"Saturday Night Live" has seen its share of ups and downs, and now it appears that it will be losing three of its biggest stars. Jason Sudeikis, Kristen Wiig, and Andy Samberg are rumored to be quitting after this season.
Us Weekly magazine states that two sources have confirmed the three will be leaving the show after several years. Sudeikis has been with "SNL" since 2003, first starting as a sketch writer and, two years later, being bumped up to season regular. He has ventured into the film industry, appearing in "Horrible Bosses" and "Hall Pass."
Wiig has been with "SNL" for seven years, becoming one of the most familiar female leads alongside Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Last year she starred in the smash hit "Bridesmaids," which broke box office records for an all-female comedy and earned an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. She is to star in the upcoming "Friends With Kids," which will reunite her with co-star and real-life friend, Maya Rudolph.
Samberg never intended to be on-screen for "SNL." His comedy group, The Lonely Island, began writing for the show in 2005. They wrote features for "SNL" Digital Shorts, which often became viral videos and gained a life of their own.
While Samberg went on to star on "SNL," he still remains a loyal member of The Lonely Island.
All three have contributed much to the show but are moving on to new areas, hoping to further their careers outside "SNL." One source told Us Weekly, "Kristen was talking about leaving a while ago. With her movie success, it's no surprise."
Spokespeople for Wiig and Sudeikis have refuted Us Weekly's report. "No decisions are made until the season is over," they said.
It would surely be a great loss for the show, which has seen dwindling numbers since its reign in the 1990s. The presidential election of 2008 briefly provided a spike in viewership, with Tina Fey's impersonation of Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, and Amy Poehler's of Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Since then, the show has not been able to re-capture its ratings on a consistent basis. "SNL" is considered an iconic series, having been on the air since 1975 and providing the starts for legends such as Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, Tina Fey, and Dan Aykroyd. It shows no signs of going off-air anytime soon.