Kate McKinnon Debated Leaving ‘SNL’ for Years: ‘My Body Was Tired’

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After a decade of spending Saturday nights performing live sketches, “Saturday Night Live” Emmy winner Kate McKinnon is ready to rest.

McKinnon announced her departure from “SNL” during the finale of Season 47 earlier this year. Fellow cast members Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant, and Kyle Mooney all exited the Lorne Michaels-produced sketch series in May.

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“I thought about [leaving] for a very long time, and it was very, very hard,” McKinnon said during the July 21 episode of “Live With Kelly and Ryan” (via TVLine). “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.”

Up next, McKinnon is teaming up again with “Bombshell” co-star Margot Robbie for the highly-anticipated “Barbie” film, co-written and directed by Greta Gerwig. McKinnon also leads “The Lunch Witch.”

And after 10 years on “SNL,” McKinnon might even take a break from watching the show, saying, “I don’t know what I’ll do,” about viewing 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.”

Best known for her impressions of figures like Justin Bieber, Hillary Clinton, and Ellen DeGeneres, plus hilarious original characters, McKinnon previously told GQ that she tries to identify with every persona she takes on.

“I mean everyone does an impression differently, because what you love about the person you’re doing and what you feel — what you have in common with that person,” McKinnon explained. “You’re channeling a version of them blended with yourself.”

McKinnon opted to play the very real Carole Baskin of “Tiger King” Netflix infamy for Peacock mini series “Joe vs. Carole,” as well as famously playing herself in “Ted 2.” McKinnon’s additional roles outside of “SNL” include scene-stealing appearances in “The Spy Who Dumped Me,” “Yesterday,” and “The Bubble.”

Former “SNL” co-star Bowen Yang told Entertainment Tonight that the live show will be forever changed with McKinnon, Davidson, Bryant, and Mooney’s absences.

“It is just these four people who have defined what that show is in the last decade,” Yang added, citing that McKinnon had been on the show for 11 seasons, Bryant for 10, Mooney for nine, and Davidson for eight.

“I haven’t worked there when they haven’t,” the “Fire Island” star said. “So, it’s going to be an interesting sort of envisioning of the show and recalibration. But I’m excited to see where it goes.”

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