Pop Culture

Andy Samberg is leaving 'Saturday Night Live'

Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images / Today

It's official: Andy Samberg's time in Studio 8H has come to an end.

The actor/comedian/rapper is officially departing NBC's "Saturday Night Live," the actor confirmed to The New York Times.

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"It's an incredibly emotional and strange moment in my life," Samberg told NYT on Friday. "Obviously it's not a huge shock, but I did officially decide not to come back."

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During the May 19 season finale, Samberg in one of the Digital Shorts he brought to the late-night sketch series performed a track that strongly suggested that his time with "SNL" was coming to an end.

"On these New York streets I hone my fake rap penmanship, that's how it began, and that's how I'm-a-finish it," he rapped in the bit (seen below) with co-star Chris Parnell.

Samberg first joined "SNL" in 2005 and has seen several of his Digital Shorts go viral, including the Justin Timberlake starrer "D--- in a Box," which went on to earn a Creative Arts Emmy for its original music and lyrics.

With fellow "SNL" writers Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer, the trio also known as The Lonely Island helped make the Digital Shorts a mainstay on the series. The trio's follow-up to "Box," "Motherlover," also went on to receive an Emmy nomination in 2009.

In addition to impersonating Mark Zuckerberg and Mark Wahlberg, Samberg's other popular characters include Shy Ronnie -- which also received an Emmy nom in 2010.

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Samberg, whose "SNL" contract was up at the end of the season, joins fellow cast member Kristen Wiig, who also is departing the series.

"She kept saying it just feels like it's her time," Samberg said of Wiig's departure. "I connect with that. Something about it just feels like it's the moment. My contract's up and I did so much more than I ever thought I would ever even do."

The actor, however, was optimistic that he and his Lonely Island cohorts could contribute occasional work to "SNL." "That's the kind of thing that I really do hope happens," he said.

NBC did not return a request for comment.

Samberg next appears opposite former "SNL" cast member Adam Sandler in the feature "That's My Boy," which opens June 15.

Check out Samberg's "SNL" farewell in "Lazy Sunday 2," below.

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