SNL: Was the Season 45 Finale Kate McKinnon's Last Episode on Show?

Before Saturday Night Live launched its 45th season last fall, many had a question as to whether or not SNL mainstay Kate McKinnon would return. As with Leslie Jones, McKinnon's career outside of the live-sketch show has been rapidly expanding and many expected the actor to part ways with the series. Surprisingly enough, McKinnon eventually agreed to return to Studio 8H for at least one more season, leaving Jones as the only cast member to leave the show between Seasons 44 and 45.

Last August, it was widely reported McKinnon's contract initial contract expired after Season 44, before her team and NBC came to an agreement that allowed the comedian to return for at least one more year, the actor's eighth season on the show. Should the actor choose to part ways with the Lorne Michaels-led show, the news likely wouldn't surface until later this summer, long after NBC inevitably announces the show's Season 46 renewal.

It's typical for the cast members to sign a seven-year deal when first being hired to appear on SNL, though stipulations reportedly allow both the cast and network to reassess the contract options at the end of every season.

Outside of 30 Rock, McKinnon has found starring roles in Ghostbusters, Office Christmas Party, Yesterday, and Bombshell amongst others. Her work on Saturday Night Live has earned her two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. She's also still attached to play Carole Baskin in an upcoming scripted series about the life and times of Joe Exotic, the subject of Netflix's wildly popular Tiger King docuseries. That series is being developed at Universal Content Productions and currently has no network or streamer attached.

For the uninitiated, Netflix's synopsis for Tiger King below.


"Among the eccentrics and cult personalities in the stranger-than-fiction world of big cat owners, few stand out more than Joe Exotic, a mulleted, gun-toting polygamist and country-western singer who presides over an Oklahoma roadside zoo. Charismatic but misguided, Joe and an unbelievable cast of characters including drug kingpins, conmen, and cult leaders all share a passion for big cats, and the status and attention their dangerous menageries garner. But things take a dark turn when Carole Baskin, an animal activist and owner of a big cat sanctuary, threatens to put them out of business, stoking a rivalry that eventually leads to Joe’s arrest for a murder-for-hire plot, and reveals a twisted tale where the only thing more dangerous than a big cat is its owner."

Cover photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images