Why Chris Redd Decided To Leave Saturday Night Live

Less than a week after former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Melissa VillaseƱor made it publicly known why she decided to end her tenure on the iconic sketch comedy show, fellow retiree Chris Redd has followed suit. While it's obviously no one's business why someone chooses to make a major life decision, the comedian recently guested on an episode of Marc Maron's popular "WTF" podcast to set the record on why he added his name to the long list of cast members who left after season 47, including Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, Pete Davidson, Aristotle Athari, Alex Moffat, and VillaseƱor.

Redd told Maron that there were two major events that forced him to reevaluate what he wanted to do with his life, and both are unfortunately tragic. The first was the death of fellow comedian, Jak Knight, who Redd described as "one of [his] best friends." Only a few weeks later, another friend and comedian passed away, stand-up comedian Teddy Ray. Losing anyone is a difficult experience, but losing two friends and comedy colleagues so closely together was life-altering in a multitude of ways. "I've got to spend time doing what I really want to do because we don't know when we're going to go," Redd told Maron. "We've lost so many d*** comics [...] I want to be able to get out and work with my friends."

Working at "SNL" is the job of a lifetime for most comedians, but it's not without its stressors. "There was so many people there that you're fighting for very little time and I was like, 'I don't know how much longer I can fight for two minutes, or five minutes [of screen time],'" he said.

Leaving was the right thing for Chris Redd

Chris Redd told Marc Maron that when he had initially auditioned for "Saturday Night Live," he had intended on only staying for four years. "I was screaming 'four years' forever," he said. "I always loved that job as much as I hated the job [...] I think that's what makes it a beautiful place to work at, because it keeps you feeling something and working for something [...] there's nothing like it." This seems to be a common feeling among those who have worked on the show, as retired cast members often share a similar sentiment after leaving the biggest show at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

Redd ended up staying longer than four years, retiring after his fifth year. "I was like, 'Man, I don't want to leave until I've learned everything I can from this place.'" It seems, he certainly learned plenty, as Redd earned an Emmy Award for co-writing the song "Come Back Barack," for a sketch about a fictional '90s R&B group wishing Barack Obama would come back and be America's president again.

At the end of the day, Redd said leaving the show "just felt like the right thing to do," because it gave him the freedom to work on other projects. Redd currently has a new stand-up special called "Chris Redd: Why Am I Like This?" available to stream on HBO Max, and is also set to star in the film "Cyber Monday," for Universal Pictures.