Kate McKinnon reveals why she left ‘Saturday Night Live’

Kate McKinnon was one of several cast members who retired from “Saturday Night Live” earlier this year. It wasn’t an easy decision for McKinnon, who has been a mainstay on the sketch comedy show for ten years since joining Season 37.

But speaking to Ryan Seacrest and Kelly Ripa on Thursday’s Live With Kelly and Ryan, she insisted it was time for a change.

“I thought about it for a very long time and it was very, very difficult,” McKinnon said. “All I’ve ever wanted to do in my life is be on ‘Saturday Night Live.’ So I did it, I loved it, I had the best decade, and then I was like, ‘My body was tired,’ and I felt like it was about time.”

Seacrest then asked what she would be doing now on Saturday night, but McKinnon is still finding out.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do,” she replied. “I don’t know if I can watch the show yet because it’s too emotional because I miss everyone so much. It’s my family, it’s too emo. So I think I’ll just record The Bachelorette and watch it.”

With 10 consecutive years, McKinnon holds the record as the longest-running female cast member in NBC show history (and also screamed the famous opening line 75 times, the second highest of any cast member). She has portrayed a number of celebrities and officials over the years, following in the footsteps of Justin Bieber, Rudy Giuliani and Iggy Azalea.

In May, in addition to McKinnon, Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant and Kyle Mooney also left the show. Davidson had hinted at his displeasure in the years leading up to his exit, telling radio personality Charlamagne that in 2020 God thought he “should be done with this show” because they were treating him.

Nevertheless, he said goodbye to his journey with a touching message shared on Instagram by “SNL” writer Dave Sirus.

“When I got the show I was 20 years old and had no idea what I was doing. I still don’t, but especially then. I wasn’t really a sketch performer, I was just a standup,” his message read. “I knew I could never match or go toe-to-toe with a Kenan Thompson or a Kate McKinnon, so I was terrified of finding out what I could possibly contribute or do to such a historic, respected show and platform.

“We’ve been through the good times and the bad, the happiest times and the darkest together,” he continued. I owe my life to Lorne Michaels and everyone at SNL. I’m so thankful and without her I wouldn’t be here. I appreciate that you guys always have my back and stand up for me, even if that wasn’t the popular belief.”

Mooney confirmed his departure on Instagram but didn’t elaborate on the reasons he wanted to leave. Last month, Bryant told Variety she was also considering leaving before the pandemic, but decided to stay because of all the uncertainty.

“I was worried that I would tear it open really wide and cry my heart out,” she said of her departure. “It felt very joyful and I felt incredibly empowered to have Bowen [Yang] and [Michael] Che next to me because they know me and how important it was for me to go.”

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2022-07-21/kate-mckinnon-reveals-why-she-left-saturday-night-live-after-10-years Kate McKinnon reveals why she left ‘Saturday Night Live’

Sarah Ridley

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