Bill Hader Is Leaving ‘Saturday Night Live’

“It was a hard decision, but it has to happen at some point,” Mr. Hader said in an interview. “It got to a point where I said, ‘Maybe it’s just time to go.’ ”

Mr. Hader’s contract at “Saturday Night Live” expired in spring 2012, but he was persuaded to stay on for an additional season. In February, he told Mr. Michaels that he was ready to move on, he said. “I’d heard stories that you get very emotional in those conversations,” he added, “and I’ve had other people tell me, ‘Oh, I cried.’ I didn’t, but I did think I was about to faint.”


Hader made a mark for his amazingly weird characters—from the drugged-out, ambiguously gay Stefon to the senile, slightly racist reporter Herb Welch. He also had a few brilliant impressions in his back pocket, including Al Pacino, Vincent Price, Rick Perry, and James Carville. Time and again, he brought something different and funny to the table during sketches, and that uniqueness is going to be missed among many vanilla cast members.

The bad news might not stop here: Fred Armisen may also be leaving soon to focus on Portlandia and other projects. As might Jason Sudeikis, who almost jetted before this season. And, of course, Seth Meyers will depart next year to host Late Night.

Shit. Are Taran Killam and Vanessa Bayer going to be the only decent cast members left on the show?