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After joining SNL in 2012, Strong went on to create countless recurring characters like Cathy Anne and Tammy the Trucker and impersonate celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Megyn Kelly and Liz Cheney. It is understood that Strong had always planned to return for only the first half of season 48, as she looks forward to new opportunities.
“My heart is bursting. I have a lot of big huge life changing love to unpack, so this is what I can say tonight,” Strong began her Instagram post, reminiscing on how she got her dream job when she landed a spot as an SNL castmember.
She shared a story about her first night at Studio 8H, recalling that after she said goodbye to her new co-workers, she couldn’t find the “secret night time elevator,” so she had to return and ask for help.
“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,” Strong continued. “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).”
She apologized for being quiet about her leaving, explaining that she didn’t want to add extra pressure to something that was “already so emotional” for her.
“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 castmembers] Molly [Kearney], Marcello [Hernández], Devon [Walker], and Michael [Longfellow] who I think are not only brilliantly funny but really great humans.”
The comedian concluded her post, “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 marks the ninth castmember to leave SNL since May when Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon and Kyle Mooney departed the show. Their exits were followed by Alex Moffat, Melissa Villaseñor and Aristotle Athari over the summer and, finally, Chris Redd in September.
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Robert De Niro