Kate McKinnon Felt 'Ashamed' Over This Aspect of 'SNL'

Saturday Night Live fans love seeing cast members break during a sketch since it's usually a sign that it's so funny not even the professionals can stop laughing. Kate McKinnon has a different view on it though, admitting she was "ashamed" whenever it happened to her. In a new interview with Vulture's Good One podcast, McKinnon also recalled how hard it was to tell SNL executive producer, Lorne Michaels, that she was leaving.

McKinnon's appearance on the podcast revolved around the hilarious "Close Encounter" sketches she did, in which she played Miss Rafferty, an alien abductee who had a very different experience from the two abductees sitting next to her. One was usually played by Cecily Strong and the other by a guest host. Strong and the guest star usually broke into laughter when McKinnon shared her bizarre experiences, peppered with euphemisms for her genitals. The sketches were written by Mikey Day and Streeter Seidell.

"Looking back on my decade at SNL, it was the greatest thing ever," McKinnon told Vulture. "Every time we rehearsed it, there was laughter, and it just felt like soaring, just performing it. That's because the writing was so good, and I was so excited for people to hear the turns of phrase that the guys had written, and they responded in a way that I hoped they would. It was certainly one of the top three moments I've had doing sketch comedy."

McKinnon didn't mind seeing others break character, but she didn't like to do it herself. "I felt ashamed, because we're not supposed to, and there's something unprofessional about it," McKinnon said. "And yet sometimes it was just too fun."

However, McKinnon said she did enjoy knowing that the audience could see how much she loves working on the show. "There was a hint, I guess, of wanting the audience to know like, 'Oh, man, I love this. You have no idea how much I love Aidy Bryant and how much I love this job and how much I love these jokes,'" she recalled. "So sometimes I would allow myself to just go there."

McKinnon starred on SNL for 11 seasons and earned nine consecutive Emmy nominations and two wins. Her final episode was the Season 47 finale in May, which kicked off with one final "Close Encounter" sketch. Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, and Kyle Mooney also left the cast. McKinnon teared up as she spoke about saying goodbye to Michaels.

"Telling Lorne was really hard. He knew it was coming. He was very sweet. But he has been a father figure to me, and so much more. It was just really hard – simple human emotions, not wanting to say goodbye to something you love," she told Vulture. "This is fresh. It only happened two months ago."

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This was not the first time McKinnon discussed leaving SNL. In July, she told Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest that she was just too tired to continue. "All I ever wanted to do in my whole life was be on Saturday Night Live," she said. "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."