If there’s any truth to today’s rumors, then Saturday Night Live may soon be short two of its biggest
a-holes stars. As is customary for SNL standouts who have successfully transitioned to the big screen, Kristen Wiig and Jason Sudeikis are reportedly leaving the show at the end of the season to focus on their film careers. This news certainly doesn’t come as a shock, but it’s probably still pretty unsettling if you’re a die-hard SNL fan. Vicky St. Elmo and DJ Supersoak are quality standouts on the show, and two of the biggest names on its dwindling roster. Whether Wiig or Sudeikis leave next year or in two or three, it’s going to be a huge loss.
But hey, for silver lining purposes, why don’t we put our selfish needs aside and look at the bigger picture? Even though we love seeing them on the show, Wiig and Sudeikis’ departures could very well work wonders for their careers and for SNL.
The first two episodes of this new season have proven that the show could definitely use some housecleaning. Wiig and Sudeikis have been repertory players since 2005 — they joined SNL after the high-profile exit of its early 2000’s star Jimmy Fallon, and assisted the likes of Andy Samberg and Seth Myers in giving the show a much-needed talent boost. Remember back in 2002 when everyone thought that SNL was doomed after the departure of Will Ferrell? Well, time and some folks by the name of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Maya Rudolph (along with Fallon) quickly destroyed that theory. Ferrell had been carrying the show for years, and the gaping hole left by his departure gave these other stars a chance to prove themselves. Well, prove themselves they did, and it wasn’t long before they took Ferrell’s spot as the new SNL go-to scene-stealers. But then they all left, and everybody groaned and grumbled until Wiig, Sudeikis, and others proved to be worthy distractions.
So — rinse and repeat? I enjoy watching Wiig ugly it up as Dooneese as much as the next person, but I also would love to see a fresh crop of female comedians vie to take her place. And hey, maybe she is technically irreplaceable. Lorne Michaels himself said Wiig is among the “top three of four” performers in SNL history, and I happen to agree. But as an almost weekly visitor to the Upright Citizens Brigade, I can assure you that the talent is out there. How great would it be have another Wiig or Poehler or Fey on SNL while Wiig makes her mark on the big screen?
As for Sudeikis, I don’t think his talent will be quite as severely missed. Don’t get me wrong, he is clearly one of the strongest performers on the show. But while Wiig is the lone female superstar of SNL (Sorry, Abby Elliott), Sudeikis has the absolutely incomparable Bill Hader (Stefon!) as a viable back-up. His departure could lead to the casting of some potentially scene-stealing leading male comedians, but I also wouldn’t mind seeing some more from the guys we already have.
Finally, remember that Wiig and Sudeikis could always come back as hosts — and SNL could definitely use some new talent in that department. If their film careers go as well, as I think they will, then these two should be around to help Justin Timberlake, Steve Martin, and Alec Baldwin with the hosting duties for a very long time. Wiig will star as a romantically desperate playwright in Imogene in 2013, and Sudeikis is set to appear in Movie 43 in 2012. So even though they might not be around for the week to week, there’s a good chance that they’ll host the show to promote their latest projects, giving a new crop of talent a chance to make their mark. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?
So what do you think, PopWatchers? EW was unable to reach Wiig or Sudeikis for comment, but keep in mind that casting decisions won’t be confirmed until next summer. If the rumors are true, do you have faith that the show can survive without them? Have any comedians to recommend? Let us know in the comments!