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What Is Kate McKinnon Doing Now?

Here's what the comedian's been up to since leaving SNL in 2022 after a decade on the show—and what she's working on for 2024.

By Tayi Sanusi

The end of Saturday Night Live's Season 47 saw the departure of several cast members who left quite a legacy on the show: Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, and the wonderful Kate McKinnon. McKinnon first joined the SNL cast midway through Season 37, on Host Sofia Vergara's 2012 episode. Despite her somewhat unceremonious start on the show, McKinnon would go on to enjoy one of the longest tenures of any cast member. Earning seven Emmy nominations and two wins for her work on SNL, McKinnon is remembered for dozens of wild characters and a broad range of impressions.

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Watch Saturday Night Live Saturdays at 11:30/10:30c on NBC and next day on Peacock.  

McKinnon said goodbye to the late-night show after an impressive 10-year, 11-season run from 2012-2022. Though we were sad to see the hugely talented actress taking her final bow on the SNL stage, the good news is she's been busy with plenty of projects since then. 

From starring in a Peacock series to her pivotal role as Weird Barbie in 2023's biggest film, there's no shortage of places to watch Kate McKinnon, or hear her distinctively expressive voice in animated shows. 

Read on to find out what Kate McKinnon is doing right now, and what she'll be up to in 2024.

Kate McKinnon arrives at the Emmy's

What is Kate McKinnon doing now?

If you're among the millions of people who saw the Barbie movie in theaters—or simply noticed a lot of 2023 Halloween costumes involving a choppy blond wig and pink dress with bright shapes all over it—you're likely aware that Kate McKinnon played Weird Barbie in the film. Festooned with childlike scribbles and chopped off hair, McKinnon's character sends Barbie (Margot Robbie) on her mission into the real world. McKinnon knocked it out of the park, and Mattel even released a limited-edition Weird Barbie doll.

Like many actors, McKinnon's had a quieter back half of 2023 due to the SAG strike that started in July 2023. Not worry, as you'll be seeing more of McKinnon in 2024. She'll join The Office and Parks and Recreation alum Rashida Jones and Trolls Band Together's Daveed Diggs in Andrew Stanton's sci-fi film In the Blink of an Eye; per IMDB, it was in production in 2023. 

Kate McKinnon's movie and TV roles since SNL

Kate McKinnon as Carole Baskin on Joe Vs. Carole

McKinnon has kept busy since her departure from SNL. In the Peacock original series Joe vs. Carole, McKinnon portrayed Carole Baskin,  controversial real-life animal activist and self-appointed big cat rescuer, who first became famous in the Netflix documentary Tiger King.

In addition to Barbie, McKinnon's 2022-2023 feature film work included playing Paula the Studio Head in Judd Apatow's The Bubble. The films add to McKinnon's long list of movie credits, which include Bombshell, Yesterday, The Spy Who Dumped Me, Ghostbusters, and Rough Night. 

RELATED: Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph’s Best Moments Together on SNL

You may have also heard McKinnon in several projects in the past year, as she's lent her voice to several cartoon series (including, previously, The Simpsons and Family Guy). She played Lulu the hairless guinea pig in the 2022 animated film DC League of Super-Pets, as part of a star-studded cast that included Dwayne Johnson, Keanu Reeves, Kevin Hart, and fellow SNL alum Vanessa Bayer. And SNL fans with young kids shouldn't miss the PBS Kids cartoon Nature Cat, starring Taran Killam as Nature Cat and featuring Bobby Moynihan, Kenan Thompson, Chris Parnell, Fred Armisen, and McKinnon as a mouse named Squeeks. 

Why did Kate McKinnon leave Saturday Night Live?

Kate Mckinnon during the Mother’s Day Video sketch on Saturday Night Live.

Kate McKinnon revealed why she made the tough decision to close an exciting chapter in her career in 2022. 

"I thought about it for a very long time, and it was very, very hard because all I ever wanted to do in my whole life was be on Saturday Night Live, and so I did," McKinnon told Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest on Live with Kelly and Ryan. "I loved it. I had the best decade, and then I was just like, my body was tired, and I felt like it was time."

Landing a dream job is an amazing accomplishment, but all good things must come to an end sooner or later. 

Watch Saturday Night Live on NBC at 11:35/10:35c, simulcast and streaming next day on Peacock.

Originally published Jul 22, 2022.