New York’s hottest club is Leaving Saturday Night Live. It has everything: weekdays, autonomy, a laptop you’ve nicknamed “Porn Michaels,” producers promising you movie roles, a smirking Seth Meyers, and a yawning void… You know, it’s that thing where you’re Bill Hader, and you’ve become such a crucial part of SNL that hearing this weekend’s episode will be your last leaves behind a giant hole, one that can only be filled with sleepy midgets.
And that’s exactly where Hader is going, telling The New York Times, “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 said he was motivated to leave the show after eight seasons partly after seeing Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg find new success elsewhere, and partly by a desire to move to L.A.—likely to continue pursuing his burgeoning film career. On that note, he’s already completed three live-action and four animated features this year alone, and just yesterday came news that he’ll be starring in the Mike White-produced comedy Lawless. In short, Hader has plenty of new opportunities that don’t involve playing game show hosts every week.
News of Hader’s departure—along with the recent announcement that Seth Meyers will likely be leaving after the fall season—naturally suggests more sweeping change ahead for the SNL cast. In particular, the departures of Fred Armisen and Jason Sudeikis have been rumored since last year, and Lorne Michaels tells the NYT it’s still uncertain whether they’ll return, but “I think they’re making their decisions and we’ll know soon enough.” For now this Saturday’s episode will presumably be all about saying goodbye to Hader, and Kenan Thompson trying out his Vincent Price impression to no avail.
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