Goodbye, Stefon. Goodbye, Al Pacino. Goodbye, James Carville. Goodbye, Julian Assange.
Goodbye, Bill Hader.
After eight seasons, the veteran "Saturday Night Live" cast member is leaving the show. Saturday's season finale, hosted by Ben Affleck, will be his final performance.
"It was a hard decision, but it has to happen at some point," Hader told The New York Times. "It got to a point where I said, 'Maybe it's just time to go.'"
He will be missed. Hader's memorable characters not only made him a fan favorite, but earned him "SNL's" only Emmy nomination for best supporting comedy actor.
"SNL" boss Lorne Michaels compared him to Dan Aykroyd in his "intelligence and talent."
"He was so completely committed to the art of it and enough a student of it that there's something strikingly original," Michaels said.
Hader began contemplating his departure after friends Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg left last season. Not only is his movie and TV career heating up -- he's recently appeared in "Men in Black 3" and "The Mindy Project" -- so is that of Hader's wife, Maggie Carey, who wrote and directed "The To Do List."
With Hader moving on and head writer and "Weekend Update" anchor Seth Meyers replacing former cast member Jimmy Fallon on "Late Night," the long-running sketch show will experience a massive change. Veterans Jason Sudeikis and Fred Armisen are also question marks.
Will Saturday's episode feature an emotional sendoff, like the one Wiig received last year? "My joke was, we'll start singing 'Ruby Tuesday' and just say bye to Kristen again," Hader joked. "I can just do a little wave at goodnights, and that signifies it."
Some of Hader's most memorable characters:
Unaired "Californians" Sketch (Hader and Armisen Cracking Up)
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- Bill Hader
- Julian Assange
- James Carville
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