While Kristen Wiig received a teary, Rolling Stones-soundtracked farewell on the season finale of Saturday Night Live, it turns out that she’s not the only longtime cast member making a departure.
“It’s an incredibly emotional and strange moment in my life,” Samberg told the Times, confirming rumors that have been circulating for the last few months. “Obviously it’s not a huge shock, but I did officially decide not to come back.”
Samberg has just completed his seventh season on the show, and recently marked the milestone of his 100th Digital Short, the often-viral video franchise that he produces with his Lonely Island collaborators Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer. Their first big hit, “Lazy Sunday,” lead to other memorable rap and slow-jam sensations like “I’m on a Boat” and the Emmy Award-winning “Dick in a Box.” Samberg’s “Lazy Sunday” partner Chris Parnell returned in the season finale for a reprise of that first smash, with at least one line alluding to an exit:
“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.”
Samberg told the Times that Kristen Wiig’s departure had some influence on his decision.
“She kept saying it just feels like it’s her time,” Samberg said. “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.”