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Andy Samberg Confirms He's Not Returning To SNL

The final episode of Saturday Night Live's 37th season ended on an unusually tearful note as Kristen Wiig "graduated" with a musical farewell. With the emphasis on Wiig's departure, we were left to wonder about the rumors that Samberg too was on the way out. It appears they were true.

NY Times is reporting that Samberg has confirmed that he won't be returning to SNL as a cast member next season.

“It’s an incredibly emotional and strange moment in my life,” Mr. Samberg said Friday in a telephone interview. “Obviously it’s not a huge shock, but I did officially decide not to come back.”

It's unfortunate, especially for those of us who love his digital shorts (and/or his recurring impersonation of Nicolas Cage), but not all that surprising, considering he's been on the long-running NBC sketch comedy series for seven seasons.

Just because he's leaving certainly doesn't mean we've seen the last of him. For one thing, he has a number of feature roles coming up, including Sean Anders' comedy That's My Boy, which stars Samberg and Adam Sandler as a father/son duo. That releases into theaters later this month.

It also seems likely that we'll see Samberg back on SNL at some point in the future, if not to host, then as a guest appearance, which isn't uncommon for some of the more popular former regulars. It also sounds like he's open to the possibility of Lonely Island contributing more digital shorts for the series down the line. Still, knowing he's confirmed not to come back next season has me feeling especially appreciative that he managed to revisit the "Lazy Sunday" digital short with a sequel short for this season's finale…

And on a related note, I'll be curious to see if the Sandler-torch is passed in some way on SNL moving forward. After Sandler's run, Jimmy Fallon came along, and after Fallon, there was Samberg. While these three guys are each funny in their own way, there is a similarity in their style of humor and the musical element they brought to the show. It'll be interesting to see if SNL makes an attempt to find someone to fill that role next season.