Why Aidy Bryant stayed on ‘Saturday Night Live’ longer than she wanted to

Why Aidy Bryant stayed on ‘Saturday Night Live’ longer than she wanted to

Aidy Bryant was a “Saturday Night Live” staple for 10 seasons, but now it’s time to say goodbye — and the comedian is explaining why.

Bryant, 35, joined the cast of the late-night sketch series for Season 37 in 2012 and ended her run a decade later after Season 47.

The “Shrill” star told Variety in a new profile that she wanted to leave the NBC show sooner, however, the coronavirus ruined her plans.

“If it weren’t for COVID, I probably would have left a few years earlier,” she said. “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,” she continued.

Bryant noted that she felt that 10 years seemed to be enough time on “SNL.” “And then it was like, ‘Well, now I should go back one more.’ 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 said.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, (from left): Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong, Jennifer Lawrence, 'Girlfriends Talk S
Aidy Bryant appeared on “SNL” from 2012 until 2022.
©NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection
Hulu's "Shrill" Season 2 Preview & Talk
The “I Feel Pretty” star found it difficult to work on “SNL” and her Hulu series “Shrill” at the same time.
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“Shrill” aired for three seasons on Hulu beginning in 2019, and Bryant wrote as well as starred in the comedy series.

She explained that working on the streaming show while doing “SNL” at the same time took a toll on her.

“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!” she recollected.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, (from left): Mike O'Brien, Aidy Bryant, Jim Parsons, 'Elevator/Mr. Conrad's Soiled Underwear', (Season 39, ep. 3914, aired March 1, 2014). photo: Dana Edelson / © NBC / Courtesy: Everett Collection
Michael Patrick O’Brien, Aidy Bryant and Jim Parsons in the “Elevator Embarassment” sketch on “SNL” in March 2014.
©NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection

“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,’ ” the “Human Resources” actress said. “It felt really final, and I don’t feel like my relationship with the show is over.”

The Arizona native also recalled how she told “SNL” boss Lorne Michaels about her departure. “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.”

She continued, “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.’ ”

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