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Kate McKinnon Opens Up About Her ‘Saturday Night Live’ Exit: ‘My Body Was Tired’

When it’s time, it’s time! Kate McKinnon opened up about her decision to leave Saturday Night Live after a decade on the sketch comedy show.

Related: Steve Martin, Kate McKinnon and More of SNL's Most Successful Cast Members

“I thought about it for a very long time and it was very, very hard,” McKinnon, 38, said of her departure during a Thursday, July 21, appearance on Live With Kelly and Ryan. “All I ever wanted to do in my whole life was be on Saturday Night Live. And 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.”

Host Ryan Seacrest asked the Ghostbusters actress how she’ll spend her Saturday evenings now. “I don’t know what I will do. I don’t know that I can watch the show yet because it’s just too emo because I miss everyone so much,” she said. The New York native added that her SNL castmates were like “family, for sure.”

Kate McKinnon on SNL Exit My Body Was Tired
Kate McKinnon Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

In May, McKinnon performed her final cold open sketch as a cast member on the Emmy-winning show. The comedian broke down in tears while playing her fan-favorite character, alien abductee Miss Rafferty.

“Well, Earth, I love you, thanks for letting me stay awhile. Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!” she said for the final time. The season 47 finale was also the final show for cast members Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant and Kyle Mooney.

Related: Former ‘Saturday Night Live’ Stars: Where Are They Now?

Davidson, 28, announced his departure after eight seasons via SNL writer Dave Sirius’ Instagram. The King of Staten Island star shared a video of comedian Jerrod Carmichael hugging him after his first episode of the NBC show in 2014.

“This video was taken 8 years ago. Jerrod sent it to me last night and it made me super emotional in the best way. In the video, I had just gotten back from doing my very first update and sketch,” he wrote alongside the clip. “It’s crazy to think that today I’ll be doing my last one.”

Kate McKinnon on SNL Exit My Body Was Tired
Kate McKinnon, Natasha Lyonne, and Cecily Strong on ‘Saturday Night Live.’ Will Heath/NBC

Davidson continued, “I owe Lorne Michaels and everyone at SNL my life. I’m so grateful and I wouldn’t be here without them. I appreciate you guys always having my back and sticking up for me even when that wasn’t the popular opinion. Thank you for always believing in me and sticking by my side even when it seemed comical. Thank you for teaching me life values, how to grow up and for giving me memories that will last a lifetime.”

Related: Pete Davidson’s Dating History: Ariana Grande, Kaia Gerber, More!

During McKinnon’s time on the show, she impersonated a variety of public figures including Hillary Clinton, Kellyanne Conway, Ellen DeGeneres and Rudy Giuliani. Davidson, for his part, was best known for his appearances on weekend updates, musical sketches and his perpetually unimpressed character, Chad.

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