Bill Hader is leaving SNL. The veteran performer told an interviewer that “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 joined the cast of SNL in 2005 as a featured player but was quickly promoted to a full member of the cast. Hader created some of the most memorable characters of the recent SNL generation. His Stefon character got Hader the rare recognition of being nominated for an Emmy. His Vincent Price character was also one of my favorites, and the Halloween at Vincent Price’s skit he performed with Mad Men star John Ham was one of my favorite of the last 5 years of the show.
The loss of Bill Hader could open he door for more departures of veteran talent from the show. Portlandia star Fred Armisen is rumored to be thinking about leaving so he can focus more on his own show (which also happens to be produced by Lorne Michaels) and head writer and Weekend Update host Seth Meyers is leaving to take over for Jimmy Fallon (who’s show is also produced by Lorne Michaels) when the late night debacle gets settled by NBC.
Jason Sudeikis’ future is also uncertain. He had said originally that he was leaving when Kristen Wiig left the show (and he was upset with how Lorne fawned over Wiig’s departure), but he still came back for another season.
When asked if Armisen and Sudeikis had made their decisions yet, Lorne Michaels said, ““I don’t think so. I think they’re making their decisions and we’ll know soon enough. I’ve said what I wanted to say to both. You never keep anybody there who doesn’t want to be there, and there is a right time to leave, but it’s more about where they are in their lives.” (h/t to Dave Itzkoff for the quote)
Saturday Night Live has been on the air since 1975. The show has undergone numerous cast changes and shake-ups over the years. The one thing that has always remained true about the show is that no one stays forever. While it is upsetting to be losing such talented players, we can rest assured knowing that someone will take their place. I’m already a huge fan of Taran Killam and there are plenty of other funny young comedians that will be there to take over.
Thank you Bill Hader for the many years of laughs. We will miss you on SNL but will be looking forward to your next projects. I leave you all with the best of Stefon to remember Bill’s time on SNL: