The comedian left the show last spring to star in CBS' Me, Myself & I, but before he said goodbye to that legendary Rockefeller Center stage Moynihan went through the most intense year he ever experienced on the sketch show.
"I felt like I was on one show for eight years and another for one year," Moynihan told critics at the Television Critics Association summer press tour while promoting Me, Myself & I on Tuesday. "You get used to never sleeping and writing constantly all night long. You think you've made it. You've done this for eight years and you think it can't get any worse, then Trump happens."
The Trump election forced SNL to step up their political game to keep up with the day by day scandals of the new administration. Moynihan shared stories of how the SNL team would be writing brand new cold opens for the show on Saturday morning, hours before the live show because of a Trump scandal that had broken the night before.
"It was a whole new ball game. I am so thankful that I was there for that year," he said. "[It was] the hardest year, easily for me, but also weirdly, maybe, one of my favorites."
Moynihan's personal farewell to SNL didn't have much to do with politics though. He was more excited to say goodbye to one of his favorite recurring characters — Drunk Uncle.
"I wrote what I thought was a very funny ending to Drunk Uncle where I delivered his real name," he recounted. "That last episode for me, I got shockingly sick. I woke up at 4 in the morning throwing up. I think I knew [the end] was coming...I get emotional just thinking about [the last episode]."
Luckily for Moynihan, his announcement that he was leaving the show after almost a decade went over really well with his boss, Lorne Michaels. After the actor was offered the CBS part, he sent an e-mail at 2 a.m. to Michaels requesting a meeting. Michaels responded five minutes later saying no problem and they'd chat in the morning.
"The only way I can explain that meeting is he said the five things I've always wanted him to say to me and it was perfect," Moynihan shared.
Me, Myself and I premieres Monday, Sept. 25 at 9:30/8:30c.
(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS)