"I didn't do any kind of official announcement, but I really felt like it was obvious," Armisen told Splitsider of his final sketch. "An ending that was a love letter to all the music I grew up with, and also to my friends and to SNL and to Lorne [Michaels] and to the cast. There was a lot of emotion attached to it, but it was a very positive emotion."
Armisen, who had been on the show since 2002, joins Bill Hader and Jason Sudeikis in exiting Studio 8H after last season. He will now focus solely on his comedy show Portlandia, which IFC recently renewed for two more seasons.
"It felt very natural. It felt like a very healthy good time to do it," Armisen tells Splitsider. "It just felt like I was very happy, maybe this is like a good time to do it. ... Portlandia started to pull me away more and more, schedule-wise, and I just felt like it'd be nice to focus on it a little more and go into the fall a bit more with shooting. ... I was like, I'm enjoying this so much, this'll be a good time to kind to go to the next phase."
But fans shouldn't rule out future appearances on SNL.
"I love Saturday Night Live, and I really feel like people who have left before me have always stayed with the show," Armisen said. "I feel like people don't really just leave in a cold way. I think people stay around in their own way."
Will you miss Armisen on Saturday Night Live? Check out his final sketch below: