Cecily Strong Explains Why She Kept Her Saturday Night Live Exit a Secret Until Hours Before

After 11 seasons on Saturday Night Live, Cecily Strong took her final bow on the Dec. 17 episode. Now, the star is reflecting back on why she didn't make an announcement until hours before.

By Daniel Trainor Dec 20, 2022 8:13 PMTags

Cecily Strong did things her way until the very end. 

On the Dec. 17 episode of Saturday Night Live, the comedian said goodbye to the storied sketch show after 11 seasons. 

Though rumored since the start of the season, Cecily's departure wasn't officially announced until hours before her final episode in an Instagram post from the SNL account, which read: "Tonight we send off one of the best to ever do it. We'll miss you, Cecily!"

Now, Cecily has opened up about why she wanted to keep her decision private until the last minute.

"I'm sorry I've been a little quiet about it publicly," she wrote on Instagram Dec. 19. "I didn't want the extra pressure on something already so emotional for me."

Cecily wrote that her "heart was bursting" in the overwhelming support following her SNL swan song, but she assured fans that she knew her time was up.

"I am ready to go, but I'll always know home is here," she continued. "I've had the time of my life working with the greatest people on earth."

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Cecily gave a special shout-out to "absolute kind and generous dreamboat" Austin Butler, who hosted her final episode and helped send her off with a version of Elvis Presley's "Blue Christmas."

Many of Cecily's Saturday Night Live co-stars left their love in her comment section, with Bowen Yang writing, "you are life-changing."

Heidi Gardner, Cecily's castmate since 2017, also left a sweet message reading, "Cecily the undeniable champ. could do anything tossed her way. ANYTHING. I've truly never seen anything like it. I love you so much and thank you for being a big sister, a mentor, and a friend."


In her final episode, Cecily also said goodbye to Weekend Update with one last appearance as bull-headed, chain-smoking Cathy Anne, who announced she was headed to prison.

"I had a lot of fun here," she said, "and I feel really lucky that I got to have so many of the best moments of my life in this place with these people that I love so much. I guess take that with a grain of salt being that I have addiction issues."

Cecily's way until the very end.

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

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