Aidy Bryant is opening up about being “Live from New York” no longer.
The comedian, who joined “Saturday Night Live” in 2012, announced her exit from the sketch show in May alongside fellow cast members Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon and Kyle Mooney. Bryant, who was nominated for three Emmys for her work on SNL, said the departure almost happened a lot sooner.
“If it weren’t for COVID, I probably would have left a few years earlier,” she told Variety on June 21. “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 [Hulu’s] ‘Shrill’ for half of last season, and so I missed a lot.”
While her final season “wasn’t the normal year that I hoped for,” she doesn’t regret the decision, saying “10 [years] felt like a nice, solid round number.”
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When it came time to tell “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels, Bryant was nervous.
“Maybe in March or April, I went to his office and was like, ‘I gotta talk to you,'” she said. “I was scared because I feel close to him and so grateful to him. I didn’t want it to come off like I was leaving angrily. I am leaving with so much love. He was like, ‘I understand, and it makes sense for you.'”
Bryant’s final appearance on the show came in a Weekend Update appearance alongside Bowen Yang and Weekend Update co-host Michael Che, where she and Bowen played eccentric “trend forecasters” with ideas for the summer. Bryant was concerned she might not make it through the sketch.
“I was worried I was going to really crack it wide open and fully be crying,” she said. “It felt very joyful, and I felt incredibly fortified by having Bowen and Che next to me because they know me and know how considered this was for me to go.”
When asked which SNL host surprised her the most, she named a certain reality star who hosted in October 2021.
“Kim Kardashian did so well and was up for anything,” Bryant remarked. “It’s totally out of her wheelhouse, and it’s very brave and cool she did it.”
While she’s no longer a full-time cast member, it might not be the last time we see Bryant take the stage at 30 Rock. When the idea of hosting SNL was floated, she said, “Definitely. But that’s up to them.”
Something tells us they’d say yes in a heartbeat.