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Fred Armisen Confirms SNL Exit

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It’s official: Saturday Night Live has lost one of its more versatile performers, as Fred Armisen recently told SplitSider the season finale was his last episode.

“I think it’s clear,” Armisen, who joined the cast in 2002, said of his departure. “I didn’t do any kind of official announcement, but I really felt like it was obvious. An ending that was a love letter to all the music I grew up with, and also to my friends and to SNL and to Lorne and to the cast. There was a lot of emotion attached to it, but it was a very positive emotion.”

He explained that although he’s gone, “Everyone kind of stays close.” He went on to talk about what lead him to make his exit. “It was really just strange, in that it felt very natural,” Armisen said. “It felt like a very healthy good time to do it. I was really enjoying and it just felt—it’s almost hard to define. Bill [Hader] was leaving, and Kristen [Wiig] and Andy [Samberg] had left. It just felt like I was very happy, maybe this is like a good time to do it. And then the other thing that really was eclipsing it was Portlandia. Portlandia started to pull me away more and more, schedule-wise, and I just felt like it’d be nice to focus on it a little more and go into the fall a bit more with shooting. So it was because of that. And also it was just a feeling.”

Portlandia‘s fourth season is set to debut in early 2014. The third season hits DVD and Blu-ray on July 9.

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