Like Bryant, McKinnon joined "SNL" in 2012, and she's earned multiple accolades for her contributions to the series. Over the years, she's expertly embodied everyone from Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Ellen DeGeneres while also playing unforgettable original characters like Dr. Wenowdis, Olya Povlatsky, and Colleen Rafferty. Along the way, she's been nominated for nine Emmys (and won two).
McKinnon kicked off the season 47 goodbyes by reviving Colleen for one final close encounter. The frequent alien abductee finds herself volunteering to permanently leave Earth, which led to the actor's sincere goodbye. "Earth, I love ya! Thanks for letting me stay a while," she said.
During an appearance on "Live With Kelly and Ryan" in July, McKinnon opened up about why she left the show. "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."
During an Aug. 11 episode of Vulture's "Good One" podcast, McKinnon reflected on her time on "SNL" and revealed she sometimes felt "ashamed" to break character during sketches but "it was just too fun." "There was a hint 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."
McKinnon also said it was "really hard" to tell "SNL" creator Lorne Michaels she was leaving the show, even though "he knew it was coming." "It was just really hard — simple human emotions, not wanting to say good-bye to something you love," she said.
Even though she won't be returning to "SNL," McKinnon remains busy as always. Next up, she'll star alongside Margot Robbie in "Barbie" and take on the role of Grunhilda in the children's movie "The Lunch Witch."