Will Ferrell Explains Why He Left SNL and Recalls The Parting Words Lorne Michaels Shared With Him During His Last Show


On Saturday night, several big stars appeared on the air, from Bill Murray and Eddie Murphy to Adam Sandler and Kristen Wiig. And, of course, Will Ferrell is also in their ranks. Before he entered the film industry, Ferrell was the lead actor on an NBC series from the mid-90s to the early 2000s, and he gave some pretty memorable performances. Now the co-host of Apple TV+ Spirited talks about why he decided to leave the show, and what the EP Lorne Michaels told him before leaving.

Unless you’re the endlessly adorable Kenan Thompson, it’s only natural that someone leaves SNL after a certain amount of time. Despite the fact that Will Ferrell starred in iconic sketches and was still quite popular when he left in 2002, he told the Wall Street Journal that he knew when it was time to leave. And when discussing what ultimately led to his decision to leave the show, he mentioned that a certain elf was partly to blame:

I was creeping up on my seventh season, and I just felt that, for better or worse, it was time to leave. It was a mixture of fear and “No, now is the right time.” I do not know why. Because it wasn’t really a bunch of scenarios that were waiting for me. It was more like, “I’m fine after the show. I’m quite famous. Let’s use this momentum to try.” I had an Old School. And then we had this script, which was a great concept, but needed some refinement about an adult man at the North Pole who thought he was an elf. So, I got ready. “I’m leaving the show. Let’s see what’s going on.’

Although the choice seemed difficult and scary, the actor and comedian made the right decision. It’s interesting to hear that the Elf appeared just at the right time for him, and it doesn’t really surprise me that by that time the star was ready to expand and try something new. However, he never strayed too far from his roots. Since then, the actor of the TV presenter has returned to SNL several times to host, and the episodes were very funny.

Of course, when it came time for his last show, Will Ferrell had one last conversation (as an actor) with Lorne Michaels. Ferrell said that the legendary TV producer gave him a pretty high compliment when he was preparing to leave:

Will Ferrell Explains Why He Left SNL And Recalls The Parting Words Lorne  Michaels Shared With Him Amid His Final Show | Cinemablend

You sit down with Lorne Michaels at his last performance, and he says — this is one of my favorite comments from Lorne, because it’s an absolutely amazing compliment, and at the same time there’s still some instability in it: “I have to say, I have to put you in the top three of all who ever participated in the show. Where in this top three — I can’t tell you.” …I’m like, “Thank you. Wow, that’s great…. Oh, I think. Am I the third?” Look, I have a talent. I knew that there would be people funnier than me, and I would probably be funnier than other people. But I [also] knew that no one would do more than me. It was the only thing I could control.

Lorne Michaels admitted in 2021 that Will Ferrell is among the two or three best actors of SNL, so even almost 20 years later, this opinion has not changed. Despite not being among Michaels’ favorites, the praise seems to have served as a motivator. But seriously, that’s a lot of praise, and I don’t think many will argue that Ferrell is one of the greatest alumni of the show.

In the years since he left the long-running comedy show, the 55-year-old Hollywood veteran has directed some of the most beloved comedies in the history of cinema, such as “TV Host: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” and “Stepbrothers.” He currently has several projects under consideration, including Greta Gerwig’s long-awaited Barbie movie. To be honest, I don’t see the actor slowing down any time soon.

While Will Ferrell’s exit was great, it’s also great that he still keeps SNL close to his heart. At the end of 2021, the actor presented the audience with more bells during a performance with Marc Anthony, and it was pretty amazing. We can only hope that we will continue to receive new performances from Ferrell, as well as see him appear from time to time in the sketch show in which he once starred.

All seasons of the show “Saturday Night Live” are available for viewing on a Peacock subscription. Here’s how you’ll find some of Will Ferrell’s best sketches. At the same time, you can also watch Ferrell’s funniest movies.


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