Cecily Strong's Departure From SNL Has Fans Mourning The End Of An Era

"Saturday Night Live" has initiated the careers of countless comedians. Thanks to the late night show, we've witnessed the friendship between Colin Jost and Michael Che, who moved through the comedy scene together. We've come to know and love Aidy Bryant, too. Bryant has shared more than just a few jokes; she's gotten honest about self-acceptance and body positivity. Chloe Fineman has also become a familiar face, and she landed her spot because of her skill with impersonations. That seems to be a key requirement for success on "SNL."

But new arrivals on "SNL" can also signal the departure of icons, and fans found out that Cecily Strong, one of the show's staples, is leaving. While the news is shocking — and certainly disappointing — it might not come as a total surprise because she's been so busy with other ventures. In August 2021, Strong published a memoir entitled "This Will All Be Over Soon." She also wrote, produced, and starred in the Apple TV+ comedy hit "Schmigadoon!" starring alongside Keegan-Michael Key. It premiered in 2021, and Season 2 is slated to air in 2023. As if that wasn't enough, Strong made her theater debut in January 2022 in the off-Broadway production "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe," according to NY1. Strong shouldered the whole thing in the one-woman production, a tall order for any actor. But when "SNL" stars start venturing out, it seems like the writing is on the wall and sure enough, Strong concluded her "SNL" tenure on December 17.

Fans are devastated that Cecily Strong is leaving SNL

"Saturday Night Live" announced Cecily Strong's departure on December 17 via Twitter. "Tonight we send off one of the best to ever do it. We'll miss you, Cecily!" the NBC show wrote. They added a photo of a white board with the message, "We'll miss you, Cecily!" as well as a photo and video of her on-set. Strong's departure follows a mass exodus of long-time stars. As Variety notes, many mainstays have left, including: Kyle Mooney, Melissa Villaseñor, Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant, and Alex Moffat.

Strong joined "SNL" on September 15, 2012, per Deadline and became famous for her iconic sketches including The Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation with at a Party, or the obnoxious retail clerk Dana, and we can't forget The Girlfriends Talk Show co-host Kyra. Iconic. Fans were really upset over the news and vented on Twitter. "Worst. News. Ever.," someone wrote. "But, but I thought she was here for the whole season," someone else added with a cry face emoji. "I just can't." Another person tweeted, "She's been the MVP for a long time. This sucks." (It certainly does!)

Strong has talked about leaving "SNL" before. In 2021, after the wrap for Season 46, Strong told Entertainment Weekly: "I'll be thrilled if I go back; I'll be thrilled if that was my last show." While she wasn't quite done then, Strong is now. We're going to miss her and all the amazing characters she brought to the show.