January 30, 2023

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Cecily Strong has announced her departure from Saturday Night Live.

The longtime SNL cast member said goodbye to the sketch comedy show on this weekend’s Christmas episode. “Tonight we’re sending off one of the best ever,” SNL wrote in a social media post ahead of the episode. “We will miss you, Cecily!”

As part of her departure, Strong reprized her classic character, Cathy Anne, during the weekend update. “It’s just my time now but I’ve had a lot of fun here and I feel really fortunate to have had so many of the best moments of my life in this place with these people I love so much,” she said Tears.

At the end of the episode, host Austin Butler and the rest of the SNL cast serenaded Strong by performing “Blues Christmas.”

Strong joined SNL in 2012 and her 11 seasons on the show tie with Kate McKinnon as the longest tenure by a female cast member in history.

Strong was previously rumored to be leaving SNL last summer as part of a massive cast exodus that included McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, Pete Davidson, Alex Moffat, Melissa Villaseñor and Chris Redd. While she missed the first three episodes of SNL’s 48th season due to scheduling conflicts surrounding her one-woman play The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, Strong returned to the studio on October 29 for the launch of six episodes 8H back final.

Aside from Kenan Thompson and his absurd 20-season tenure, Weekend Update hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che are now the longest-serving SNL cast members currently on the show (they’re in their 10th and ninth seasons, respectively). Mikey Day and Heidi Gardner are next, with seven and six seasons under their belts, respectively.

Next up for Strong is Season 2 of their Apple TV+ comedy Schmigadoon! starring Keenan-Michael Key.

SNL’s final goodbye to Cecily Strong is so sweet. Austin Butler and the cast sang her “Blue Christmas” to close her last show after 11 seasons. several tears flowed

“You’ll be fine every Saturday night, but I’m going to have a blue, blue, blue Christmas.” pic.twitter.com/gUhg0HUYl7

— Spencer Althouse (@SpencerAlthouse) December 18, 2022

Cecily Strong fought back tears during her final sketch on SNL after 11 seasons.

“It’s just my time now but I’ve had a lot of fun here and I feel really fortunate to have had so many of the best moments of my life in this place with the people I love so much.” pic.twitter.com/j7us3opzzd

— Spencer Althouse (@SpencerAlthouse) December 18, 2022

Tonight we’re sending out one of the best that’s ever made it. We will miss you Cecilia! pic.twitter.com/zsoGfw8SdP

– Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) December 18, 2022