Andy Samberg made official on Friday what we’d already expected: He’ll be taking his leave of “Saturday Night Live.” “It’s an incredibly emotional and strange moment in my life,” Samberg told The New York Times. “Obviously it’s not a huge shock, but I did officially decide not to come back.”
Questions now arise as to what Samberg will do in his post-“SNL” career, and how successful he will be. He’s bounced around in the Judd Apatow and Adam Sandler movie circles so far, mostly in supporting roles. His one lead role, in Hot Rod, was a box-office disaster ($13 million), although it would become a cult hit among some. He has no shortage of projects in the works in the short-term. He plays opposite Sandler in the atrocious-looking That’s My Boy, he’s the lead love interest in the tepidly-reviewed indie flick out of Sundance, Celeste and Jesse (with Rashida Jones), and he’s also on board another Sandler flick next summer, Grown Ups 2: Shoot Yourself in the Mouth.
Perhaps sensing, however, he doesn’t have a huge future as a lead feature actor, Samberg also revealed that he’s taken on a role in the British television series, “Cuckoo,” which will star Samberg as a lazy type who marries a British girl and struggles with his wife’s overprotective dad.” That does seem more his speed, although I don’t think that Samberg will ever find a platform better than “Saturday Night Live” to exhibit his particular talents.
Indeed, Variety wonders how well a guy like Samberg can do in Hollywood, reckoning that he may end up being the next Dana Carvey: A huge talent on “SNL,” but one with limited utility in the film world.
“He is a square peg that doesn’t fit into the round holes Hollywood has slotted for stars who used the NBC late-night show as a springboard like Will Ferrell and Adam Sandler. It doesn’t help matters that his next big test comes later this June opposite Sandler, whose boxoffice record has gone from gold to mold, in “That’s My Boy.” When you cast a guy like Samberg as a straight man for Sandler to play off of, even in success that’s not the right showcase for this comedian.”
My guess is that Samberg will ultimately carve out a niche doing what he does best: Short-form videos. There’s probably not a ton of money in 30 million YouTube views, but an outfit like Funny or Die would be wise to snap Samberg up in between goofy best-friend roles in romantic comedies. In the meantime, we’ll always have “Captain Jack Sparrow.”