The Real Reason Why Cecily Strong Was Absent from the Saturday Night Live Premiere

Fans were left wondering if Cecily Strong remained a cast member on NBC's Saturday Night Live after she didn't appear in the opening credits for the Oct. 1 episode. Find out the details here.

By Charlotte Walsh Oct 03, 2022 5:08 PMTags

Cecily Strong isn't going anywhere. 

Though the comedian was notably absent from the opening credits of Oct. 1's Saturday Night Live premiere, causing fans to speculate if she had left the show, E! News has learned that Strong is still a cast member on the NBC series.

And Strong had a good reason why she couldn't be in the season's first episode, which was hosted by Top Gun: Maverick actor Miles Teller with musical guest Kendrick Lamar: She was starring in the play "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe," which is co-produced by none other than SNL creator Lorne Michaels.

The revival of this one-woman show, which nabbed Grace and Frankie's Lily Tomlin a Tony for its original 1985 Broadway run, premiered earlier this year in New York City's the Shed before hopping to Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum in Sept. Strong will return to Saturday Night Live after the play closes Oct. 23. 

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Since SNL season 47 ended in May, eight cast members—Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Kyle Mooney, Melissa Villaseñor, Alex Moffat, Aristotle Athari and Chris Redd—announced their departures from the show. Since then, four new comedians—Marcello Hernandez, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow and Devon Walkerjoined the cast for season 48. 

Longtime cast member Kenan Thompson told E! News exclusively in Sept. that while "you miss your friends when they leave," hopefully the turnover will create opportunities for the newcomers. 

"Hopefully we'll give new people that are just as friendly and just as talented and give them a chance to develop a career," he said. "That's the beauty of SNL—it's launched so many careers and given an opportunity to so many. So when others leave I guess we just have to look at it as an opportunity for someone else and hope to celebrate in that."

Will Heath/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Saturday Night Live airs Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC. 

(E! News and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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