Kate McKinnon Says Goodbye to 'SNL' with Emotional Farewell: 'Thanks for Letting Me Stay Awhile'

Emmy winner Kate McKinnon joined the cast of Saturday Night Live during season 37 in 2012

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Natasha Lyonne, Japanese Breakfast Episode 1826 -- Pictured: Kate McKinnon as Ms. Rafferty during the Final Encounter cold open on Saturday, May 14, 2022 -- (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Photo: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Kate McKinnon has officially departed Saturday Night Live after 10 years.

The actress and comedian, 38, bid farewell to the late-night comedy sketch series over the weekend during the Natasha Lyonne-hosted season finale.

McKinnon first appeared during the episode's cold open, in the fan-favorite "Close Encounter" sketch, where she reprised her role of Miss Rafferty, a woman abducted by aliens who experiences a much different ordeal than her fellow abductees.

After McKinnon's character detailed what went down during her alien abduction, two government agents told her that she must go with the extraterrestrials "permanently."

As McKinnon then stood on the alien spacecraft, she said her goodbyes, which were from both her character, as well as from herself as a star on SNL.

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"Well, Earth, I love you. Thanks for letting me stay awhile," McKinnon said, getting emotional. After placing her hand on her chest, the star then closed out the sketch with the show's signature catchphrase, "Live from New York, it's Saturday night!" as the audience before her erupted with cheers.

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During the SNL season 47 finale, McKinnon appeared in another sketch later in the evening, where she and Aidy Bryant — who also marked her final episode — advertised a hair product for older women.

The evening's musical guest, Japanese Breakfast, even made a cameo towards the end of the sketch.

RELATED VIDEO: Hillary Clinton Admits Kate McKinnon's 'Hilarious' SNL Impersonation Makes Her Second-Guess Herself

McKinnon previously joined the cast of SNL during season 37 in 2012. At the time, she was the first openly lesbian cast member to join the series.

The actress currently holds the record for the longest a woman has stayed on the show's lineup, according to Entertainment Weekly.

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Over the years, McKinnon became a staple and beloved member of the SNL cast, bringing to life hilarious sketches and perfectly executing impressions of various famous figures, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Ellen DeGeneres, and Hillary Clinton, to name a few.

McKinnon was nominated for nine Emmy Awards during her time with SNL. She won awards in 2016 and 2017, in the outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series category.

The comedian will next be seen in the live-action Barbie movie, which features Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling alongside a star-studded cast, as well as a voice actor in DC League of Super-Pets.

In addition to McKinnon, Pete Davidson, Kyle Mooney, and Bryant also signed off after Saturday night's episode.

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