Saturday Night Live: Kate McKinnon is back

Kate McKinnon (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
Kate McKinnon (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images) /

The long, long wait is finally over. Kate McKinnon is set to return to Saturday Night Live after missing the first seven episodes of season 47.

Fans immediately noticed McKinnon’s absence in the season premiere. The veteran cast member has become a staple of cold opens and appears in nearly every sketch. So when McKinnon didn’t show week after week, questions started getting asked.

It didn’t help that the speculation over the summer suggested that McKinnon would be among several high-profile cast members not returning to SNL. However, McKinnon never indicated plans to depart, and her status as a fan favorite made it unlikely that she wouldn’t receive a special farewell.

The truth is that McKinnon has been in Australia filming a television series based on the Netflix documentary Tiger King. McKinnon is set to play Carol Baskin for the upcoming Peacock series. However, a promo for the December 11 episode shows McKinnon back in Studio 8H and ready for her SNL return.

Don’t expect any rust from Kate McKinnon in her SNL return

Kate McKinnon rejoins castmates like Kenan Thompson, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, and Ego Nwodim at a point in the season where there’s some momentum behind the show. SNL is in full swing and gearing up for the holiday episodes when it’s typically at its best.

But fans know better than to think McKinnon will have any rust in her SNL return. She’s a pro’s pro who has been at this for a long time. Over the summer, McKinnon gave an interview indicating she knew all along that she’d be joining the show late so she’s prepared. If anything, it’s likely that the show will get an energy boost as the audience and cast respond to having McKinnon back on stage.

It’s unclear when McKinnon returned from Australia, but the adjustment from filming on a set on the other side of the world to a live show in New York City may be the only thing that throws her off. The comedian did appear at the Kennedy Center Honors event that celebrated SNL creator Lorne Michaels earlier in the week.

SNL audiences should expect McKinnon to be in the cold open for the Billie Eilish episode. She’ll likely receive a loud ovation from the studio audience and those fans watching at home will get confirmation that one of the show’s stars is back home.

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