There are countless “Saturday Night Live” alumna who have helped cement the legendary show’s legacy of becoming a cultural touchstone of the last century and beyond.
From ‘SNL’ veterans like the incomparable Gilda Radnor to the ladies who helped cultivate “Saturday Night Live’s” modern era, from Amy Poehler to Aidy Bryant to name only a few, the show has played quite a strong role in shaping the careers of these hilarious actresses.
“Saturday Night Live” has served as a launching pad for many illustrious careers over the years, but SNL alumni rarely forget where their roots began in the business; no matter how much time has passed!
For Bryant, not much time has passed at all since she last walked the halls of Studio 8H. The actress left “Saturday Night Live” only last month after spending a decade as a cast member. She hasn’t wasted any time in looking back on her career gig responsible for launching countless dreams of comedic success over the years!
Looking Back On The Laughs
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Bryant, 35, recently spoke to Variety about her time on the series, and the massive impact SNL has made on her life. She knew her final curtain call would be an emotional one, and she would’ve rather kept her composure when the moment came.
She tells the publication, “I was worried I was really going to crack it wide open and fully be crying,” she said, referring to the way she chose to commemorate her departure via a “Weekend Update” sketch. “It felt very joyful, and I felt incredibly fortified by having Bowen [Yang] and [Michael] Che next to me because they know me and know how considered this was for me to go.”
Bryant wasn’t only close to her castmates. She also made quite the impression on the human embodiment of “Saturday Night Live,” the man himself, Lorne Michaels!
When Bryant knew the time had come for her to explore separate career avenues, letting Michaels know had been a bit nerve-wracking for her.
“I went to his office and was like, ‘I gotta talk to you.’ I was scared because I felt so close to him and so grateful for him,” she said, of her Spring 2022 decision to leave the show, “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.’
Moving Forward After ‘SNL’
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It almost goes without saying to acknowledge how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected every aspect of life, including the strong degree of influence the coronavirus has had on the entertainment community.
COVID had an impact on Bryant’s career path as well. She revealed “If it weren’t for COVID” she would have departed the show earlier than last month.
“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.”
Bryant’s goal was to “seek one last normal year” before making the final decision to leave. The schedule for Bryant’s Hulu adaptation of Lindy West’s “Shrill” often impacted how much time she was able to spend on set.
Bryant added, “This year wasn’t the year that I had hoped for, but it was closer to that. It was like, ‘Okay it’s really time now.’ And 10 felt like a nice, solid round number.”
Her work on “Saturday Night Live” won’t soon be forgotten. In fact, it has been commemorated by the big leagues! According to People, Bryant has received three Emmy nominations for her comedic genius!