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But Elliott's second-class status is a mystery in more ways than one.
Though it's unclear whether she was cut or just cut out on her own accord, it's hard to recall an example of an "SNL" cast member who displayed as much talent as she did on the show yet remained woefully underused.
As Elliott's four-year stint on the show unexpectedly ended earlier this week, not even the most generous assessment of her time on "SNL" would put her anywhere near the league of Wiig, Samberg or Jason Sudeikis, another veteran cast member who has yet to be re-signed despite the fact the new season starts next month.That's not even counting her reliable work as Khloe Kardashian, Rachel Maddow and Angelina Jolie.It always seemed like there was a determination made early in Elliott's tenure that she was best consumed in small doses.What probably held back Elliott even more so was that her "SNL" career had the misfortune of coinciding with the tail end of Wiig's reign as comedy queen.
Her parting is all the more confusing considering Wiig's departure may have provided just the opportunity for her to finally make good on her potential.It's easy to underestimate just how great a season Elliott had in 2011-12.