In a new interview, Saturday Night Live veteran Aidy Bryant is opening up about her decision to step away after a 10-season run — and what stopped her from leaving NBC’s venerable sketch series even sooner.
“If it weren’t for COVID, I probably would have left a few years earlier,” Bryant tells our sister pub Variety. “But it was such a huge change. When COVID hit [during Season 45], it was so jarring that we were all like, ‘I’m definitely going to come back next year.'” And after missing half of Season 46 to shoot the third and final season of her Hulu comedy Shrill, Bryant decided to return for Season 47.
“I kept trying to seek one last normal year,” she explains. “This year wasn’t the normal [COVID-free] year that I hoped for, but it was closer to that…. And 10 felt like a nice, solid round number.”
Remarking on her final sketch, the recurring Weekend Update segment “Trendsetters” opposite Bowen Yang, Bryant admits: “I was worried I was going to… crack wide open and fully be crying. It felt very joyful, and I felt incredibly fortified by having Bowen and [Michael] Che next to me because they know me and know how considered this was for me to go.”
Bryant, along with Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon and Kyle Mooney, all were rumored to exit SNL in the lead-up to the May 21 finale. Davidson confirmed his departure in a statement ahead of air, writing in part: “I owe Lorne Michaels and everyone at SNL my life. I’m so grateful and I wouldn’t be here without them.” He went on to appear one last time at the Update desk, while McKinnon and Mooney were sent off via a “Final Encounter” and a commercial for “Grey Adult Pigtails.”
Will you miss Lil’ Baby Aidy on Saturday Night Live?