Aidy Bryant would have left SNL sooner if it wasn't for the pandemic

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Aidy Bryant
Aidy Bryant

After a full decade as a cast member, Aidy Bryant recently departed Saturday Night Live, along with Kate McKinnon, Kyle Mooney, and Pete Davidson. In a new interview with Variety, she shared that her exit was intended to happen a lot sooner.

“If it weren’t for COVID, I probably would have left a few years earlier,” Bryant says. “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.”

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Starting in 2019, the actress co-created and starred in three seasons of Shrill, a comedy based on the book by Lindy West. While Bryant found the story inspiring and had yet to consider leaving SNL, balancing both jobs with the sketch show’s notoriously intense schedule was a challenge.

“Those years, it wasn’t uncommon for me to work a 12-hour day on Shrill and then continue to work all day at SNL—and all night!” she recalls. “So it would be a 22-hour day. I can’t do that anymore. Maybe I could in my 20s. But now I’m in my 30s, and I’m like, ‘That’s a wrap on those days.’”

Shrill was canceled by Hulu after its third season, but Bryant already has a new project lined up. She’s now developing an animated series for Peacock called Cheeky, which will feature humorous first-person stories about different aspects of the human body.