Andy Samberg’s Shocking SNL Contract Clause Proves Lorne Michaels Is Out Of Touch



  • Andy Samberg had to sign a 7-year contract before auditioning for SNL, which shocked everyone in the room.
  • Despite leaving SNL, Samberg has no regrets and describes the experience as going to war or being on a sports team.
  • Bill Hader, despite having a contract, didn’t feel safe until Lorne Michaels reassured him he could work on the show as long as he wanted.

Andy Samberg’s career took off thanks to SNL. He had a great run on the show, but it also featured some controversy, like the time he was sued for a “copied” collab with Rihanna.

Thankfully, for the most part, his stint on the show was filled with positives. However, his contract for the show did raise some eyebrows. In the following, we’re going to take a closer look at his former deal, and why it might prove Lorne Michaels is out of touch.

We’re also going to reveal what Samberg had to say about his exit, and how even the most established actors didn’t feel safe about their job on SNL.


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Andy Samberg Had To Agree To A 7-Year Contract Even Before He Auditioned For SNL

Looking back at SNL throughout the 2000s, Andy Samberg is on the top list of memorable acts to appear on the show. His departure from SNL was expected given that his career was taking off at the time. However, it was still a tough decision.

During an interview with Sirius XM 11 years ago, Samberg was open about his decision to leave. In addition, Samberg let out a detail that shocked everyone in the room about his prior contract. Andy revealed that he had to ink a lengthy deal to be on the show even before the audition.

Samberg revealed, “You sign a contract for seven years before you are allowed to audition for the show.”

The reveal received quite the reaction from the radio show hosts. However, Samberg did add that in the event that a person wants to leave, Lore Michaels won’t sue them.


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As for the interview process itself, the experience was a nervous one for Samberg, who threw up before the audition. Bill Hader even discussed himself and Samberg intimidating one another unknowingly just prior to the tryout.

Hader revealed, “I remember getting in the elevator for my audition and there was a guy next to me who had a backpack full of props and wigs and things, and I went, ‘Oh my god, that guy is so prepared, I have nothing, I have no props.’ And that was Andy Samberg. And Andy Samberg said he was looking at me going, ‘Oh, that guy has no props. He doesn’t need props.’ And that was the first time we met, was in that elevator.”

In the end, it all worked out for the two stars who became icons on the show.

Andy Samberg Didn’t Show Any Regrets Over His Decision To Leave SNL

Andy Samberg was open about his decision to leave SNL and as expected, he didn’t have many regrets about leaving the show.

The comedy actor revealed, “Over seven years, that show is like — and [Sandler] knows — it’s like going to war or being on a sports team,” Samberg said. “It’s just everyone working towards this common goal at full speed. When you lift your head up from that and go out into the world, you kind of realize, you’ll always be nicely shell-shocked in a way that only the people who did it with you can understand. I’ll definitely miss having such an amazing outlet and being able to do comedy on such a storied show that everyone pays attention to.”

Andy Samberg
via Instar


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Adam Sandler also praised Samberg for his decision to leave the show.

“He’s doing it all right,” Sandler said. “This guy cares about being a good person first, and I love that about him. He’s a hard-working fool when he wants to be, and he’s really a smart, talented and great guy. I know he’s going to do everything he wants to do.”

Sandler clearly felt as though Andy was walking in the same footsteps as he did during his career.

Bill Hader Still Worried That He Would Lose His Job On SNL Despite His Contract With Lorne Michaels

Despite the lengthy contracts, that doesn’t mean those on SNL feel safe. Lorne Michaels can break a contract at the end of a season. Despite the success on the show, Bill Hader spoke to Vulture about his time with Lorne Michaels, and how he didn’t feel safe until season 4.

Lorne Michaels wearing a suit
Via: Instar

“I think it was my fourth season at an after-party, Lorne Michaels said, “You know you can work here as long as you want.” And I was like, “Oh, really?” And he went, “Yeah.” It was just his way of saying, “Relax you got the job.” Four years in. Because I was very stressed out all the time. And I get real nervous before shows, so it was just his way of being like, “Breathe. You got the job. You’re fine.”

The talk with Lorre was a major relief for Hader, who also had dreams of appearing on SNL from a young age.


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