On the heels of Kristen Wiig's tearful "Saturday Night Live" sendoff, Andy Samberg has now said goodbye to the iconic skit show, and Jason Sudeikis (though not retiring quite yet) is pondering a post-"SNL" existence. But what does that existence look like career-wise? Will these new veterans follow in the footsteps of Will Ferrell and Tina Fey? Or will their careers resemble Rob Schneider's? (No offense, Rob. Well, maybe a little.)
With a screenwriting Oscar nomination for "Bridesmaids," a host of other blockbuster comedies behind her and a slew of star-studded projects ahead of her, Wiig is already a box office force to be reckoned with. But will she stand the test of time? Will she expand into other roles and genres like directing and drama and one day bring home that golden boy? Her future film slate bodes well with A-list collaborations like "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (featuring Ben Stiller and Sean Penn) and "Imogene" (with Annette Bening). If her alter ego Penelope could comment, we're guessing she'd say something like, "What's that Ferrell, you make 20 million a movie? Well I'm going to make 20 trillion a movie plus infinity ... on the moon ... actually, I invented movies and the moon. Soooo …"
Samberg seems worried about his prospects, saying in an interview, "Let's just hope I get some work after 'SNL.'"
Of course, he'll get work. It's just a matter of whether Samberg will rise above his "Hot Rod" and "Space Chimps" past and make a memorable (not in a Razzie way) mark for himself. He's had promising supporting roles in blockbusters like "I Love You Man" and "Friends With Benefits," but most recently he seems to be apprenticing at the Adam Sandler school of comedy, playing straight man/son to his prodigal pop in "That's My Boy." Might he be aiming to fill Sandler's shoes? Or will he endeavor instead to continue develop his somewhat serious acting skills in films like "Celeste and Jesse Forever," an anti rom-com about a divorcing couple that teams him up with Rashida Jones?
Then again, Samberg’s "SNL" success stemmed from his self-concocted brand of comedy -- think laser cats, mother lovers and other offbeat video shorts. Perhaps Samberg will forget film and let his freak flag fly with his own maverick comedy show, co-hosted with friend and partner in comedy crime Justin Timberlake. Or he'll embrace his lyrical gangsta side, "Lazy Sunday"-style.
Another "SNL" player with solid Hollywood cred, Sudeikis has appeared in several comedy hits including "Horrible Bosses," "Hall Pass" and "Going the Distance." His upcoming releases include "The Campaign" (a political showdown starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis) and "Red Band" (an Elizabeth Banks-directed compilation of comedy segments with Emma Stone, Kate Winslet, Anna Faris and more big names). Would a post-"SNL" Jason delve into direction, writing or meatier roles like a mafia drama (we know he looks fly in a track suit)? Buff up and bust heads as an action star? Embrace his romantic side with something tear-jerking and award-worthy? Or just stick with the same old sophomoric fare? It's worked for Sandler, after all.
Whatever the future holds for Wiig, Samberg and Sudeikis, we're itching to find out -- whether it makes us laugh, cry or groan in disappointment.