Aidy Bryant Says She Would Have Left 'Saturday Night Live' Years Earlier If Not For COVID

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Aidy Bryant is sharing the reason behind her Saturday Night Live exit. Bryant told Variety that the COVID-19 pandemic played a major role in her staying on the show longer than she originally planned.

"If it weren’t for COVID, I probably would have left a few years earlier. 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," Bryant explained. "And then it was like, 'Well, now I should go back one more.'"

In an effort to get one last "normal year," Bryant stuck around, making season 47 the 9th and final season of her 10-year-run on the iconic sketch comedy series.

"I kept trying to seek one last normal year. 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," she added.

As for telling the show's creator and executive producer, Lorne Michaels, that she was leaving, Bryant said she was "scared" to come off like she was "leaving angrily."

"Maybe in March or April, I went to his office and was like, 'I gotta talk to you.' 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," Bryant explained. "I am leaving with so much love. He was like, 'I understand, and it makes sense for you.'"

Bryant said her goodbyes during a Weekend Update segment with Bowen Yang and Michael Che, and while she said it felt "very joyful," she was worried she was going to unleash the waterworks for her final appearance.

"I was worried I was going to really crack it wide open and fully be crying," she shared. "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."

Bryant exited the show alongside fellow SNL castmates Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson and Kyle Mooney.

While this season saw the departure of some major players, Bryant told the outlet that those exits make room for even more people to "shine." 

"I would be sad to not watch it. Also, I’m so excited for this cast," she shared. "There are so many of us leaving, it’s going to create more space for people to shine."

Bryant will not only be watching, she said she'd even be open to hosting one day.

"Definitely. But that’s up to them," Bryant maintained.

For more on the show's big exits, check out the video below.

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