‘Saturday Night Live’ Veteran Breaks Silence About Decision to Leave After 10 Years On Show

by Suzanne Halliburton

Aidy Bryant, a very funny part of the Saturday Night Live cast for the past decade, finally revealed why she decided to leave the iconic comedy sketch show.

Bryant was one of four cast members who bowed out of Saturday Night Live last month during the season 47 finale. Earlier this week, she gave her reasons during an interview with Variety. Basically, she stayed on the show an extra season or two because she was waiting for the perfect time to leave. Seems simple. COVID, she said, was the reason she stayed.

“If it weren’t for COVID, I probably would have left a few years earlier,” Bryant told Variety. “But it was such a huge change. When COVID hit (during Season 45), it was so jarring that we were all like, ‘I’m definitely going to come back next year.’”

Bryant could’ve left after season 46, but she missed half of it to finish her Hulu series, Shrill. So she came back.

“I kept trying to seek one last normal year,” Bryant said. “This year wasn’t the normal (COVID-free) year that I hoped for, but it was closer to that…. And 10 felt like a nice, solid round number.”

Before the Saturday Night Live finale, news started breaking that several major players were exiting. Besides Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson and Kyle Mooney also decided to leave the show.

Bryant said her official goodbyes while doing Trend Setters during Weekend Update. In it, she partners with Bowen Yang to give a warped preview of what’s in and out. For this bit, she and Yang liked grapes (with seeds), Watermelon Sugar, the song, and 3:25 p.m.

And then Bryant got serious (somewhat). “In, 10 nice years.” And another in, “my best guys kissing me. Then Weekend Update co-host Michael Che and Yang each give Bryant a kiss on the cheek.

As you can see, Bryant held it together during her final Saturday Night Live big moment. The show has been on the air for 47 seasons, so it’s a TV and pop culture mainstay. But fans hate to see their favorites leave.

“I was worried I was going to… crack wide open and fully be crying,” she told Variety. “It felt very joyful. And I felt incredibly fortified by having Bowen and [Michael] Che next to me because they know me and know how considered this was for me to go.”

Because Saturday Night Live loves political satire, Bryant expanded her impersonations while on the show. She played former Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Senator Ted Cruz and conservative political analyst Meghan McCain.

She also pulled off a cool Aidy B video as she absorbed a brash Cardi B persona.

Bryant told Variety she would love to return to Saturday Night Live as a guest host. Her next project is a show called Cheeky. She said she’ll always be a SNL fan.

“I would be sad to not watch it,” she said. “Also, I’m so excited for this cast. There are so many of us leaving, it’s going to create more space for people to shine.”