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October 21, 2014

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Fred Armisen Confirms ‘Saturday Night Live’ Departure

Fred Armisen Confirms ‘Saturday Night Live’ Departure

07/03/2013

Fred Armisen, the 11-year veteran of Saturday Night Live, officially confirmed that he would be leaving the late night sketch show, following fast on the heels of Bill Hader, who took his leave in May.

Armisen’s last appearance on the show was on May 18, which featured a punk-inspired send-off. Though many speculated at the time that it was in fact a “goodbye,” Armisen hadn’t commented on it until now. "I didn't do any kind of official announcement, but I really felt like it was obvious," Armisen, 46, told Splitsider. That was a love letter to all the music I grew up with, and also to my friends and to SNL and to Lorne [Michaels] and to the cast. There was a lot of emotion attached to it, but it was a very positive emotion."

Discussing the timing of his departure, Armisen mentioned the departures of Hader, Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg. He also spoke about wanted to focus on his own comedy series. "Portlandia started to pull me away more and more, schedule-wise, and I just felt like it'd be nice to focus on it a little more and go into the fall a bit more with shooting. So it was because of that. And also it was just a feeling."

Although Armisen will no longer be a regular face on Saturday Night Live, it’s likely that his performance in May won’t be his last on the stage. “People who have left before me have always stayed with the show," Armisen said. "On one level, we stay in each other's lives, but also the show. I feel like people don't really just leave in a cold way. I think people stay around in their own way." Wiig recently stopped by the show to reprise some of her most famous characters, and no one can forget Tina Fey’s return as former Alaska Governor and vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin.

There’s been speculation that Jason Sudeikis will be the next SNL cast member to leave for other projects, but it has yet to be confirmed.

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Read more: Fred Armisen, Saturday Night Live, SNL, Bill Hader

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