June 01, 2012 5:40pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
It's Official: Andy Samberg Departing 'Saturday Night Live'
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.
"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."
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 joined SNL in 2005 and has seen several of his Digital Shorts go viral, including the Justin Timberlake starrer "Dick 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," 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.
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.