Bobby Moynihan is leaving Saturday Night Live after nine seasons with the show. He was heir to a tradition older than Saturday Night Live itself – the funny fat guy – even if he never battled the real-life demons of a John Belushi or Chris Farley. He played a long and respectable list of recurring characters, as well as quite a few celebrity impersonations.
Moynihan is best known for his Drunk Uncle character, but he came up with quite a few memorable characters in his time on SNL, from “second hand news” man Anthony Crispino to always-doomed Kick Spit Underground Rock Festival associate “Ass Dan” to Riblet, the mic-dropping old classmate of Michael Che. There were also impressions of Chris Christie, George R.R. Martin, Guy Fieri and even Snooki. Now, Moynihan’s time on SNL is coming to an end.
Moynihan is leaving SNL at the end of the current season, Variety reported Wednesday. The annoucement arrives after rumors of Moynihan leaving Saturday Night Live earlier this spring when he signed on for the the CBS sitcom Me, Myself and I, which was picked up to series last week.
The performer joined SNL as a featured player in 2008, at a time when Fred Armisen, Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler and Andy Samberg were still a part of the show. He stayed through much turnover and his departure after nine seasons ties him for the 7th-longest SNL tenure in history, along with Horatio Sanz and Maya Rudolph. Kenan Thompson, if he returns next season, will break Darrell Hammond’s record of 14 seasons.
Moynihan is like a lot of people who have remained on SNL for a long stretch, like Kevin Nealon and Tim Meadows in the past and his own contemporary Thompson – he’s never really made much of a bid for movie stardom, and one gets the sense that SNL is a better use of his talents than a movie or sitcom. In fact, Moynihan has an unusually thin resume outside of SNL, with most of his movie roles supporting work in such comedies as The Invention of Lying, Staten Island Summer, Ted 2, Sisters and voice work in Inside Out and The Secret Life of Pets. He also voiced the title character on Chozen, an animated FX comedy (about a gay rapper) that petered out after one season in 2014.
The premise of Me, Myself and I, though – one man’s life, told in three different time periods – has potential, so perhaps Moynihan will have some post-SNL success.
Bobby Moynihan’s final episode of Saturday Night Live, hosted by Dwayne Johnson, airs Saturday night, May 20.