'Saturday Night Live': Is Cecily Strong Leaving 'SNL'?

Saturday Night Live (SNL) is currently taking a well-deserved break after entertaining audiences during the height of the pandemic throughout 2020 and early 2021. The season finale aired in May, hosted by Anya-Taylor Joy, and featured Lil Nas X and Chris Rock.

Three of the show's stars—Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, and Cecily Strong—dropped several hints during the show's star-studded finale that their SNL journey may be coming to an end.

Eyebrows were raised when Davidson uttered the words "we never really know what the future holds" in a passionate thank you speech and McKinnon paid an emotional tribute to her colleagues, calling them her family.

Strong performed a hilarious rendition of Frank Sinatra's "My Way" as Judge Jeanie, leaving audiences worried she was perhaps about to take a new path in her career.

The Emmy-nominated actress and comedian recently addressed her future on the show, admitting things were a "bit more up in the air".

The cast for the fall edition of SNL is not usually announced until the late summer, just weeks before the new season begins.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Strong said: "I'll be thrilled if I go back [to SNL], I'll be thrilled if that was my last show."

"I feel good either way."

She continued: "Things are a bit more up in the air and I'm OK with that. My lesson from last year is sort of see what happens."

Since 2020 there has been some speculation Strong would be leaving SNL after her Apple TV series was given the green light.

Since season 46 of SNL ended in May, Strong has been building on the release of her first original series, Schmigadoon!, which is coming to Apple TV+ on July 16.

Strong also leads the cast of Schmigadoon! as Melissa, marking her first solo project.

The Apple TV series follows the story of Melissa and Josh (played by Keegan Michael-Key), who find themselves stuck in a town during a backpacking trip.

The series is written by Despicable Me duo Paul and Ken Daurio and is a parody of famous Broadway musicals.

The synopsis for the series teases: "Schmigadoon! follows a couple who on a backpacking trip designed to reinvigorate their relationship when they discover a magical town in which everyone acts as if they're in a musical from the 1940s. They then discover that they can't leave until they find "true love."

If Strong does not return to SNL for a 47th series, SNL fans should not be too upset as her new series Schmigadoon! does include a small SNL reunion.

In Schmigadoon! Strong is reunited with her former SNL co-star Fred Armisen and current SNL star Bowen Yang serves as one of the show's writers.

Also starring in the series are Alan Cumming as Mayor Menlove, Kristin Chenoweth as Mildred Layton, Dove Cameron as Betsy, and Ariana DeBose as Emma Tate.

Fans have been taking to Twitter to share their hopes Strong does not leave SNL behind.

One fan tweeted: "I really would hate to lose Cecily. She sings, has great comic timing, has original characters, and does great impersonations of Judge Jeanine, Melania, Rachel Maddow, Susan Collins, and many others."

A second fan wrote: "Honestly can't imagine the show with her. But if she wants to move on I'll follow that lead! She's incredibly talented."
A third fan added: "I love Cecily Strong! I really hope she returns."

Newsweek has contacted Strong's representatives for comment.

Schmigadoon! premieres Friday, July 16 on Apple TV+.

Cecily Strong SNL
Cecily Strong during the "What I Remember" Cold Open on Saturday, May 22, 2021 Will Heath/NBC