Comedy blog Splitsider's Adam Frucci reports today that legacy cast member Abby Elliott (her dad is former cast member Chris Elliott) has announced that she won't be returning to Saturday Night Live after four seasons on the show. Elliott was never a central player — she was often in the background while Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, and whoever else did their thing — but she was gradually building a bigger presence on the show, thanks to a popular recurring sketch in which she played Zooey Deschanel as an absurdly twee cartoon character. She also had a few solid stand-alone bits, like her "What Is This?" game show sketch and appearances on Weekend Update as a baby-hungry Angelina Jolie and various other celebrities. But, all told, she never really seemed to find her footing on the show, from an audience perspective at least. Elliott was slated to be the lead on a new Fox sitcom, but was recast during the pilot process. Fellow cast members Samberg and Wiig announced their departures from SNL earlier this year.
In 2009, The New York Times Magazine's Ed Zuckerman profiled Abby, Chris, and Bob Elliott, calling the, "a professionally funny family."