Cecily Strong Says Goodbye to ‘Saturday Night Live’ After 11 Seasons

SNL Cecily Strong Goodbye (Credit: NBC)

Cecily Strong bid an emotional farewell to Saturday Night Live this weekend after 11 seasons.

The popular comedian appeared throughout Saturday’s episode and was serenaded at the end of the show by guest host and Elvis star, Austin Butler

SNL announced Strong would be leaving the series on Instagram a few hours before the show aired. Once the episode began, Strong said goodbye on “The Weekend Update.”

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Playing  recurring character Cathy Anne, she joined co-anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che and announced she was leaving — after committing several crimes.

“I’m here to say goodbye,” she explained. When Che asked where she was going, she quipped: “It turns out, prison.” Cathy Anne admitted she was guilty of drug use, trespassing and destruction of property. But she said she wasn’t afraid of jail because she has “friends on the inside.” Just as she delivered the line about her friends, former SNL comedians Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant were shown on screen dressed in orange prison jumpsuits.

“Everybody has to go to jail at some point, right? It’s my time now,” Strong told Che, before ending the segment on a more serious note.

“I had a lot of fun here,” she said. “And I feel really lucky that I have had so many of the best moments of my life in this place, and with these people that I love so much.”

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In another sketch, Strong played a RadioShack employee who had given her notice. Kenan Thompson portrayed her boss and thanked her for her service.

“As some of you know, this is Cecily’s last day working at RadioShack after eight incredible years” of work.

“Well, I’ve been here 11,” she corrected Thompson.

“I know, and eight of them were incredible,” he responded to laughter. “Honestly, 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.”

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He then told her he loved her and introduced “casual Elvis” —  Austin Butler in character as Elvis Presley.

Butler was dressed casually because they ran out of money to pay for the full Elvis costume, Thompson joked. The actor sang “Blue Christmas” before Strong joined him in a duet. Thompson and the rest of the cast harmonized in the background. Strong fought back tears and hugged all of the cast members at the end of the song.

Cecily Strong is the latest in a long list of comedians to leave SNL in the past year.

She joined the series in 2012, and was known for her impressions of Melania Trump and Fox News’ Judge Jeanine Pirro.

She also co-stars in and produces the Apple TV+ musical comedy series Schmigadoon!, which was recently renewed for a second season. The series is executive produced by SNL creator, Lorne Michaels.