‘Saturday Night Live’ Veteran Explains Why She Left the Iconic Show

by Blake Ells

Saturday Night Live lost a lot of cast members at the end of its’ 47th season. Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant and Kyle Mooney were among veterans that departed the show. Two more cast members and a featured player quietly departed the series over the past week. Alex Moffat and Melissa Villasenor will also leave, as will Aristotle Athari.

On Saturday, Villasenor took to Twitter to explain her exit. Check out her post below.

“oh my sweetie fans, my Melissa monsters, i know ‘thas sah’ me leaving the show, but! i felt this was my soul telling me its time to spread my wings. lots more for me to dig in and discover. what an honor to experience my kid dream, what an honor. forever grateful,” she said via Twitter.

She continued in the thread.

“people ask me ‘whats next whats next?!’ i’m like ‘chill man i am gonna be proud for a while, travel, enjoy life, do more volunteer work, spend time with my family, from there art blooms,” she continued.

Other Stars Depart ‘Saturday Night Live’

That’s six full time cast members departing the show. Last season had one of the largest casts in the show’s history. Aidy Bryant told Variety over the summer that COVID-19 played a major role in the timing of her departure from Saturday Night Live.

“If it weren’t for COVID, I probably would have left a few years earlier,” she said. “But it was such a huge change. When COVID hit, it was so jarring that we were all like, ‘I’m definitely going to come back next year.'”

She spent some time during the pandemic working on her Hulu series Shrill.

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

Kate McKinnon spoke about her departure from the show after 11 seasons. She discussed on Live with Kelly and Ryan.

“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.”

Kenan Thompson to Host the Emmys

Meanwhile, the longest-tenured Saturday Night Live veteran is preparing to host the Emmys. Kenan Thompson is about to begin his 20th season on the show. He is even hinting that he may bring some of his most beloved characters from the sketch show to the awards show. The celebration of television’s best takes place on September 12 on NBC.