The cast of Saturday Night Live doesn’t have to worry about coming up with funny things to say about anything this summer, but basically everyone has to deal with questions about potential departures from the show itself. Pete Davidson, Colin Jost, and basically every notable name in the show’s current crew has had rumblings a-rumble that Season 46 may have been their last.
Cecily Strong fits that bill as well, especially since her last appearance on the May 21 episode was a wine-soaked Judge Jeanie impression that included her singing “My Way” while quite literally inside a vat of booze. If that truly was to be her swan song, however, it seems Strong herself hasn’t made a decision she’s ready to reveal just yet.
In an interview with Instyle, Strong discussed her upcoming book and another musical project she’s involved in on Apple TV called Schmigadoon! And while the topic of her potential Weekend Update farewell came up, there was no indication one way or another if it really is the end of her time on SNL. Strong detailed that the piece came from working with a writer on the show to top her last appearance as Judge Jeanie, leading to some high stakes for the design department.
Bryan Tucker, who I wrote that scene with, texted me earlier that week that he wanted to do Jeanine Pirro. He said, “And I want her to sing ‘My Way.’” I always have to up the ante, and since the last time [I did her] I vomited wine, I said, “Well, then, I think I should get into a big tub of wine.” And the SNL team made it happen.
But as far as an official announcement that it’s the end of her time on the show? Well, that’s not coming because she’s not sure what’s next. but it won’t be a wink and a nod on stage and nothing else.
I’ve gone back and forth, like, “Should I write something on Instagram?” But I hadn’t decided, and I still haven’t. No matter what, it was our last show [of the year]. Hopefully, I’ll figure it out before the [next] season starts. But I don’t do many things like wink, wink. I’d come out and say it.
Strong noted that she’s quite literally releasing her diary soon, so she’s not one to hint and hesitate to make things clear. But she’s happy that, if it is the end, she went out covered in purple.
But now, if I do leave, it looks great — like I did it on purpose. And if I stay, maybe I’ve built up some performance karma or something. I never know when I’m going to love something and the audience will too, so it’s always a real treat when that happens.
The castmembers of the show have been quite transparent, both onstage and off, about how difficult it was to shoot the end of Season 45 and all of Season 46 during a pandemic. The show’s grind is well-documented, and despite its place in the comedy world there are definite sacrifices that need to be made for the show to stay afloat. Right now, it seems like everyone who made the last season happen is either happy to have a break or unsure if they will be invited back. Which means we may not get any answers about what’s next for the show for a bit longer at least.