy Characters and Cast Members We Wouldn’t Miss If They Were Gone

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If you’re a football fan, this is the time of year when your favorite team releases players from last year’s squad, either because they’re too expensive, no longer produce at a high level, or have proven themselves to be a pain in the ass. That got me thinking — what if comedy shows could pull similar transactions and release cast members who aren’t pulling their weight? Here are five candidates for comedy cast members we wouldn’t miss if they weren’t back for next season.

Saturday Night Live: Punkie Johnson

The “I’m Just Pete” music video is a good example of how Saturday Night Live uses Punkie Johnson when it uses her at all — a throwaway line or two and virtually nothing to do. Last season, all four of the new featured players got more screen time than Punkie despite her seniority status. It’s better this season but not by much — in last week’s Sydney Sweeney episode, for example, Punkie once again logged the least screen time of any cast member, according to @thesnlnetwork. 

Johnson might be a great stand-up comedian but SNL rarely gives her a shot. How could we miss her when she never gets on the show?

Only Murders in the Building: Cinda Canning


On the one hand, Tina Fey’s Sarah Koenig parody is supposed to be insufferable. On the other hand, Cinda is, well, insufferable. Who knows — if she’d paid a little attention to Becky, maybe there would have been one less murder to solve. With Only Murders adding so many new stars for Season 4, including Molly Shannon, Eva Longoria, Eugene Levy, and Kumail Nanjiani, maybe Canning could be the subject of one more murder investigation. 

Wednesday: Uncle Fester

In a show that mostly deadpans its laughs, Fred Armisen’s Uncle Fester goes the other way, hamming it up and playing for broad yuk-yuks that are tonally inconsistent with the rest of the show. With Fester getting his own spinoff, it sounds like we won’t have to put up with it much longer, though I imagine Wednesday’s uncle will show up a few more times for cross-promotional purposes.

Abbott Elementary: Jacob

In a Reddit poll on r/AbbottElementary, Jacob was the runaway winner for least favorite character. “I know he's meant to be annoying,” groused one Redditor, “but that still makes him annoying.” Another commenter sums up the problem: “Jacob is just...too much.”

The Bear: Pete

There’s some comedic relief in having a dipshit brother-in-law always effing things up. Don’t bring fish, dipshit! But if nobody in the family likes Pete, why should we?


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