Us Weekly — that bastion of journalistic integrity, a publication that’s never missed a beat in the ongoing mundanities of the Kardashians — is reporting that Jason Sudeikis, Kristen Wiig, and Andy Samberg are leaving “SNL” at the end of the season. This is a popular rumor (at least with Sudeikis and Wiig), and it could just be that Us Weekly is jumping the gun on what we all know. It makes sense. Wiig’s feature film career is taking off — she may be the cast’s first legitimate female film star — and Sudeikis is pretty much set to play the male best friend in every romantic comedy that comes out over the next decade. In fact, Sudeikis has been noticeably absent this year, appearing in very few sketches, acting as though he’s already on his way out. Samberg, meanwhile, has been pulled into the Happy Madison fold. He’s in Sandler’s next feature, That’s My Boy, which depressingly looks like a return to form for Sandler, if that form were the desiccated husk of Happy Gilmore.
“It will be a huge blow to the show,” an insider told Us. “Without Andy’s video shorts and Kristen saving every skit, they’ll need help!”
That statement is essentially the opposite of true. Samberg hasn’t had a decent video this year, and — as much as I love Wiig in feature films now — her omnipresence on “SNL” has been dragging it down for two years, as she rolls out variations of the exact same character over and over.
The show, in fact, could be stronger, especially if it means more screen time for Bill Hader. Taran Killam is also poised to be the next star. The real shame of it is that there’s not more turnover: It’s time for Fred Armison, Kenan Thompson, and Bobby Moynihan to go. I will miss Sudekis’ Mitt Romney this election season, however. Maybe Lorne can convince him to stay through November.