Cecily Strong is leaving ‘Saturday Night Live’, continuing a veteran ‘not ready for primetime’ player who parted ways with the revered NBC show since last summer “‘s departure.
Saturday’s airing — expected to be “SNL”‘s last of 2022 — will also mark Strong’s final appearance as an actor, the NBC show announced. She joined “Saturday Night Live” in 2012, and since then she’s made a name for herself through roles like “The Girl You Wish You Didn’t Start Talking to At Parties” and a cheesy parody of Fox News commentary host Jenny Pee Judge Luo. During her tenure on “Saturday Night Live,” Strong even anchored “Weekend Update,” opposite Seth Meyers and Colin Jost.
Strong’s exit was no surprise. The actor missed several episodes of the season to join the show – suggesting she’s already considering other options. Kate McKinnon did something similar in fall 2021, the start of her final season with the program.
However, like many of the “Saturday Night Live” cast members, Strong hasn’t strayed too far from her base camp. Starred in the second season of “Schmigadoon!”, a parody musical that streams on Apple+. Like “SNL,” the show is produced by Lorne Michaels.
In addition to McKinnon, many of the mainstays of “Saturday Night Live” in recent seasons have also left. Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, Pete Davidson, Alex Moffat, Chris Redd, Melissa Villaseñor and featured player Aristotle Athari did not return for the current cycle.
“Saturday Night Live” has taken on new importance for NBC as more TV viewers turn to streaming services to watch their favorite scripted dramas and comedies on demand. Once relegated to broadcasting local news at a time that network executives deemed not the most important, “Saturday Night Live” is now simulcast across the U.S., meaning it airs during prime time in certain parts of the country. out. This increases the cost of a 30-second commercial in the program.
In recent seasons, Strong has wowed audiences with subtle but meaningful political humor. In 2021’s “Weekend Update,” she plays “Guber the Clown who gets an abortion at age 23,” just after Texas banned abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. Just before the midterm elections in November, Strong played a similar theme with a new character, “Tammy the trucker,” who ostensibly talks about high gas prices but actually talks about abortion rights.
Strong was last seen on “Weekend Update” as Cathy Anne, who said she came to say goodbye to her before going to jail.
“Everyone has to go to jail at some point, and this is my time, but I’m really lucky that I get to spend the best time of my life with these people I love so much,” Strong said.
In the final scene of the night, Kenan Thompson said goodbye to Strong — her last day as a Radio Shack employee. Show host Austin Butler then serenaded her with a rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas.” Strong joined and became a duet. Eventually, the entire cast began singing the Presley classic, and they gathered around Strong as they said their goodbyes. The tearful burly man hugged each of them.
“Saturday Night Live” recently welcomed one of its largest player bases, giving it the opportunity to develop a new generation of actors, including Heidi Gardner, Chloe Fineman, Ego Nwodi Tom, Mitch Day and Bowen Yang. Featured players including Sarah Sherman and James Austin Johnson also garnered some attention. “Saturday Night Live” also began relying more on pre-recorded segments from Ben Marshall, John Higgins, and Martin Herlihy, the three young writer/performers known as Please Don’t Destroy.