At least, that was Jason Sudeikis’ message to a “Late Night With David Letterman” audience Thursday, when the “Saturday Night Live” stalwart announced that he’s chucking his television day job of the last decade in pursuit of big-screen glory.
“I’m definitely done,” Sudeikis told Letterman of his “SNL” run. “I’m not coming back in the fall.”
The writer-actor went on to muse about applying his creative mojo concocting short bits for “Saturday Night Live” toward the motion picture M.O. “Can I make this sketch idea last 90 minutes and turn it into a movie?” a mustachio-ed Sudeikis wondered aloud, his voice booming into a shout, mouth affixed with a grin.
Sudeikis’ announcement comes as no surprise to NBC, tactically coinciding with his co-starring role in the Warner Bros. comedy “We’re the Millers” (in theaters Aug. 9). The movie finds Sudeikis playing a bumbling marijuana dealer who masquerades as a milquetoast family man (alongside Jennifer Anniston as a stripper pretending to be his wife, with Emma Roberts and Will Poulter rounding out his dysfunctional ad hoc family) to smuggle a gigantic load of weed from Mexico in an oversize RV.
Sudeikis’ TV 23-skidoo arrives at a transitional moment for “SNL,” announced on the heels of departures by fellow cast-mates Fred Armisen and Bill Hader (as well as Andy Samberg last year). But for anyone who has kept tabs on Sudeikis – who memorably telegraphed Mitt Romney and Joe Biden, in addition to a constellation of straight men and dads, on the show – his movie move comes as no surprise.
After notching character parts in movie comedies including “What Happens in Vegas,” “Semi-Pro” and “The Bounty Hunter” for the past half-dozen years, Sudeikis came into his own as a leading man, co-starring alongside Owen Wilson in the Farrelly brothers’ bawdy infidelity romp “Hall Pass” in early 2011. Then Sudeikis broke through later that year with the surprise hit “Horrible Bosses.”
He attempts to join a long line of “SNL” refugees including Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy and Tina Fey, who parlayed their small screen late-night berth on the show for movie mega-stardom. Question is, will Sudeikis’ career go more in the direction of Will Ferrell or Joe Piscopo?