Gilly, the Target Lady, Bjork, and Paula Deen may be exiting 30 Rock for good. Comic actress Kristen Wiig, who plays those popular characters on Saturday Night Live, is reportedly considering leaving the show at season's end, along with castmates Jason Sudeikis and Andy Samberg. "Everyone has to leave," the Oscar-nominated Bridesmaids star said during an interview with Alec Baldwin on WNYC. "I will say that when I do leave it's not because I'm sick of it and not because I see something better or anything like that. It's just that it's time." After seven seasons, Wiig is easily SNL's biggest asset, with her roster of recurring characters dominating most episodes. But with A-list movie offers being thrown her way, should she bid Lorne Michaels and Co. adieu?
It's time to leave: Wiig's Hollywood future couldn't look brighter, says Taylor Bigler at The Daily Caller. She has an Oscar nomination, six films coming out in the next two years, and is routinely in the conversation for coveted leading roles in big movies. Plus, SNL history reveals that the most successful SNL vets leave after seven or eight seasons. Will Ferrell, Mike Myers, and Dana Carvey all left after seven; Phil Hartman and Amy Poehler after eight; and Tina Fey after six as a performer and many more in the writer's room. Comics who stay longer (Darrell Hammond, Tim Meadows) haven't fared nearly as well.
"Is this the end of SNL's Kristen Wiig era?"
And the show will be just fine without her: SNL's eras are defined by star performers, says Margaret Lyons at New York. In recent years, we had the Will Ferrell era, the Tina Fey-Amy Poehler era, and then the Kristen Wiig era. But SNL will be in good hands when Wiig leaves: Prepare for the Taran Killam era. Only in his second season, the handsome star has already broken out with several recurring characters, displaying brilliant physical comedy otherwise absent from the current cast. Plus, he's a "terrific mimic," proven by this week's spot-on impression of Bravo's Andy Cohen.
"Taran Killam is SNL's next big thing"
Actually, SNL would be a mess without her: This is terrible news for SNL, says Rebecca Martin at Wetpaint. And if Samberg and Sudeikis follow Wiig out the door, this could be a creative disaster for the show — "which many fans already think is on shaky ground." These three aren't just the most recognizable cast members — they're the funniest, too. "The loss of their combined comedic talents would be a major blow to a show that always seems to be struggling to find its footing."
"Are Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg, and Jason Sudeikis really leaving Saturday Night Live?"