Fred Armisen Confirms 'SNL' Stint is Over, Will Focus on 'Portlandia'

Image: Fred Armisen Confirms 'SNL' Stint is Over, Will Focus on 'Portlandia'

Tuesday, 02 Jul 2013 03:21 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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After 11 years going for the laughs on “Saturday Night Live,” Fred Armisen closed his last season on the long-running show in May, seeking more time to focus on his show, “Portlandia,” he confirmed Monday.

Although there wasn’t an official announcement from NBC, Armisen told Splitsider.com that he thought his final skit made it obvious he wouldn’t be returning. Armisen’s skit brought back his Billy Idol-ish character Ian Rubbish to sing goodbye on the final night of his band’s tour.

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Paste Magazine reported that anyone missing Armisen on SNL can download, for free, the song he sang as Ian Rubbish, “It’s a Lovely Day.” The song, Paste said, was a “fond farewell” to "SNL" with the lyrics, “I gotta say, it was a lovely day.”

Armisen told Splitsider that he was having scheduling challenges trying to split his time between "SNL" and "Portlandia." Also, he said, he was confident in "SNL’s" cast and fulfilled by getting to try so many new things on the show in the past 11 years.

“I came away from 'Saturday Night Live' feeling very well represented,” he told Rolling Stone. “I felt, still feel like, they let me do so much stuff that I wanted to do.”

Armisen told Splitsider that he didn’t think anyone ever really left "SNL."

“Everyone kind of stays close,” he said in the interview. “I feel like people don’t really just leave in a cold way. I think people stay around in their own way.”

He gave Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Andy Samberg, and Maya Rudolph as examples of former "SNL" comedians who reappear periodically.

His biggest memories he’s taking from "SNL" are the writing and laughing, Armisen told Splitsider.

“Like this year I wrote a couple things with Vanessa [Bayer] and I don't even know if any of them went to air but God, we just laughed,” he said.

"Portlandia" is in its third season and is a sketch comedy focused on Portland, Ore. Armisen stars along with Carrie Brownstein.

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Related stories:

SNL Cast Crisis: Hader Says Goodbye; Myers, Sudeikis, Armisen to Follow

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