Kate McKinnon continues to unpack her departure from “Saturday Night Live.”
The comedian, who spent 11 seasons on the show, recently shared two of the moments she felt “most connected” to the “SNL” audience during her time there.
“One was after Hillary [Clinton] had lost, and the cold open was me playing ‘Hallelujah’ on the piano,” McKinnon revealed on Vulture’s “Good One” podcast on Thursday. “I felt that for the people for whom that was a tragic event, I felt very connected and in a very real way.”
“Then I also felt really connected that first time when I did the alien abduction sketch,” she said, of one of her all-time greatest sketches on the show, which included guest Ryan Gosling and fellow “SNL” stars Aidy Bryant and Cecily Strong.
Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton sings Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” during the “Election Week Cold Open” sketch on Nov. 12, 2016.
“It was a completely different experience — people were laughing instead of crying — and yet it was the same recognition of ‘We’re all in this together, guys,’” McKinnon added of the 2015 sketch, called “Close Encounter,” where she plays Colleen Rafferty. “We all feel the same way about something.”
The “Ghostbusters” actor reprised the alien abduction skit one last time for her final show, where her character bid a tearful farewell to earth ― and the audience.
“Earth, I love ya. Thanks for letting me stay a while,” she said, getting emotional.
McKinnon told Vulture that she’d ruminated on her goodbye sketch “for a long time,” as she wanted a “moment of catharsis of trying to encapsulate what the whole thing had meant to me and telling that to the audience.”
“I anticipated it being this moment of absolute release, and it was, in a way,” the comedian said. And yet, she admitted it wasn’t “the most meaningful moment of the decade in the way that I thought it might be.”
Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, and Ryan Gosling during the “Close Encounter” sketch on Dec. 5, 2015.
McKinnon said the most meaningful moments she experienced in her time on the sketch series were “like on a Friday night at rehearsal, I decided to stop and look around at the people who I loved so much and just make a memory of it.”
McKinnon recently shared the specific reason for her departure, revealing on “Live with Kelly and Ryan” in July that her “body was tired.”
“I thought about it for a very long time, and it was very, very hard,” McKinnon said at the time.
“All I ever wanted to do in my whole life was be on ‘Saturday Night Live,’” she added. “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.”
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