Why Cecily Strong Kept Her Departure From Saturday Night Live Under Wraps

There were two main sketches in Cecily Strong’s final episode dedicated to saying farewell to her. One was a Weekend Update segment where she played her long-time recurring character Cathy Anne. Here, the lovably incoherent Cathy Anne says goodbye to Michael Che and Colin Jost, under the pretext that Cathy’s going to prison for all those crimes she’s mentioned over the years. Cathy Anne brings up how she used to be a co-anchor on Weekend Update with Jost in his first season; it’s a joke that’s funny in how it implies that Cathy was once a successful woman who fell hard off the wagon, but also just a sweet little callback to how far her and Jost’s relationship goes. Before Jost had Che to bounce off of, he had Strong to help ease the pressure of having to measure up to his predecessor, Seth Meyers.

The other big sketch started off with Kenan Thompson saying his goodbyes to Strong. Then Kenan had the host Austin Butler come on to sing her Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas,” and soon most of the show’s cast had come on-stage to sing along with them. It’s a lovely goodbye sketch, reminiscent of Kristen Wiig’s farewell in 2012. It’s a sketch that makes it abundantly clear how much everyone’s going to miss her, and how much she’s going to miss them. As Strong said about the show in her Instagram post:

“I am ready to go, but I’ll always know home is here. I’ve had the time of my life working with the greatest people on earth.”

“Saturday Night Live” airs Saturday evenings on NBC.

Leave a Comment