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Like Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, and Chris Farley before him, Lonely Island's Andy Samberg is leaving a seven-year stint as the Goofy White Guy on Saturday Night Live to pursue a career as the Goofy White Guy on the big screen. The star of "Dick in a Box" and "Jizz in My Pants" officially confirmed his departure with the New York Times last Friday, telling reporter Dave Itzkoff that not returning to the show next season was "one of the hardest decisions I've ever made." Sads!
For the past few months, rumors have been floating around about Samberg's exit from the show, and the finality of the last two SNL Digital Shorts (a commemorative video celebrating the 100th Digital Short, as well as a sequel to the seminal "Lady Sunday") made it seem like our favorite gap-toothed, mop-topped motherlover would be leaving Studio 8H for good. Yet after the season finale, Lorne Michaels himself said that Samberg had not yet reached a final decision, and that his future on the show would not be officially decided until July.
The hopes of Samberg fangirls like, um, myself (I think it's the diastema/Jew-fro combo, if we're gonna be totally honest with each other) were cruelly dashed, however, when Samberg told the Times that he had decided to leave SNL, a decision that was ultimately influenced by last season's departure of longtime cast member Kristen Wiig: "She just kept saying it was time," Samberg told the Times. “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.”
Although Samberg is not ruling out returning to SNL next season to make a digital short or two, his plate is gonna be pretty full in the upcoming months: he's starring in two movies this summer (the Adam Sandler vehicle That's My Boy and the indie romcom Celeste and Jesse Forever), and his recent commencement speech at Harvard indicated that he could enjoy a lucrative future career as a motivational speaker (“I’m only truly qualified to give you three simple tips on how to succeed in life, beginning with 'cut a hole in a box,'" he told this year's graduates).
Best of luck to you, Andy, and mazel tov on this exciting new transition! I'm sure we can all eventually forgive you for introducing "I'm on a boat, motherfucker" and "I just had sex" into the obnoxious frat boy lexicon, provided your next project is better than Hot Rod.