In the 1987 buddy-cop classic “Lethal Weapon”, Det. Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) was prone to utter the phrase, “I’m too old for this s**t.”
That, in a nutshell, is why the star of the TV series based on the blockbuster film franchise is packing it in after three seasons, with star Damon Wayans surprising the show’s fans by announcing he’s quitting “Lethal Weapon”.
Wayans made the shocking announcement in an interview with EurWeb, revealing apparently out of the blue that he’ll be exiting the show after filming is completed on the season’s 13th episode later this year (Fox had only ordered 13 episodes, but could potentially order more).
“I’m going to be quitting the show in December after we finish the initial 13,” Wayans declares in the video interview (above). “So I really don’t know what they’re planning, but that’s what I’m planning. I’m a 58-year-old diabetic and I’m working 16-hour days.”
Asked by the off-camera interviewer whether he’s “over it,” Wayans paraphrases Murtaugh’s signature catchphrase.
“I’m done,” he responds. “Like Murtaugh said, I’m too old for this.”
Asked if he’s kidding, Wayans shakes head signifying that he is not. As for what’s next, he indicates he’ll be going back to his standup comedy roots.
“I’m going to return to the stage and try to find my smile again,” he says.
As Wayans explains, the show’s gruelling production schedule led him to be unavailable to his wife and daughter when they each underwent surgery.
“It’s hard for me to play this loving, supportive father/husband/ friend on TV, but be the guy in life that is telling everyone, ‘I can’t, I have to work,’” he says.
“You have to look yourself in the eye and ask, who are you? It can’t be all about work. I’m from a big family, a loving family. All the family gatherings, I haven’t seen them. I’m too tired or I can’t because it conflicts with work… I have seven grandkids. I’ve been missing recitals and graduations. To me it’s just not worth it. There is a better way to live life.”
The second season of “Lethal Weapon” saw Wayans’ co-star Clayne Crawford fired after behind-the-scenes friction between the two; Seann William Scott (“American Pie”) was brought in as a replacement in season three.
According to Variety, reps for Wayans, Warner Bros. Television and Fox Broadcasting declined to comment.
That has not been the case on Twitter, however, where everybody has something to say about Wayans’ decision to exit the show. Spoiler alert: they are NOT happy about it.