A few weeks ago Kristen Wiig had a very teary goodbye on SNL (you know, the episode where Mick Jagger was still pretending he had a music career), which was a long time coming. She’s been with the show for seven years, and it had been rumored that this would be her last year on the show; which will give her more time to take on some film roles, pen some screenplays, and produce.
On a related note, it has also been rumored that Andy Samberg, the faux-rapper of Digital Short/Lonely Island fame, would be going the way of the Wiig and leaving the show as well. Rumored, but never confirmed. After weeks of “will he, won’t he” the actor has finally announced that he will not be returning for another season.
Samberg said of Wiig’s farewell:
“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.”
The finality of his decision was evident in the last digital short (produced along with SNL writers Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer) Lazy Sunday 2, a remake of their first digital short Lazy Sunday, released in 2005. The remake brought back fellow rapper Chris Parnell, and featured the lyrics, “On these New York streets/I hone my fake rap penmanship/that’s how it began/and that’s how I’m-a-finish it.” You can check it out here.
Samberg is best known for characters such as Mark Wahlberg, Shy Ronnie, Nicolas Cage, and anyone clueless and/or weird. ->
Now comes the big question. Will SNL recover? Andy Samberg is pretty funny, don’t get me wrong, but Kristen Wiig is one of the greatest comedians to ever come through the show. I’m not really excited about the “new talent” this show has to offer. There is no strong, funny female presence to continue on for next year. There are some good character actresses, to be sure, but no one that can carry a sketch, carry a show, quite like she could.
For the men, we still have Bill Hader (for now), but what about Jason Sudeikis? Isn’t he leaving, too? Where is that announcement? The hug he and Kristen shared during her sendoff was extra emotional, and he’s being awfully evasive about his SNL future.
SNL has survived greats leaving in the past. John Belushi, Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Dan Akroyd, Phil Hartman, Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Chris Farley, Will Farrell, Tina Fey (head writer), Amy Poehler… the list goes on and on. And chances are, it will survive again. I just hope it’s not so bad that we can’t recover, or even that we have a couple of lost years. Like, remember all those episodes from the early 80s? No, of course you don’t. Because they were so bad no one even reruns them. The tapes are locked in the deepest bowels of NBC studios, along with the entire series My Two Dads and Madonna’s halftime show at the Super Bowl.
My confidence is shaken. If the writing team was consistently good on this show, I wouldn’t worry. They could just write to their strengths. With people like Seth Meyers at the helm, you would think I’d have no reason to worry. But it’s easy to write for someone like Kristen Wiig. Just take one of the characters that she’s already played and develop a sketch around it. They’re actually going to have to use their brains now that they don’t have someone who can carry a show. Are they funny enough? Is putting pressure on a lump of coal going to make a comedic diamond? We’ll see.
And one more thing: