Could Saturday Night Live Lose Kate McKinnon Before Season 45?

Saturday Night Live Kate McKinnon

Saturday Night Live could be losing its ace card, Kate McKinnon, before the 2019-2020 Season 45. McKinnon has been a standout since she first debuted on SNL in 2012. She has played just about every political and pop culture figure, shining especially bright during election years. So how in Hillary's name would SNL fill her shoes?

This is not just a hypothetical question. Apparently Kate McKinnon is nearing the end of her contract as Season 44 winds down. SNL's reps and her reps are reportedly working on a way to keep her on the program into Season 45, but it's possible that this will be her final season as a full-time SNL-er.

That's the word per sources to Variety, but we'll see. This could be a Show Me The Money situation, since Kate McKinnon has earned an entire bank vault from SNL at this point. She has back-to-back Emmys for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series from her SNL stints in 2016 and 2017.

Apparently the talks between Kate McKinnon's camp and SNL are "fluid" and a decision might not come until just before Season 45 launches in the fall.

There was previous talk that Kenan Thompson and Aidy Bryant might also leave SNL. But, for now, everyone seems to still be balancing SNL with outside TV and film projects.

Kate McKinnon has a role in the Beatles comedy Yesterday, and is said to be in the upcoming Fox News movie Fair and Balanced. It was also recently announced that she'll star as the Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos infamy in Hulu's new drama series The Dropout.

Kate McKinnon has had mixed success up to this point on the big screen. She picked up a few voice roles in The Angry Birds Movie, Finding Dory, Leap!, and Ferdinand. She also starred in Office Christmas Party, Masterminds, Rough Night, and The Spy Who Dumped Me, along with the controversial Ghostbusters movie.

Saturday Night Live has long been a fame launchpad for comedians, from Dan Aykroyd to Kristen Wiig and dozens of names in between -- including Dana Carvey, Tina Fey, Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Billy Crystal, Jane Curtin, Chris Farley, Jimmy Fallon, Will Ferrell, Bill Hader, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Seth Meyers, Tracy Morgan, Maya Rudolph, Andy Samberg, Molly Shannon, David Spade, Amy Poehler, and Adam Sandler (who is coming back soon to host for the first time). The list goes on and on, and will probably continue as more names are added.

Even though many say Saturday Night Live's best years are behind it, the fact that the show can still create superstars like Kate McKinnon shows it's still a relevant player in the comedy game.

It's possible that, even if Kate McKinnon does leave as a full-time cast member in Season 45, she could still return on a recurring or cameo basis. She could do the equivalent of what Alec Baldwin does as President Trump. It would be a shame to lose McKinnon going into the 2020 election, considering the impression queen already plays Elizabeth Warren and will surely add a few more candidates to her resume if given the chance.

For now, Kate McKinnon is expected to at least continue through Saturday Night Live Season 44. The season continues with Adam Sandler hosting this Saturday, May 4, with Shawn Mendes as musical guest. Episodes begin at 11:29 p.m. on NBC.

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.