Watch for the Bill Hader-Sized Hole in Saturday Night Live Next Season (Video)

Bill Hader leaving SNL. (NBC)

Bill Hader leaving SNL. (NBC)

Well this was quite the turn of events. If anyone was going to leave SNL in-between seasons, we knew it would Seth Meyers, who is taking over Jimmy Fallon’s old spot. After him, we would have put our money on Jason Sudeikis saying goodbye, since he’s always trying to negotiate his way off the show in order, we assume, to spend more time banging Olivia Wilde. (Can you blame him?) Or what about Fred Armisen, who already has one foot out the door with his IFC show, Portlandia? (Which, it should be mentioned, is produced by Lorne Michaels.)

If we had to think of a fourth person to leave, we’d probably guess Keenan Thompson, whose perpetually youthful appearance belies the fact that the 35-year-old has been working on the NBC variety sketch show for a decade now.

We just weren’t expecting today’s news that our favorite male performer (okay fine, tied for first with Taran Killam,) Bill Hader would be announcing his departure. Why, Stefon, why???

According to Dave Itzkoff’s New York Times‘ story this morning, the “official” reason was that Mr. Hader wanted to move his family to L.A. to support his wife, Maggie Carey’s, burgeoning film career. But he was also “motivated partly by seeing friends like Andy Samberg and Kristen Wiig leave last season.” Which is kind of a loaded answer, because it makes it sound like Hader wanted to leave for awhile and just finally worked up the courage after being inspired by the beautiful send-off Lorne gave Kristen Wiig last season.

Though if he thinks he’s getting that teary farewell dance that Wiig received, he needs to readjust his expectations.

“That was a very strong and spontaneous reaction to the depth of feeling that was there for Kristen,” Mr. Michaels said. “It either comes out spontaneously because it makes sense and it represents the way people feel, or not. It won’t be the same thing this year, obviously. We’ll see.”

We know we’ll be crying, especially after losing characters like Alan Alda:

Stefon:

And of course, the UPS guy: