NEW YORK, June 2 (UPI) -- American actor and comedian Andy Samberg has said he will not return as a cast member to "Saturday Night Live" after seven seasons on the show.
"It's an incredibly emotional and strange moment in my life," Samberg told The New York Times Friday. "Obviously it's not a huge shock, but I did officially decide not to come back."
Samberg joined the comedic sketch show in the fall of 2005 and was perhaps best known for his musical offerings on the hit series of digital shorts he helped pioneer, the newspaper said.
His first viral hit for "S.N.L." was rap video "Lazy Sunday" in which he and fellow cast member Chris Parnell rap about Red Vines licorice and "The Chronicles of Narnia." The video was in collaboration with Samberg's comedic hip-hop group, Lonely Island, which later produced successes like "I'm on a Boat" and "I Just Had Sex."
Samberg told the Times choosing to leave "S.N.L." was one of the hardest decisions he ever had to make, but he received advice from outgoing cast member Kristin Wiig.
"She kept saying it just feels like it's her time," Samberg said. "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."
Samberg will next appear on the big screen this summer in "That's My Boy" and "Celeste and Jesse Forever."
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