Watch: On ‘Kimmel,’ Andy Samberg Explains His ‘SNL’ Exit

by | June 6, 2012 at 11:40 AM | TV News

“Saturday Night Live” star Andy Samberg says he hadn’t decided whether or not to leave the show when the season finale last month included a touching farewell to fellow cast member Kristen Wiig.

Samberg, 33, talked about his decision to leave “SNL” on Tuesday night’s edition of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on ABC. Samberg came on the Kimmel show to promote his upcoming movie “That’s My Boy,” opening June 15 and starring Adam Sandler, another “SNL” grad.

“On the season finale of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ it was Kristen Wiig’s final show and they made a big deal out of that,” Jimmy Kimmel asked Samberg. “Why didn’t they make a big deal about you?”

“I hadn’t officially decided,” Samberg said, giving no indication that he was miffed that the show honored Wiig and not him in that final episode guest-hosted by Mick Jagger. “I hadn’t talked to [producer] Lorne [Michaels] yet,” Samberg said.

“Everybody says this [who] goes through that show, but I’m always going to be indebted to Lorne,” Samberg said. “He gave me my whole career and stuff. So before I ever decided about staying or leaving, I wanted to make sure me and him touched base. And I hadn’t done that yet. And I know [Wiig] had, so everyone at the show knew that she was taking off and that sketch [in which Jagger led the singing of the Rolling Stones classic "She's a Rainbow"] got written. And frankly, she deserved a send-off like that [because] she’s one of the best to ever do the show.”

Samberg said he decided to leave because he’d put in seven years on the show and he felt it was time to move on. “It was a very difficult decision to make,” he said. “A lot of people — I told them I’d left and they were like, You just got there! And I was like, Well, I’ve been there seven seasons, and they went, Oh, really, you should go!”

Samberg also presented a new video-sketch — a public service announcement aimed at stopping cannibalism. Watch the interview in the “Kimmel” video, above.

And relive Kristen Wiig’s touching “SNL” farewell, featuring Mick Jagger, here:
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