Former SNL Star Melissa Villaseñor Reveals Why She Quit

This year is a time of great change for Saturday Night Live, with the long-running sketch comedy series changing over a number of its cast members. In total, eight veteran cast members departed the series before its Season 48 premiere earlier this fall, including fan-favorite Melissa Villaseñor. Villaseñor has been a cast member of the show since Season 42, and earned a number of fans across her tenure on the show, which made the news of her exit definitely surprising for some. In a recent appearance on The Daily Beast's Last Laugh podcast, Villaseñor shed a bit more light on her decision to exit — and revealed that it ultimately was for the sake of her mental health.

"It was my decision. I gave myself a lot of time in the summer to think on it and play it out in my head," Villaseñor revealed. "At the end of the day, it was about my mental health. Last season, I had a couple panic attacks. I was struggling, and I always felt like I was on the edge of a cliff every week. I was like, 'I don't want to do that to myself anymore.'"

Why did Melissa Villaseñor leave SNL?

As Villaseñor clarified elsewhere in the podcast, she did not leave because "the show was mean toward [her] or anyone." She later explained her struggles with being an introvert in large social situations, like being on SNL.

"I get nervous, like, 'Where do I fit? What am I supposed to do?'… I think that's what caused it," Villaseñor explained. "There was just something telling me I could part ways. It was super hard, because I love Lorne [Michaels], and I'm so grateful to all of them for having me. This was my kid dream. This was all I wanted as a kid. I carry that forever in my heart that I got to experience that in my life."

Who else left SNL after Season 47?

In addition to Villaseñor, this latest hiatus of SNL saw the departure of Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, Alex Moffat, and Aristotle Athari. Season 48 features Sarah Sherman, James Austin Johnson, Punkie Johnson, Bowen Yang, Andrew Dismukes, and Chloe Fineman, working along longtime vets like Kennan Thompson, Cecily Strong, Ego Nwodim, Heidi Gardner, Chris Redd, Mikey Day, Colin Jost, and Michael Che.

What do you think of Melissa Villaseñor's comments about her decision to exit SNL? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!