“Lazy Sunday” performer Andy Samberg will now get the chance to enjoy lazy Saturdays. The actor and comedian has confirmed to The New York Times that he is in fact leaving Saturday Night Live, where he spent seven years as a cast member. “It’s an incredibly emotional and strange moment in my life,” he told the publication. “Obviously, it’s not a huge shock, but I did decide not to come back.”
Indeed, it’s not a shock to Samberg and SNL fans. The actor’s exit has been rumored for months, especially since Samberg’s in the midst of promoting his movie career with films like June 15’s That’s My Boy. And SNL‘s Season 37 finale appeared to mark the end of Samberg’s seven-season run — one week after airing his 100th Digital Short with the show, the cast member released a follow-up to “Lazy Sunday,” the first sketch that catapulted his Shorts into viral territory. The sketch teased his possible exit with lyrics like: “On these New York streets I hone my fake rap penmanship / That’s how it began, and that’s how I’m-a finish it.”
Of course, the most ardent fans of Samberg and the comedy troubadours that make up the actor’s Lonely Island might be frustrated with the bow. After all, Kristen Wiig, who also finished her run with SNL this season, boasted an emotional send-off complete with the Rolling Stones and a cast singalong. Was there a reason Samberg didn’t get a similar tribute? (And can we expect Jason Sudeikis, the other rumored exiting cast member, to follow suit, especially after his dejected look during Wiig’s final sketch?)
If his talk with The New York Times is any indication, the cast member had yet to commit to his exit. Said Samberg, “[Wiig] kept saying it just feels like her time … I connect with that. Something about it just feels like it’s the moment. My contract’s up and I did so much more than I ever thought I would ever even do.”
That includes characters like Shy Ronnie, Rick Santorum, and a Color Me Badd-esque “Dick in a Box” singer. These, of course, are all roles that seem silly to mention when you consider how much Samberg revitalized the long-running series. Sure, the sketch comedy show had TV Funhouse and other pre-taped segments under its belt before the cast member arrived, but Samberg, with his Digital Shorts, was the first to foresee and take advantage of a generation committed to viral social sharing. And they were influential enough to score him an Emmy award for the aforementioned “Dick in a Box.”
Still, a New York Times interview doesn’t seem enough of a bow for a “Motherlover” who made such a splash on the SNL scene. Thankfully for fans, we might see Samberg again on the small screen — the actor told the New York Times he hopes to work with the NBC series on Digital Shorts in the future.
And that’s news enough to make fans, well, let’s just say dry clean their pants?