Right before tonight’s episode Saturday Night Livethe show’s Instagram account announced that it would be the last episode to feature popular cast member Cecily Strong, one of the show’s last remaining veterans.
During her 11-year run, Strong would become one of the sketch comedy show’s most reliably funny performers, introducing new characters such as “The Girl You Wish You Didn’t Start Conversation With at a Party” and Cathy Annie. Michael Che’s drug-dealing neighbor armed with fierce opinions, as well as Lana Del Rey to Jeanine Pirro.
After Strong’s cold opening with Kimberly Guilfoyle trying to sell her Christmas album, much to Trump’s displeasure, Strong appeared on “Weekend Update” as her Cathy Anna character, tearfully telling the audience: “Now is my time. But I had a lot of fun here and I feel really lucky to have spent the best moments of my life in this place, with these people that I love so much.”
But that was not all. The final sketch of the night featured the cast giving Strong a second goodbye, this one even more tearful than the last.
It takes place in a radio booth that featured Kenan Thompson as store manager Frank Lasana saying goodbye to Cecily.
“This is Cecily’s last day at Radio Shack after eight incredible years,” said Thompson.
“Well, I’ve been here eleven,” Strong replied.
“I know. And eight of them were incredible. Honestly, I don’t think Radio Shack could have lasted this long without Cecily,” Thompson offered, his voice strained. “Every time she came to work, he had a new persona, or a new accent, or a new impression that just blew you away. He had an energy and joy to his performance that made you remember why you loved working at Radio Shack in the first place. I know I shouldn’t say that. as your boss, but I love you, Cecily.’
“I love you too, Mr. Frank Lasagna,” she replied.
then, SNL: The host brought out Austin Butler as an “accidental Elvis” to serenade Strong with a rendition of Elvis’ “Blue Christmas.”
“We’ll have a blue Christmas without you / We’ll be so blue just thinking about you,” she sang deep inside. Elvis voice
Strong himself voiced: “And when those blue snowflakes start to fall / That’s when those blue memories start to call…”
Thompson and the rest of the cast then joined in the fun as the snowflakes fell. It was one of the most touching goodbyes the show has ever given.