Saturday Night Live (SNL) said goodbye to many fan favorites at the 47th season finale, including Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant, and Kyle Mooney. While Pete Davidson appeared as the resident “young person” on Weekend Update with Colin Jost and Micheal Che for the final time, McKinnon returned to her recurring character of Colleen Rafferty in a spoof.
In the program “Cold Open,” McKinnon as Rafferty discussed her experiences with extraterrestrial abduction, as has been the case in prior comedic sketches starring the character. McKinnon was spotted leaving the planet in a spacecraft with two aliens at the conclusion of the act.
McKinnon addressed the crowd in a clearly emotional moment, saying:
“So, Earth! I adore you. Thank you for allowing me to remain. Saturday Night, live from New York.”
Kate McKinnon’s ten-year run on Saturday Night Live
The 38-year-old actress, comedian, and writer are arguably best recognized for her work on NBC’s Saturday Night Live (SNL). Lorne Michaels cast Kate McKinnon on SNL in March 2012. On April 7, 2012, she made her official debut. The actress has been a regular on Saturday Night Live for almost a decade. McKinnon was upgraded to a more permanent place among the recurring cast members in 2013’s Season 39 due to her rapid ascension to fan-favorite performances. Within a year, the New York native was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.”
Kate McKinnon has been nominated for an Emmy six times throughout her stint on Saturday Night Live, and she has won the award twice. In 2016 and 2017, the actress received an Emmy for her numerous appearances on Saturday Night Live. McKinnon previously won “Best Comedy Supporting Actress – TV” at the American Comedy Awards in 2014. She also won a Critics’ Choice TV Award for her performances on the program.
McKinnon is well-known for her portrayal of various characters and impressions of numerous celebrities, including Hillary Clinton, Justin Bieber, Donald Trump’s counselor Kellyanne Conway, late US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elizabeth Warren, and a slew of others. The actress and comedian is also well-known among SNL viewers for playfully causing her fellow cast members to break character during sketches with her funny reactions. While the aforementioned trend was seen in a number of performances, Kate McKinnon memorably broke Ryan Gosling twice during their “Close Encounter” comedy.
McKinnon made her skit series debut in 2015 as Colleen Rafferty, supported by Cecily Strong and Ryan Gosling. The three protagonists were being interviewed by the Pentagon about their supposed extraterrestrial abduction. At the time, the Ghostbusters star’s racy recounting of her extraterrestrial abduction story caused Gosling to giggle uncontrollably throughout the play. The same occurred with Gosling and McKinnon in another spoof in the “Close Encounter” series two years later.
Fans of Saturday Night Live react to Kate McKinnon’s departure from the program.
McKinnon has been a fan favorite cast member of the NBC sitcom, eliciting passionate reactions from viewers. Following the departure of the actress from the program, legions of fans rushed to Twitter to reflect on the most memorable moments from her tenure on SNL.
Kate McKinnon was the best part of SNL — hands down.
10 awesome years. pic.twitter.com/7msCU5Cuth
— Alexis Benveniste (@apbenven) May 21, 2022
Kate McKinnon must go down as one of the all time greats on SNL. HOF no doubt.
— Josh Charles (@MrJoshCharles) May 21, 2022