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Why Kate McKinnon Left SNL

"I thought about it for a very long time, and it was very, very hard."

Since 2012, Kate McKinnon has been a mainstay on Saturday Night Live, playing celebs like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Hillary Clinton, and Elizabeth Warren, creating unique original characters, and being nominated for ten Primetime Emmy Awards. But this year, that part of her career came to an end, and now, the comedy icon has opened up about why.


On Thursday’s episode of Live With Kelly and Ryan, McKinnon opened up to hosts Ryan Seacrest and Kelly Ripa about why she left the show after over a decade.

“I thought about it for a very long time, and it was very, very hard,” she said. “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.”

Seacrest also asked if she’ll be tuning in every weekend, now that she's no longer on the show.

“I don’t know what I will do,” McKinnon replied. “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 take The Bachelorette and watch it.”

McKinnon holds the record for being the longest-running female cast member in SNL history, and uttered the series’ famous opening line (“Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!”) 75 times, only behind Darrell Hammond. She also won two Emmys for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2016 and 2017.

Next, McKinnon is part of the star-studded cast of DC League of Super-Pets alongside Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, John Krasinski, Keanu Reeves, Diego Luna, Natasha Lyonne, Vanessa Bayer, and more. In the film she plays Lulu, an evil hairless guinea pig who works with the bald supervillain Lex Luthor.

After that, she’s a part of Greta Gerwig’s upcoming Barbie movie, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. Other actors in Barbie include America Ferrera, Hari Nef, Alexandra Shipp, Simu Liu, Issa Rae, Will Ferrell, and Ncuti Gatwa.

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