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Cecily Strong says farewell to Saturday Night Live

Cecily Strong attends the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards at L.A. on September 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
Rich Fury
Getty Images
Cecily Strong attends the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards at L.A. on September 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

Cecily Strong, who made viewers hysterical with her spot-on impressions of celebrities, politicians and "The Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party," is leaving Saturday Night Live.

After 11 years, Strong made her final appearance as a cast member this weekend on the show's final episode of the year, hosted by actor Austin Butler and featuring musical guest Lizzo.

In a sketchwhere Strong pretended it was her last day working at a Radio Shack, cast member Kenan Thompson celebrated her career.

"Every time she came to work she had a new character or a new accent or a new impression that will just blow you away. She had a power and joy to her performance that made you remember why you loved working at Radio Shack in the first place," Thompson joked.

"I love you to Mr. Frank Lasagna," Strong replied.

Strong, who was one of the longest-tenured cast members on SNL, took on bold impersonations of controversial female figures like Krysten Sinema, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Melania Trump.

She was unafraid to poke fun at the changing political climate, personifying misinformation and internet culture through characters like a disheveled chain-smoker who has a distorted understanding of the news, to the ditzy "valley girl" who incoherently plays devil's advocate while being distracted on her phone.

"I don't have time to think Seth. This election is an outrage, it's a joke. Okay? It's a bom-nation," Cecily Strong performed in one of many memorable appearances on Weekend Update. "It's like, who do we think we are? And who do you think you are Seth? Because guess what, you're not."

Strong is the latest cast member to exit SNL. Several beloved stars left this past year, including Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, Pete Davidson, Melissa Villaseñor, Alex Moffat, Aristotle Athari and Chris Redd.

Strong joined SNL in 2012. During her tenure, she has been nominated twice for an Emmy Award for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series. Strong also briefly co-hosted Weekend Update with both Seth Meyers and Colin Jost.

Despite her departure from the SNL, all signs suggest that fans will see more of Strong in the future. The musical series Schmigadoon! on Apple TV+, which stars Strong, has been renewedfor a second season. Strong will also be featured in the upcoming animated feature Garfield which is slated to premierein 2024.

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Juliana Kim
Juliana Kim is a weekend reporter for Digital News, where she adds context to the news of the day and brings her enterprise skills to NPR's signature journalism.