Andy Samberg Reveals Why He Left SNL: ‘I Was Falling Apart’


Andy Samberg’s exit from Saturday Night Live in 2012 was a disappointment to many fans, but what they hadn’t known until now is that the star was suffering “physically and emotionally,” he revealed this week.

Samberg revealed that his time on the show led to him feeling like he “was falling apart in my life,” when he sat down with Kevin Hart for his interview series Hart to Heart. Samberg was in the cast from 2005 to 2012, during which, he said he started to break down from the grueling schedule.

“We were writing stuff for the live show Tuesday night all night, the table read Wednesday, then being told now come up with a digital short—so write all Thursday [and] Thursday night. Don’t sleep, get up, shoot Friday, edit all night Friday night and into Saturday,” he explained. “It’s basically like four days a week you’re not sleeping, for seven years.”

As the lack of sleep and health decline took its toll, Samberg said he sought out advice from other former cast members, but ultimately stayed with it as long as he did because of how swiftly he could get his ideas from his mind onto television.

“I had talked to [Amy] Poehler and other people that had already gone,” he said, but “the craziest thing about working there is once you get going, if you’re just in the shower and you have an idea that shit can be on television in three days, which is the most, like, intoxicating feeling.” Eventually, even that wasn’t enough to combat the negative effects of being on almost 24/7.

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“[Producers] told me straight up, ‘We prefer you would stay,’” he said, which made the decision harder. “But I just was like, I think to get back to a feeling of like mental and physical health, I have to do it. So I did it and it was a very difficult choice.”

Samberg also told Hart he had wanted to be on SNL since he was 8 years old, but, “Even if it doesn’t go as well, I got to do the thing I wanted to do so everything past this point is icing.” And there was icing, indeed—Samberg's show Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which premiered just a year after he left SNL became a success, as were many of his other TV and movie roles.

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