Andy Samberg Talks Leaving SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE and Telling Lorne Michaels, The Lonely Island, GROWN UPS 2, and More

     June 3, 2012


This weekend is the press junket for the raunchy and outrageous comedy That’s My Boy, in which Adam Sandler plays Donny Berger, the screw-up who became a teenage parent when his smoking hot teacher gave birth to his child while in jail. While Collider was there, we got the opportunity to do an exclusive interview with actor Andy Samberg about how he got involved with the film, how much fun he had on set, and what it was like to have Adam Sandler and Susan Sarandon playing his parents.

We’ll run what he had to say about the film closer to its June 15th release, but we did want to share what he had to say about the news that he has officially left Saturday Night Live, what made now the right time, how difficult the decision was, what that conversation with executive producer Lorne Michaels was like, and his hopes to continue contributing to the show, in some way.  Also talked about where he’d like to go next with his career, making another The Lonely Island album, how uncomfortable his tight white shorts were for Grown Ups 2, who he’s playing in The To Do List, and how excited he is for the release of the animated feature Hotel Transylvania.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Andy-Samberg-leaving-saturday-night-liveCollider: What made now the right time for you to leave Saturday Night Live?

ANDY SAMBERG:  It’s been very intense.  I didn’t want to do it before the season ended because I hadn’t talked to Lorne [Michaels].  I have so much respect and admiration for him, and I’m so grateful to him.  I didn’t want to do anything without really discussing it with him first.  It was a crazy mad-dash, finishing the season.  It was really intense.  Mick Jagger’s show was crazy.  The 100th short we did the week before was so much work.  There wasn’t a lot of time to stop and contemplate things.


I was pretty sure that I was gonna go.  The end of Lazy Sunday was that for me.  It was a nice way of saying goodbye, in my way, in the shorts, which was the way that people viewed me the most on the show.  And then, the season did end and Kristen [Wiig] obviously officially left in a very, very big, dramatic and beautiful way, and I was really happy for her.


I just thought about it a lot and decided that I knew I wasn’t coming back and, rather than having to dodge the question for a huge press cycle, it would be better to just say it and rip off the band-aid and move on.  But, I’ve definitely been really broken up about it.  It’s been a super-emotional time.  It was not an easy decision.  I’ll always be grateful that I got to do it.  It was my dream job, since I was eight.  Even now, talking to you, I feel conflicted about it, a little bit.

What was it like to have that conversation with Lorne Michaels?  Is he open to having you still contribute digital shorts and things like that?

Andy-SambergSAMBERG:  It was sad.  I was very emotional.  He’s been through it so many times, and he’s not going to sweat you.  He’s like, “If that’s what you want to do, that’s what you’re going to do.  If not, you’re welcome not to.”  It’s hard to convey to him, in a way he hasn’t heard before, how much he’s changed your life.  Everyone he picks to be on that show, he changes your life, forever.  Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but I have that gratitude towards him, forever now.  He gave me the career that I wanted, just with the snap of his fingers.  I’m forever indebted to him.  It was really cool to get to work for him and to work there, and I hope we still get to go back and do stuff.  If he’s open to it, I’d still love to do shorts, every now and again.  I know Lonely Island wants to make another album, so there will be videos for that, and stuff like that.  We’ll see how it goes.  We’ll see what happens.

Have you thought about what you want to do from here now?  Are you writing anything for yourself, or are you thinking about directing, at all?

SAMBERG:  Not directing, but I definitely want to get more movies going, if possible.  There’s a script at Happy Madison that Jorma [Taccone] and I are trying to put together, but it’s not far enough along that we’re announcing anything.  I have a few things like that, where I’m trying to get movies up and running that we have creative say in.  Hopefully, I’ll also be available to be cast in other stuff.  Hopefully, we’ll make another album.  I don’t know.  I feel like now it’s just something where ideas will come up as they come up and we’ll write them as we write them, and I’ll get offers or I won’t.  It’s exciting and scary.

Andy-Samberg-grown-ups-2How was it to wear those tight white shorts for Grown Ups 2?

SAMBERG:  I’ve worn less than that on camera, but they were very uncomfortable.  I’m not going to lie to you, all of us that day were very uncomfortable.  They were very tight and smashing us in the right place.

There just isn’t any right way to wear those, is there?

SAMBERG:  No, certainly not if you’re an adult man.  They were less forgiving than one might prefer.

How would you describe your role in The To Do List?

SAMBERG:  It’s fun.  I play a ‘90s grunge singer that Aubrey Plaza’s character runs into, and her and her friends hang out with me and my band for a night.

Did you enjoy voicing a character for Hotel Transylvania?  Is it challenging for you to bring a character to life with only your voice, when you love doing such physical comedy, or do you enjoy doing both?

SAMBERG:  I like both.  If I had to choose one, I’d rather be on-camera, but I do really like doing animated movies.  I like watching animated movies, and I always have.  That’s something I didn’t let go of, from when I was a kid.  It’s always exciting for me to get to do that.  Animated movies are so rarely bad.  Also, it’s cool now because I have a bunch of nieces and a nephew, and friends with kids.  It’s cool to know that you’re doing something that people of all ages can watch and enjoy, even though my bread and butter is a little dirtier.  It’s cool to just be involved in something that’s that big and joyous and meant to make people feel happy.  I’ve been really lucky, too.  I loved working on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  I thought that movie was awesome.  My friends, Phil [Lord] and Chris [Miller], directed it.  And, what I’ve seen so far of Hotel Transylvania has been really good, so I’m excited for it.

Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg SNL digital short lazy sunday