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Cecily Strong is leaving “Saturday Night Live,” continuing the exodus of veteran “Not Ready For Prime Time Players” who have been parting ways with the venerable NBC program since last summer.

The NBC show announced that Saturday’s broadcast, expected to be “SNL’s” last in 2022, will also mark Strong’s final appearance as a cast member. She joined “Saturday Night Live” in 2012 and has since distinguished herself by playing characters such as “The Girl You Wish You Didn’t Start a Conversation With at a Party” and impersonating a Fox News opinion host. Judge Jeanine Pirro. During his “SNL” tenure, Strong even co-hosted “Weekend Update” with Seth Meyers and then Colin Jost.

Strong’s exit shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The actor has missed several episodes this season to attend the show, signaling that he is already entertaining other options. Keith McKinnon did something similar in the fall of 2021, the start of his final season with the program.

And yet, like many members of the “SNL” cast, Strong isn’t too far from where his home was. Strong stars in the second season of Schmigadoon!, a musical parody streaming on Apple+. Like “SNL,” the show is produced by Lorne Michaels.

Aside from McKinnon, “SNL” has seen many of its core cast members depart in recent seasons. Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, Pete Davidson, Alex Moffat, Chris Redd, Melissa Villaseñor and popular player Aristotle Attari did not return for the current cycle.

As more viewers move to streaming services to watch their favorite scripted dramas and comedies on demand, “SNL” has taken on new meaning for NBC. “SNL,” which aired after late local news at a time when network executives didn’t consider it a priority, “SNL” now airs live in the U.S. simulcast, meaning it airs in primetime in the country. in some parts. This has increased the cost of 30-second in-app ads.

In recent seasons, Strong has hit audiences with subtle but meaningful political humor. In 2021, he played “Goober the clown who had an abortion when he was 23” on Weekend Update, just after Texas outlawed abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. Just before November’s midterm elections, Strong played on similar themes with a new character, “Tammy the Trucker,” who ostensibly talked about high gas prices but was really talking about abortion rights.

“SNL” has recently enjoyed one of its biggest casts yet, giving it the chance to develop a new generation of actors, including Heidi Gardner, Chloe Fineman, Ego Nowdim, Mikey Day and Bowen Young. Notable players including Sarah Sherman and James Austin Johnson have also garnered some attention. “SNL” also began to rely more heavily on pre-recorded segments by Ben Marshall, John Higgins and Martin Herlihy, the young writer/performer trio known for Please Don’t Destroy.


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