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Aidy Bryant Would Have Left SNL 'A Few Years Earlier' If Not For COVID-19

"I kept trying to seek one last normal year."
  • Aidy Bryant (Photo: Jason Smith/Everett Collection)
    Aidy Bryant (Photo: Jason Smith/Everett Collection)

    In May, Saturday Night Live said goodbye to a handful of longtime cast members, including Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, and Aidy Bryant. For Bryant, leaving the comedy after 10 seasons came after years of consideration.

    "If it weren't for COVID, I probably would have left a few years earlier," Bryant revealed in an interview with Variety. "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 Shrill for half of last season, and so I missed a lot. And then it was like, 'Well, now I should go back one more.'"

    The actress said she continued to delay her SNL departure in hopes of having a worthy sendoff. "I kept trying to seek one last normal year," she explained. "This year wasn't the normal year that I hoped for, but it was closer to that. It was like, 'OK, it's really time now.' And 10 felt like a nice, solid round number."

    Bryant recalled being "scared" to tell creator and producer Lorne Michaels about leaving the show, saying, "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.'"

    Ultimately, the Shrill star admitted her decision to leave was, in part, due to the fact that "the SNL schedule is a whopper." She discussed the struggles of working 12 hours a day on her Hulu comedy before leaving to go work on SNL the same day.

    She added that although SNL is flexible with allowing cast members to pursue other projects, "There’s a part of me that wonders what [Shrill] would have been if I didn't have to split my time like that."

    As for saying goodbye to a decade of SNL, Byrant feels comfortable with how things ended. "It felt really final," she said. "And I don't feel like my relationship with the show is over."

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    Kirstie Renae is a writer, blogger, and Austin-based actress with a penchant for binge-watching TV with her dogs. Follow her on Twitter @KirstieRenae.

    TOPICS: Aidy Bryant, NBC, Saturday Night Live, Shrill, Lorne Michaels