The out actress and comedian starred in the cold open of the episode where she brought back fan-favorite character Ms. Rafferty who, alongside Cecily Strong and episode host Natasha Lyonne, is sharing her story of being abducted by aliens. At the end of the sketch when Ms. Rafferty decides to leave Earth in favor of joining her alien friends up in space, McKinnon used her character's exit as a way to thank the audience for all of their love support over the years and her time on the show.
"I love ya. Thanks for letting me stay a while," a visibly emotional McKinnon said, kicking off the season 47 finale. "Live from New York, it's Saturday night."
— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@Saturday Night Live - SNL)
McKinnon, who is reportedly the longest-running woman cast member in Saturday Night Live's history (she first joined the show back in 2012), isn't the only star bidding adieu, though. Shrill's Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, and Pete Davidson are also leaving the beloved comedy series after this season, which made for an ever more emotional night for the cast and crew.
Watch Kate McKinnon in Saturday Night Live's full season 47 finale cold open, "Final Encounter," in the video below.