The season finale of Saturday Night Live airs this weekend with host Ben Affleck and musical guest Kanye West, and sadly it will also mark the end of an eight-year run on the show for one of the cast members.

Bill Hader, who has become well-known for his “Weekend Update” characters like Stefon, and spot-on impressions of people like Al Pacino, James Carville, Vincent Price and many more, will be leaving the late-night sketch comedy show after the end of this season.

Saturday Night Live has always served as a jumping-off point for many comedians who move on to bigger and mostly better careers in film and television, so it’s no surprise that Hader is leaving after eight years with the late-night staple created by Lorne Michaels. Names like Mike Myers, Will Ferrell, Chris Farley, Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, John Belushi – and most recently Kristen Wiig – all went on to have successful careers, and that’s clearly where Hader is headed.

In addition to his time spent on SNL, the versatile Hader has worked as a writer on no less than 28 episodes of South Park, and has also taken supporting roles in films like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Paul, Superbad, Hot Rod, Tropic Thunder and others. Recently, Hader could be seen as an undercover agent in Men in Black 3, doing a stellar Andy Warhol impression, and his voice could be heard in animated films including Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (which has a sequel on the way), Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and the forthcoming Me and My Shadow.

Speaking to The New York Times about his departure, Hader says, “It was a hard decision, but it has to happen at some point. It got to a point where I said, ‘Maybe it’s just time to go.’” The act of letting the show go was quite difficult as Hader recalls, “I’d heard stories that you get very emotional in those conversations, and I’ve had other people tell me, ‘Oh, I cried.’ I didn’t, but I did think I was about to faint.

So will Bill Hader get the kind of send-off that Kristen Wiig received at the end of last season? Lorne Michaels doesn’t seem to think so. The series creator says, “That was a very strong and spontaneous reaction to the depth of feeling that was there for Kristen. It either comes out spontaneously because it makes sense and it represents the way people feel, or not. It won’t be the same thing this year, obviously. We’ll see.” At the very least, we’re hoping for one final round of terrible tourist hot spot suggestions from Stefon, and since it’s the season finale, hopefully plenty of guest-stars.

In addition, the news about Hader’s departure also indicates that other cast members Jason Sudeikis and Fred Armisen are figuring out whether they want to return. Sudeikis has a busy film career now and Armisen has Portlandia on IFC (a show that Michaels also produces). Plus, with the official news that Seth Meyers is taking over Late Night from Jimmy Fallon next year when Fallon (another SNL alum) moves to The Tonight Show, we might have a major changing of the guard at Saturday Night Live yet again.

We’ll keep you posted on any major developments at SNL.

Souce: The New York Times