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Cecily Strong Says Goodbye to ‘SNL’ in Final ‘Weekend Update’ Appearance

The longtime cast member announced her departure shortly before the show aired on Saturday night.

Cecily Strong on "Saturday Night Live"

Cecily Strong on “Saturday Night Live”

NBC

Last night marked the end of an era in Studio 8H as Cecily Strong appeared in her final episode of “Saturday Night Live” as a full time cast member. The news of her departure was announced shortly before showtime.

Strong has been a fixture of the late night sketch show during her 11 years as a cast member, memorably creating characters such as the Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party and the endlessly horny drug addict Cathy Anne. She also briefly hosted Weekend Update, sharing the news desk with Seth Meyers during his final run at the show and co-hosting with Colin Jost at the beginning of the next season, though she was soon replaced with Michael Che.

So it was fitting that she said one of her last goodbyes to the series as Cathy Anne, joining Michael Che behind the Weekend Update desk for one final bout of chaos. The character revealed that she was going to prison (she had accepted a plea deal for a life sentence to avoid the death penalty) and therefore had to part ways with Che, her longtime crush.

Strong never fully broke character, but delivered a goodbye message that clearly applied to both her jail-bound character and her own exit from “SNL.” Mixing satire and sincerity, she reflected on her time with the show while reminding audiences of what made her such a valuable comedic asset in the first place.

“It’s just my time now,” she said. “But I had a lot of fun here, and I’m really lucky that I got to have so many of the best moments of my life in this place with these people that I love so much. But I guess take that with a grain of salt, being that I have addiction issues.”

The sketch was not her final appearance, as she returned in the last segment of the night to receive a musical sendoff from host Austin Butler and the rest of the cast. They came together to serenade her with a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas” to end the show.

Watch Strong’s final “Weekend Update” appearance below.

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