Say it ain’t so: after eight brilliant seasons, Bill Hader is leaving Saturday Night Live. Meaning this weekend’s finale will be the last time you see Hader on stage at Studio 8H as a cast member. As Keith Morrison might cry, “Ohhhhh? Noooo!” The news was revealed in an interview with the New York Times, in which the actor revealed, “It was a hard decision, but it has to happen at some point. It got to a point where I said, ‘Maybe it’s just time to go.'”
Hader joined SNL as a featured performer back in 2005 and soon became a full-time cast member thanks to his full-on dedication to every sketch, his hilarious impressions (in addition to Dateline’s overexcited Morrison, there were also brilliant takes on James Carville, Al Pacino, Vincent Price, Clint Eastwood, Lindsey Buckingham, and a frighteningly spot-on Alan Alda, among others), and one-of-a-kind originals like Weekend Update club correspondent Stefon. He. Had. Everything.
Hader’s commitment to comedy was not only appreciated by fans, but those he worked with on SNL. As Lorne Michaels told the NYT, “He was so completely committed to the art of it and enough a student of it that there’s something strikingly original. He didn’t explode onto the air, but gradually he found his voice, and that became a huge thing.” Hader earned an Emmy nomination in 2012 for his work on SNL in the category of Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
The star’s departure comes one year after his friend and colleague Kristen Wiig (who hosted this past week) left the show, leaving a huge void in the series. (Of course, that’s not to say Taran Killam and Kate McKinnon aren’t worthy successors). Even though Hader fans won’t get to see the funny man on the small screen every week anymore, he’ll be seen on the big screen in upcoming projects like The To-Do List, Skeleton Twins (with Wiig!), and Lawless.
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