The girl you regretted starting a conversation with at a party is leaving.
Cecily Strong made her final appearance on “Saturday Night Live” during the Christmas episode, leaving the long-running NBC sketch show after 11 seasons.
She left the Weekend Update desk via her recurring character Cathy Anne, anchor Michael Che’s drug-addicted neighbour. With a Santa hat on her head and cigarette in hand, Cathy Anne admitted that she’s finally going to prison but isn’t mad about it: “I think it’s going to give me some much-needed stability. “I have friends on the inside, and they appear to be doing well,” she said, holding an inset photo of departed cast members Aidy Bryant and Kate McKinnon.
“It’s just my time now, but I had a lot of fun here,” Strong said, breaking character in meta fashion. And I consider myself extremely fortunate to have shared so many of the best moments of my life with these people.”
Kenan Thompson paid tribute to his fellow cast member in the night’s final sketch, set at a Radio Shack Christmas party. “Honestly, I don’t think Radio Shack would have made it this far without Cecily,” he said. “Every time she came to work, she had a new character, a new accent, or a new impression that would just blow you away. She’d have a power and joy to her performance that would remind you of why you loved working at Radio Shack in the first place.”
Strong then sang “Blue Christmas” with host “Elvis” star Austin Butler and the rest of the cast to close the show.
“SNL” confirmed her departure on Instagram earlier Saturday: “Tonight we send off one of the best to ever do it. Cecily, we’ll miss you!”
Strong, 38, joined “SNL” in September 2012 as a featured player in the show’s 38th season, was promoted to repertory player a year later, and is now the show’s longest-tenured female cast member, breaking McKinnon’s record. Strong co-hosted Weekend Update with Seth Meyers at first, and when he left to host “Late Night” in 2014, she teamed up with writer Colin Jost.
During the show’s run during the Trump and Biden administrations, she played a variety of political figures, including Judge Jeanine Pirro, Michigan Governor Gretchen Witmer, Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, and Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake. She also brought hilarious original characters to 30 Rock, such as the aforementioned Girl and Cathy Anne, as well as aspiring British singer Gemma.
Last year, Strong made headlines for a personal abortion sketch she performed as the character Goober the Clown in response to the Supreme Court hearing arguments on a restrictive new Texas abortion law.
“The day before my 23rd birthday, I had an abortion… But because it’s a difficult subject, we’re going to do fun clown stuff to make it more bearable,” Strong said alongside Jost and Che.
Strong, who was nominated for an Emmy in 2020 and 2021 for her work on “SNL,” has appeared in films such as “The Meddler,” “The Boss,” and “Ghostbusters,” as well as hosting the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2015. She will next be seen in the second season of the Apple TV+ musical comedy series “Schmigadoon!”