10:32am PT by Michael O'Connell
Bobby Moynihan Knows He Left 'SNL' on a High Note
Bobby Moynihan knows that he left Saturday Night Live on a high note. The comedian, who just finished a nine-year stint on the venerable NBC sketch show, says the recent election-driven season was unlike any previous one during his tenure.
"It felt like I was on one show for eight years and another show for one year," Moynihan told reporters Tuesday morning at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour. "You go through ebbs and flows, but it took on a whole other level last year. I'm so thankful I was there for it."
SNL's weekly skewering of Donald Trump, both before and during his presidency, inspired record ratings for the show and a renewed cultural relevance. It also demanded a different kind of commitment from its cast. "Instead of doing the show in four days," Moynihan said of SNL's typical Tuesday-Friday writing schedule, "with Trump, you would come in Friday and he'd have said something crazy. We'd have to do everything over again."
Moynihan, meeting with the press to plug his new CBS sitcom, Me, Myself & I, noted that his contract with SNL was up this past season — but he wasn't positive he wanted to leave. It wasn't until a visit to Los Angeles, where he happened upon Dan Kopelman's pilot script, that he made the decision to move on. (SNL boss Lorne Michaels was very supportive, according to Moynihan, who said the showrunner "said the five things I always wanted to hear him say to me.")
In addition to being a lifestyle change, leaving SNL has also afforded Moynihan a moment to calm down from a grueling schedule and constant battle to stay relevant.
"They day you get SNL, you start worrying about your exit from SNL," he said. " You're auditioning for the show every week for nine years. You think, 'Oh no, I have to keep going. This is my life's dream. What do I do after this?'"