Cecily Strong’s nine-year run on Saturday Night Live might have ended earlier this spring, but if it did she certainly went out with a bang. The sketch comedy vet put on a wine-soaked rendition of “My Way” as an unhinged Judge Jeanine that broke Colin Jost and made many wonder if that would be the last time she appeared on stage in Studio 8H.
Strong has said she’s unsure if she will return for a tenth season of the show, even if Lorne Michaels has made it clear he wants Strong and other longtime cast members on board until at least Season 50. In a lovely New York Times feature on Strong and her new memoir, This Will All Be Over Soon, the star made it clear she’s “still thinking” about her future after what was a difficult season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m still thinking,” she said. “Throughout the year there were times where I felt like a fifth-year senior and I’m just hanging around, dead weight. Then there would be moments that felt so good.”
She added, “There’s things I want to do, and I want to be open for these things. If I’m there, great — if I’m not there, great. I just want it to feel like the right thing.”
Michaels is quoted in the piece as saying “I don’t think she’s done yet,” but the feature also touched again on the potential sendoff that got everyone buzzing earlier in the year. There’s a pretty funny anecdote about the SNL crew testing out whether Strong could open her eyes in the wine-like liquid she gave her hypothetical swan song in. And we also learned what that concoction actually was.
She also pointed out that the tank she immersed herself in at its conclusion was actually filled with “watered-down grape juice, but it was very warm — I appreciated it.”
“The safety guy was like, don’t open your eyes under there because the juice will burn, and I was like, OK, thank you, I wasn’t planning on it,” she recalled. “And then he said, I splashed it in my eyes to test it out, and I was like, you didn’t have to do that.”
The full interview goes more into detail about her book and the difficult year that was. And while we didn’t get much new information about what her fall will hold, it’s clear Strong will have very fond memories about her last appearance in Season 47 whether it’s her swan song or not.