Cecily Strong Becomes First Cast Member to Exit “Saturday Night Live” Season 48

Cecily Strong Becomes First Cast Member to Exit “Saturday Night Live” Season 48

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The Dec. 17 episode of “Saturday Night Live” wasn’t just the last episode of 2022, it doubled as a goodbye to longtime cast member Cecily Strong. Her exit was announced on the official “SNL” Twitter prior to the episode’s premiere. “Tonight we send off one of the best to ever do it. We’ll miss you, Cecily!” the tweet read.

Strong first joined “SNL” in 2012 and quickly created a number of memorable recurring characters including The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party and the tough Cathy Anne, whom she made one final appearance as during the Weekend Update segment. “I’m a little emo tonight, because I’m here to say goodbye,” the “Schmigadoon!” star said in character to Michael Che. When Che asked her why she was leaving, she joked, “turns out, prison.”

She went on to assure Che that she would be just fine since she already had “friends on the inside, and they seem to be doing OK.” At that point, a picture of season 47 departing cast members Aidy Bryant and Kate McKinnon wearing orange jumpsuits appeared on screen.

From there, Strong let her character slip slightly as she bid the show farewell. “I had a good run, I mean, I met you,” Strong said to Che. “And Colin [Jost], don’t you think I forgot about you. Here’s a picture of you and me doing Update together.”

She continued, “Everybody has to go to jail at some point, and it’s just my time now, but I feel really lucky that I got to spend so many of the best moments of my life with these people that I love so much.”

Later in the episode, host Austin Butler joined Kenan Thompson and the rest of the cast in serenading Strong with a rendition of “Blue Christmas.” Thompson, who remains the show’s longest-running cast member, sang, “You’ll be doing all right every Saturday night. But we’ll all have a blue, blue, blue, blue Christmas.”

While Strong is the first “SNL” cast member to exit season 48, the end of season 47 saw a number of high-profile exits from the series. Among the cast members who recently left the show are Pete Davidson, Bryant, McKinnon, Alex Moffat, and Melissa Villaseñor, among others. Remaining cast members include Thompson, Heidi Gardner, Chloe Fineman, Ego Nwodim, Mikey Day, and Bowen Yang.