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iO Vet Paul Brittain Signs Off From SNL

By Kim Bellware in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 1, 2012 5:00PM

Paul Brittain (photo courtesy of

iO veteran and former Chicago-based funny-man Paul Brittain is reportedly leaving Saturday Night Live—right now. Brittain, who joined SNL for its 35th season in the fall of 2010 and was made a featured player this season, won't even be in this week's episode with Channing Tatum.

Why such a hasty exist? In their exclusive, Entertainment Weekly cited a source close to Brittain who explained the comedian “had the opportunity to pursue other projects, and he and the show parted ways amicably.”

WBEZ weighed in with speculation that although SNL has a history of dumping actors after short tenures, Brittain's departure was (as his anonymous source stated) "amicable" and totally his own choice. With his mid-season exit, Brittain is in the company of SNL vets like Janeane Garofalo and Molly Shannon who also split before the season wrapped.

While on SNL, Brittain spoofed James Franco, Johnny Depp and introduced "Sex" Ed Vincent to a wider audience. See the character Brittain created while still performing in Chicago in the video below.

Brittain, a Naperville native, was popular in the "Challenger" show during his time at iO and returned to Chicago a few times after joining SNL. He returned for Chicago Sketchfest last summer and even stopped by The Paper Machete to read about Chicago's "Deep Tunnel."

No word yet what Brittain's next plans are, though it's a bit sad to see a Chicago comedy vet leave SNL so soon. Prior to he and fellow iO castmate Vanessa Bayer getting picked up in 2010, the last player to come from Chicago's comedy scene was Tina Fey more than a decade prior.

Until Brittain reveals what his "other projects" entail, we can enjoy some of his highlights, courtesy of EW.