Cecily Strong commented on her surprise “Saturday Night Live” exit for the first time in an Instagram post in which the Emmy-nominated comedian wrote, “I am ready to go.” Strong’s departure was announced just a few hours before her final episode was filmed on Dec. 17. The news took many “SNL” viewers by surprise, especially since it’s rare for a cast member to leave in the middle of a season.
In her first statement on leaving “SNL,” Strong wrote that her “heart is bursting” and told a story about her first night on the job over a decade ago. “The first actual work day I tried to be very cool and make it look like I knew what I was doing and I was supposed to be there,” Strong wrote. “I left that night around 11 after saying goodbye to everyone. I got stuck wandering around the building because none of the elevators went to the first floor and I was trying so hard to avoid having to go back upstairs to ask for help because I’d already said goodbye!!!”
“I think I went to every floor trying to figure out if there was another exit I was missing,” she continued. “I might have even gone into a stairwell. I ended up going back upstairs and my soon-to-be great friend Colin Jost helped me out and walked me over to the secret night time elevator. It felt as impossible to leave that night as it does now. And my great friend Colin Jost ended up helping me again, this time by getting Elvis to sing me off (thank you Austin Butler you absolute kind and generous dreamboat).”
Strong is referring to her emotional “SNL” send-off sketch, which saw host Austin Butler and other “SNL” cast members singing “Blue Christmas” to her. Strong appeared visibly moved during the sketch, especially when Jost came out on stage to join in on the singing.
“I’m sorry I’ve been a little quiet about it publicly,” Strong added about her “SNL” exit. “I didn’t want the extra pressure on something already so emotional for me. And I’m so grateful I got to have these wonderful past six shows to help me ease into it and get to meet and laugh and probably overly hug [new cast members] Molly, Marcello, Devon, and Michael who I think are not only brilliantly funny but really great humans. I am ready to go, but I’ll always know home is here. I’ve had the time of my life working with the greatest people on earth.”
Strong joined “SNL” in 2012 and quickly distinguished herself by playing such characters as The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation with at a Party. She even did a stint as an anchor on “Weekend Update,” first opposite Seth Meyers and then Colin Jost.