For eight years, viewers were tuned into characters on Saturday Night Live (SNL) such as Stefon, the “Weekend Update” city correspondent, incarnations of James Carville, Al Pacino, Vincent Price, Julian Assange, Vinny Vedecci and numerous game show hosts. The talent behind those personas, Bill Hader, will be leaving SNL this Saturday on its season finale.
Hader, now 34, started on SNL as a feature in the fall of 2005 and was promoted to full cast member the following year. Hader reports to The New York Times, “It was a hard decision, but it has to happen at some point,” adding, “It got to a point where I said, ‘Maybe it’s just time to go.’ ”
Besides a few movie parts under his belt like Super Bad, Men In Black 3 and Tropic Thunder, to name a few. Hader was also nominated for best supporting actor in a comedy series at the Emmys last year.
SNL Executive Producer Lorne Michaels said Hader reminded him of a young Dan Aykryod telling Rolling Stone , “He was so completely committed to the art of it and enough a student of it that there’s something strikingly original. He didn’t explode onto the air, but gradually he found his voice, and that became a huge thing.”
One reason for Hader’s departure was seeing his fellow cast members, Kristen Wiig, and Andy Samberg go last year. He also wants to settle down and move with his wife, Maggie Carey, to Los Angeles, who’s heavily involved in the film industry. Carey wrote and directed an up and coming comedy movie called “The To Do List”. Hader’s SNL’s contract even expired last spring but was told to stay on an extra year.
Next season, another cast member, Seth Meyers is planning on leaving SNL to take over Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night, while Jimmy Fallon takes over The Tonight Show. There are hints that Fred Armisen would leave SNL to focus on his current comedy show “Portlandia” as well as Jason Sudeikis who indicated he was exploring other career options.
Although, the number of SNL talent seems to have dwindled down over the last few years, Hader has positive hopes for the newer cast members like, Taran Killam, Vanessa Bayer and Kate McKinnon.
“I like watching Kate McKinnon do something — there’s a joy in seeing a new move from somebody and going, ‘Oh, she can do that’, ” said Hader.
Hader and Michaels won’t be giving a similar season finale as last year when they said farewell to Ms. Wiig. They do not want it to be emotional. Last season finale, Mick Jagger serenaded Wiig and the rest of the SNL cast.
Michaels stated, “That was a very strong and spontaneous reaction to the depth of feeling that was there for Kristen,” adding, “It won’t be the same thing this year, obviously. We’ll see.”