Kate McKinnon Reveals Reason She Left ‘SNL’

by Blake Ells

Kate McKinnon is among several cast members that departed SNL at the end of its 47th season in May. Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant and Kyle Mooney also departed the show. McKinnon was a member of the cast for 11 seasons. The 2021-22 season boasted the largest cast in the show’s history.

McKinnon is opening up about her departure from the show. She joined Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest on Live With Kelly and Ryan on Thursday and shared more.

“I thought about it for a long time and it was very, very hard,” she said. “All I ever wanted to do my whole life was to be on Saturday Night Live. So, I did, I loved it, I had the best decade. And then I was just like, my body was tired, and I felt like it was time.”

She remains so emotionally torn about the decision that she can’t predict how she’ll feel when the new season begins. Seacrest asked if she’d be watching from her couch, and she couldn’t commit.

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

Kate McKinnon’s Impressive SNL Run

Kate McKinnon is the longest-running female cast member of Saturday Night Live. Aidy Bryant, who is also departing, is in second with ten seasons. McKinnon portrayed a number of characters during her impressive tenure, both real and fictional. She was Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani. She also portrayed Elizabeth Warren and Jeff Sessions. Among her fictional characters, she was Olya Povlatsky, the Russian correspondent that regularly visited ‘Weekend Update.’ She was also the owner of a cat store called ‘Whiskers-R-We.’

This year, she appeared in the Peacock mini-series Joe vs. Carole. McKinnon portrayed Carole Baskin, the woman at the center of the Netflix series Tiger King. Next up, she lends her voice to the star-studded animated featured DC League of Super-Pets. She’ll voice Lulu alongside Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Natasha Lyonne, John Krasinski and fellow SNL alum Vanessa Bayer. Keanu Reeves is the voice of Batman.

She’s part of the supporting cast of the live-action Barbie due in 2023. Margot Robbie portrays the title character in that one, alongside her “Ken” played by Ryan Gosling. Will Ferrell and Michael Cera are set to be part of that supporting cast. A couple of projects are currently “In Development” for McKinnon according to iMDB. The Lunch Witch and Murder Durder have no release dates set.

Making the transition from SNL to film has historically proven to be a challenge. But McKinnon has already had a successful film career, appearing in the Ghostbusters reboot, Bombshell and Ted 2 among others.