The season finale of TV sketch comedy “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) marked the last episode for cast member Kristen Wiig, and as she became emotional on stage during her musical send-off, co-star Andy Samberg had a feeling it would be his last show too.
Yet even as the Bridesmaids star said goodbye to her cast mates on May 19, Samberg remained mum about his exit, preferring to let his popular digital short films do the talking for him.
“I consider the last two digital shorts my goodbye,” he told Reuters in a recent interview, referring to Lazy Sunday 2 and the 100th Digital Short. “I kind of built them in that way because I sensed this was the end for me.”
He said that as of the season finale he hadn’t yet told the show’s producer, Lorne Michaels, of his plan to move on and didn’t want to distract from the show and Wiig’s big send-off. He called Michaels “a mentor and a father figure”.
Less than two weeks later, this past Friday, Samberg announced his exit to cap a seven-season run that saw him rise to stardom behind his digital short films including one with Justin Timberlake that won an Emmy — US highest TV honour.
“I’m really proud of the work I did this season, but it felt like it was going to be tough to keep it up,” Samberg said. “That’s part of what influenced my decision (to leave).”
The 100th Digital Short, which aired May 12, featured an all-star cast including Justin Bieber, Natalie Portman, Jon Hamm, Will Ferrell, Usher, Timberlake, Bolton and others.
He admitted he’s already shed a lot of tears about his decision to leave “SNL,” although he’s quick to hint that “it may not be the full end of the shorts”.
With two films coming out this summer, including the Adam Sandler comedy That’s My Boy and indie film Celeste and Jessie Forever, Samberg has a lot to look forward too.
“‘SNL’ was my dream job,” he said. “I did it, but now it’s reached the moment where I feel like it’s time to go.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2012.
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