Kate McKinnon Details ‘SNL’ Exit Over ‘Grueling Schedule’: ‘Telling Lorne Was Really Hard’

"As scared as I am and as sad as I am, it’s time," McKinnon said of leaving "Saturday Night Live" after a decade.
Kate McKinnon at 70th annual Emmys
Kate McKinnon
via Getty Images

Like fellow “Saturday Night Live” greats, Kate McKinnon sometimes just can’t stop laughing.

However, the 10-season “SNL” icon revealed that breaking character in sketches was not all fun and games for her.

“I felt ashamed, because we’re not supposed to, and there’s something unprofessional about it,” McKinnon revealed during Vulture’s Good One podcast. “And yet sometimes it was just too fun. There was a hint, I guess, of wanting the audience to know like, ‘Oh, man, I love this. You have no idea how much I love Aidy Bryant and how much I love this job and how much I love these jokes.'”

She added, “So sometimes I would allow myself to just go there.”

The “Bombshell” star continued that she was “definitely not sure” about when to exit the legendary sketch series before announcing her exit at the end of Season 47, along with fellow cast members Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant, and Kyle Mooney.

“Leaving was in the back of my mind for a while, because it’s just a grueling schedule,” McKinnon explained. “I mean, I could do it for the rest of my life, happily, if the schedule were not so grueling and if I was not naturally a person who liked to wake up at 8 a.m. and go to bed at midnight.”

McKinnon added, “I was having trouble staying up until 1 a.m. And I was like, ‘OK, I have to go. As scared as I am and as sad as I am, it’s time.'”

A tearful McKinnon said, “Telling Lorne [Michaels] was really hard. He knew it was coming. He was very sweet. But he has been a father figure to me, and so much more. It was just really hard — simple human emotions, not wanting to say goodbye to something you love. This is fresh. It only happened two months ago.”

The comedian previously shared that her “body was tired” after 10 seasons.

“Looking back on my decade at ‘SNL,’ it was the greatest thing ever,” McKinnon summed up. “Every time we rehearsed it, there was laughter, and it just felt like soaring, just performing it.”

Now looking ahead, McKinnon is starring in Greta Gerwig’s upcoming “Barbie” and the film “The Lunch Witch.” She also teased a possible “SNL” hosting gig down the line.

But for now, McKinnon might not even be able to watch the upcoming Season 48.

“I don’t know if I can watch the show yet,” the 10-time Emmy nominee said. “It’s just too emo because I miss everyone so much. I mean, it’s my other family….I think I’m just going to tape ‘The Bachelorette’ and watch that instead.”

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