Aidy Bryant Admits She Stayed on ‘Saturday Night Live’ Longer Because of COVID-19

Many people were sad to hear that the cast of Saturday Night Live would lose many members at the end of Season 47, including Aidy Bryant. However, the actor and comedian recently revealed that her decision was a long time coming. 

COVID-19 kept Aidy Bryant from leaving ‘Saturday Night Live’

Aidy Bryant, Chloe Fineman, and Andrew Dismukes act out the Mother's Day gifts sketch on Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live stars Aidy Bryant, Chloe Fineman, and Andrew Dismukes | Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Bryant, along with cast members Kate McKinnon, Kyle Mooney, and Pete Davidson, announced that they were leaving the popular sketch comedy show at the end of its 47th season. 

Some found Bryant’s announcement shocking. The 35-year-old shared that she’d been considering it for a while. But she put off her decision due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“If it weren’t for COVID, I probably would have left a few years earlier,” Bryant told 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 [for] one more.’” 

“I kept trying to seek one last normal year,” she continued. “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.”

Aidy Bryant shares how she quit ‘Saturday Night Live’

Even though Bryant had thought about leaving for a few years, she revealed she was still nervous about telling SNL head Lorne Michaels that she was quitting the show

“Maybe in March or April, I went to his office and was like, ‘I gotta talk to you,’” the actor recalled. “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 was on Saturday Night Live for 10 years and quickly became known for her teen girl characters like Morgan, co-host of Girlfriends Talk Show, and Melanie, who constantly flirts with her friends’ fathers. Bryant also got praise for her impressions of Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Senator Ted Cruz. 

Aidy Bryant doesn’t think her ‘relationship with the show is over’

Part of the reason Bryant decided to leave Saturday Night Live was to free herself up for more projects. She currently worked on her Hulu show Shrill and the Big Mouth spinoff Human Resources. The comedy show can make an unknown into a star, but it can also keep an up-and-comer from being able to work on other shows and movies, due to its rigorous shooting writing and shooting schedule. Bryant explained:

“The SNL schedule is a whopper. I pitched, developed, and made three seasons of a show [Shrill] that I’m super proud of, but there’s a part of me that wonders what it would have been if I didn’t have to split my time like that. Those years, it wasn’t uncommon for me to work a 12-hour day on Shrill and then continue to work all day at SNL — and all night! So it would be a 22-hour day. I can’t do that anymore. Maybe I could in my 20s. But now I’m in my 30s, and I’m like, ‘That’s a wrap on those days.’”

Even though Bryant has said goodbye to being a full-time cast member of Saturday Night Live, she does admit she doesn’t “feel like my relationship with the show is over.” Fans of Bryant are hopeful that she’ll come back as a guest star — or maybe even a host — in the future.

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