Less than two weeks after "Saturday Night Live's" season finale, which ended with an emotional goodbye to longtime cast member Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg has confirmed that he is also leaving "SNL."
In an interview with the New York Times, Samberg said that he would not return to the show next season.
“It’s an incredibly emotional and strange moment in my life,” Samberg said. “Obviously it’s not a huge shock, but I did officially decide not to come back.” (There have been reports that he, Wiig and Jason Sudeikis were all considering leaving the show after this season.)
Samberg, who's been on "SNL" since 2005, is best known for bringing viral digital shorts to the sketch show, along with his Lonely Island cohorts Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. They followed up their first viral hit "Lazy Sunday" with Emmy-nominated songs like "I Just Had Sex" and "Motherlover," and the Emmy-winning "D*ck in a Box," which featured Justin Timberlake.
In the season finale, Samberg and Chris Parnell reprised the roles that started it all for "Lazy Sunday 2," which Mike Ryan said was a fitting end to the digital short era -- an era that saw these videos get bigger, but not always better.
Samberg said that he and his Lonely Island partners might still contribute to "SNL" in some way in the future. “That’s the kind of thing that I really do hope happens,” he said.
Samberg told the New York Times that Kristen Wiig's departure helped him decide to leave as well: “She kept saying it just feels like it’s 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.”
What do you think: Will you miss Andy Samberg on "Saturday Night Live"?