Cecily Strong is the latest castmember to depart NBC’s Saturday Night Live.
Ahead of the comedy sketch show’s Christmas episode on Saturday evening — which will be hosted by Austin Butler and see Lizzo perform as the musical guest — the official Instagram account for the series announced that Strong, 38, will appear for the last time as a cast member.
Strong’s final show was Saturday night’s edition. She appeared as Kimberly Guilfoyle in the cold open and other segments, including one about “Jewish Elvis” as well as “Weekend Update.” In the latter, she played recurring character Cathy Anne, who was saying “goodbye” because she was going to prison. She joked that she’d be fine because she had “friends on the inside, they seem to be doing OK” as a photo of recently departed castmembers Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant were shown onscreen in prison garb.
“Tonight we send off one of the best to ever do it. We’ll miss you, Cecily!” SNL wrote alongside a photograph of a sign that read, “We’ll miss you, Cecily.”
The post also included an image of the actress performing as one of her many characters beside Michael Che on Weekend Update, as well as a clip of Strong’s Jeanine Pirro impression.
Strong was only to be involved for half the current SNL season, as she looks forward to new opportunities.
In the comments section, fans reacted to the news of Strong’s exit by expressing their sadness to see her go.
“No way. You will be missed,” one user wrote, as another called her leaving, “A huge loss.” One other added: “Nooooooo. She is a legend through and through 😢.”
Another segment saw her as a RadioShack employee working her last day on the job. In the skit, Kenan Thompson, playing her boss, noted that she’d had “eight incredible years” working there. “Well, I’ve been here 11,” she said. “I know, and eight of them were incredible,” he replied, adding: “Frankly, I don’t think RadioShack could have lasted this long without Cecily. Every time she came to work, she had a new character, or a new accent, or a new impression that would just blow you away. She’d have a power and joy to her performance that made you remember why you loved working at RadioShack in the first place.”
Host (and Elvis star) Austin Butler then appeared as “Casual Elvis” — the joke was that they didn’t have enough money to spring for an Elvis Presley costume — and serenaded her with “Blue Christmas,” which she then joined in on, followed by Thompson and the rest of the SNL cast.
The news of her departure was announced Saturday on SNL’s social media accounts (see below).
She joined the sketch show, executive produced by Lorne Michaels, in 2012, its 38th season. Over the years, she created such characters as “The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party” and impersonated such celebrities as Kendall Jenner, Megyn Kelly and Liz Cheney.
Strong next stars in the second season of AppleTV+ Schmigadoon!, which is also executive produced by Michaels. She also took a hiatus from SNL while filming that series.
Strong follows on the heels of other castmembers who have recently left SNL, including McKinnon, Bryant and Pete Davidson.
When “Weekend Update” co-host Michael Che asked her where she was going, Strong’s Cathy Anne exclaimed, “Turns out: prison! All the crimes I confessed to you here for the past seven years finally caught up with me. You know, drug use, trespassing, destruction of property, crack, impersonating a police officer, and some crack… and doing a couple of Sonic attacks.” (By that, she meant “doing an upper-decker in a Sonic.”)