After a decade of making people laugh every weekend on the show, the 38-year-old comic announced she was leaving the long-running sketch series. She eventually knew it was time to step down because she was struggling with the "gruelling" schedule, particularly the late finishes.
She admitted, "I definitely was not sure when the right time to go was. Leaving was in the back of my mind for a while, because it's just a gruelling schedule. I mean, I could do it for the rest of my life, happily, if the schedule were not so gruelling and if I was not naturally a person who liked to wake up at 8 a.m. and go to bed at midnight..."
Asked what made her stay through the last three seasons, she tearfully said, "Part of it was the pandemic and how strange production had become, and wanting to wait until it was normal again. And mostly I hate change and I hate good-byes and I love those people. Sorry, I'm going to start crying …"
"It was really hard, and I really am not good at saying good-bye to stuff. Whoa. I was having trouble staying up until 1 a.m. And I was like, Okay. I have to go. As scared as I am and as sad as I am, it's time."
Kate found it particularly "hard" telling creator Lorne Michaels she had decided to leave.
Speaking on Vulture's "Good One" podcast, she cried again as she said, "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 good-bye to something you love."
"This is fresh. It only happened two months ago."
The "Ghostbusters" actress will miss "SNL" "forever." She added, "And especially the people - just the greatest people, and an absolute family of people. But I'm also excited to join new families and explore other parts of myself."
"I mean, I think that as you could maybe tell from listening to this interview, I also have sadness. I have joy and I have sadness, and maybe I'll see if I can do something with that. I don't know."