Kate McKinnon on Why She Left 'SNL' After 10 Years: "My Body Was Tired"

Kelly Corbett - Author

May 23 2022, Updated 11:34 a.m. ET

Kate McKinnon
Source: Getty Images

Season 47 of Saturday Night Live was a wild one for sure.

This latest installment introduced us to three new cast members as well as the sketch trio Please Don’t Destroy, who have joined the writers' room. It also introduced a newly-single Pete Davidson to a recently-divorced Kim Kardashian. The pair began hanging out after Kim hosted an episode in October 2021 and have since entered a relationship.

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But Season 47 wasn't all fun and games — there were some absences. Prior to the premiere, both Beck Bennett and Lauren Holt sadly announced that they would not be returning to the series.

However, that's not the only absence fans have noticed. Many viewers have also been wondering why they haven't seen Kate McKinnon during recent sketches. In fact, some fans have asked Did Kate McKinnon also leave SNL?

Kate McKinnon
Source: Getty Images
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Did Kate McKinnon leave 'SNL'?

Ahead of the Season 47 finale, Variety reported that four long-featured cast members would exit the sketch comedy show at the end of the night on May 21, 2022. Those stars included Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, Pete Davidson, and Kate McKinnon.

Each one of these hilarious cast members had been a part of the show for eight seasons or more, and it went without saying that their presence would be heavily missed in the following seasons.

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Since joining in 2012, Kate had been a comedic frontrunner on SNL.

She treated audiences to some hilarious impressions of famous figures like Hillary Clinton, Dr. Fauci, Justin Bieber, and Martha Stewart. In fact, she was nominated for an impressive nine Emmys for her work on SNL — two of which she took home. Kate was usually heavily featured in sketches, which makes her departure all the more heartbreaking.

Why did Kate McKinnon leave 'SNL'?

During a July 22, 2022, appearance on Live With Kelly & Ryan, Kate opened up about why she decided to leave SNL.

“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.”

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Although she starred in several films and other television shows while working on SNL, we believe exiting the show will allow Kate to explore even more opportunities and try different things.

If you're going to miss Kate as much as we are, no worries — you can catch her on the big screen in DC League of Super-Pets on July 29, 2022, and in Greta Gerwig's Barbie, hitting theaters on July 21, 2023.

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Kate McKinnon as Dr. Fauci on 'SNL.'
Source: NBC

Kate McKinnon worked 'SNL' Season 47 part-time due to filming another show.

In October 2021, a source told Hollywood Life that Kate would remain an integral part of SNL. However, she only worked part-time during Season 47 as she was filming for the Peacock series Joe vs. Carole, where she portrayed Carole Baskin.

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Kate McKinnon
Source: Getty Images

"SNL that has Kate McKinnon is just a better SNL,” the source told the outlet. "Lorne was really interested in bringing her back because she is such a powerhouse. Right now, she is working very hard to bring her Tiger King project to air as she is playing Carole Baskin and producing the show, so her attention has been focused on making that the best it can possibly be."

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