Kate McKinnon Exited ‘SNL’ Because Her ‘Body Was Tired,’ Unsure She’ll Watch New Episodes

Kate McKinnon has broken her silence on leaving “Saturday Night Live,” attributing the reason for her departure from the long-running NBC sketch comedy series to her body being exhausted. McKinnon joined “SNL” in 2012 and became one of the show’s breakout sensations over her decade run. She won two Emmys for supporting actress in a comedy series thanks to her work on “SNL,” and is in the running for a third this year.

“I thought about it for a very long time, and it was very, very hard,” McKinnon said on “Live With Kelly and Ryan” (via Entertainment Weekly). “All I ever wanted to do in my whole life was 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.”

When asked if she’ll tune in and watch new episodes of “Saturday Night Live” this fall, McKinnon responded, “I don’t know what I will do. 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,” she said. “It’s too emo. So, I think I’m just going to take ‘The Bachelorette’ and watch it.’”

McKinnon exited “SNL” after the 2021-2022 season along with other mainstays Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant and Kyle Mooney. Bryant also joined the show with McKinnon in 2012 and previously spoke to Variety about her decision to leave.

“If it weren’t for COVID, I probably would have left a few years earlier,” Bryant 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.’ And then I had to shoot ‘Shrill’ for half of last season, and so I missed a lot. And then it was like, ‘Well, now I should go back one more.’ I kept trying to seek one last normal year. This year wasn’t the normal year that I hoped for, but it was closer to that. It was like, “OK, it’s really time now.” And 10 felt like a nice, solid round number.”

“Saturday Night Live” will return in the fall.

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