Saturday Night Live's Cecily Strong Addresses Weekend Update Exit: 'I'm Genuinely Happy About It'

Cecily Strong Leaving Weekend Update

Don’t cry for Saturday Night Live MVP Cecily Strong, who earlier this week lost her Weekend Update chair to Daily Show correspondent Michael Che.

In a message on her Instagram page, Strong assured fans that she’s not the least bit angry about Lorne Michael’s (seemingly unpopular) decision. Quite the contrary, in fact.

“I don’t see this as me leaving Update, just as me being on update in a looser, goofier way that is a lot more fun for me and in a way I think I’m better at,” she wrote. “And now I get to do features with the very funny and wonderful Michael Che!

“No point in being angry or sad for me for something I’m genuinely happy about! Unless you are just a person who enjoys being angry or sad. Then I guess play on, playa.”

In an interview with the New York Times, Michaels said the change “feels appropriate for now” as SNL enters “a new era,” adding, “That’s why we did a lot of combinations and tests, and this is kind of where we came out.”

Parks and Rec‘s Chris Pratt will host the Sept. 27 season opener, with musical guest Ariana Grande.

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55 Comments
  1. Tran says:

    This could very well be the end for SNL and Lorne Michaels is making bad decisions even worse. Cecily Strong deserves to stay as Weekend Update co-anchor with Michael Che once Season 40 begins but Colin Jost staying put as Update co-anchor is the biggest mistake Lorne has ever done. BTW, still no word on who’s going to be the new announcer on SNL since the passing of Don Pardo.

    • Josh Emerson says:

      SNL isn’t going anywhere. The choice of who does Weekend Update is hardly anywhere near the biggest part of SNL. Besides, the ratings still top most of NBC’s normal primetime lineup, and that’s for a Saturday night. They have absolutely no reason to cancel it.

      • Tran says:

        Didn’t you read what I’ve said at the end? WHO’S GOING TO BE THE NEW ANNOUNCER ON SNL SINCE THE PASSING OF DON PARDO?

      • Being on Weekend Update is amazing and Cecily Strong excelled at it. I hope it was part of her decision and I’m looking forward to her participation in more sketches. But she did rock weekend update. Unlike like that other head writer guy. I thoroughly enjoyed last season, so he’s probably skilled at being head writer, but I thought he was awful on update.

    • Pam Smith says:

      I totally agree with you Tran. Collin Jost is lost in that chair. He has no emotion, is not funny and doesn’t belong at the weekend desk. Cecily Strong on the other hand is a hoot and does a great job. She makes me feel better about missing Seth Meyers.
      I too fear this is the end for SNL, and I’ve been with it since the beginning! Get your act together Lorne!

    • rowan77 says:

      Do you realize how many times someone has said that about SNL? It’s been “the end of SNL” since 1980.

      • Marc says:

        People just don’t get it. Since the original cast left, there has been bad writing, misused cast members, overused characters–bad decisions by Lorne and his writers and producers–and the show has gone on, survived, and succeeded at least as often as if failed. As long as ad revenue can support network television, NBC will have SNL.

        • Doug says:

          I was watching SNL back when it began. Chevy Chase was the first breakout star and he left at the end of the first season. By the second show of the second season, people were saying “You can’t have Saturday Night Live without Chevy Chase. He WAS the show!”

        • DERRICK says:

          people seem to think the original cast is the be all and end all of SNL. the truth is, the show has always been hit or miss. some skits worked and some didn’t even back then. just read some of the reviews from that time.

          • Callie Doggett says:

            Amen to that, Derrick. I was an original watcher — back when the show was called “Saturday Night,” not “Saturday Night Live” — and I’ve left and returned through my own life changes over the years. Those first seasons were innovative and compelling, but the skits often bombed. People simply choose to forget the flops and remember only the good stuff that gets shown, over and over again, on sentimental, retrospective documentaries.

            The early years had more than its share of problems; it was far from a harmonious, little family. The show’s creators disliked Garrett Morris and squelched his considerable talents. The same creators were sexist and stomped all over female writers and performers. Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi were a pair of bullies, joined at the hip, fighting the rest of the cast. Everyone hated Chevy Chase.

            Yet, 40 years later, the show lives on.

  2. DL says:

    I’m glad to have her characters back, like “Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party.” But I just can’t get on board with Colin Jost. I just don’t like him, or his joke delivery. He feels like a poor man’s Seth Meyers. Meanwhile, both my brothers couldn’t stand Meyers, and like Jost, so I guess it is what it is.

  3. cuius says:

    “a new era,” – rumor has it that it’s to become a comedy show

  4. Tran says:

    Guess we’re going to see the return of The Girl You Don’t Want To Start a Conversation With at a Party.

    • Lauren says:

      what good is that tho if SNL is on the verge of being cancelled, as you just said right above LOL

      • Tran says:

        It doesn’t matter what I think “Lauren” and I really don’t care about it. If it goes beyond more than 40 seasons right up until 50, it should do fine. I apologize for being discouraged.

  5. I’m disappointed, not angry or sad. I liked her as the anchor.

    • Tran says:

      I’m disappointed too. Cecily deserves to stay as Weekend Update co-anchor and she killed it from beginning to end last season.

  6. Leo says:

    Translation- “i have to make this statement if I want to continue working in hollywood’

    • Patrick says:

      Not really. She’s too talented. If she got fired from SNL, she would get a production deal at any network, broadcast or cable, within hours of that firing. She won’t make a stink, but she wouldn’t have been this vocal unless she meant it.
      .
      Plus, given how mediocre WU got after Seth left, she might be pretty happy to get off of a sinking ship.

  7. Class act! We all know that Collin was the one that should of gone!

  8. I thought she was good last season and I think it would’ve been intriguing to see what kind of chemistry she could’ve had with Che.

  9. leigh says:

    I may be the only one who is okay with this. She is funny in skits but her delivery and timing just didn’t fit the Weekend Update desk. She is not have that “factor” that other women or men have had in the past who made Update great. Well, except maybe for Colin Quinn. Hers was slightly better.

    • Patrick says:

      This was my feeling. She wasn’t bad, at all, as an anchor. In fact, she was good. But not great. It just wasn’t a good fit, and I feel like it took away from her other opportunities within the show. So I think this is a positive move for her.

      • Mandy says:

        For most of us there are three points: 1. Cecily was a good anchor and has been removed, unfortunately. 2 Jost is a terrible anchor and is staying. 3. Che will be great and would have been a great person to play off with Cecily.

        • Patrick says:

          I agree that the Che and Cecily pairing probably would have worked. I just think she is far too valuable doing other things to be tied down in WU. Especially given her vast potential as one of the visitors to the WU desk doing various bits.
          .
          And, I think the PTB like Jost. He was, and is, probably a good writer. He helped write WU under Seth, and certainly other bits. He wasn’t great on air. Maybe he gets better with a summer to really work on his delivery. Those types of improvements can be hard during the season.
          .
          Regardless, he gets another chance. Even if the PTB are leaning towards replacing him, and removing him from the desk, they want to give him every chance to excel before they essentially put a stake in the heart of his career.

      • Faye says:

        This is how I feel too, Patrick. I like her characters more than her as co-host on WU.
        I do look forward to Michael Che and maybe he will have a positive impact on the entire segment.

    • JLK says:

      Wow…I could have written this comment. Get out of my head. :)

  10. cyclone says:

    I was on the fence when Cecily took over at the Update desk because I thought she had a good thing going with Girl at the Party but then she kind of won me over. I guess once they booted Noelle Wells (the only girl added last season) they needed Cecily back in the sketches which she took a back seat in when she went to update. Obvious, Cecily wanted to be more of a sketch person and leave the Update to the writers (although I don’t think Colin Jost is that good at it) but I feel they should have kept Noelle Wells too and gotten rid of all the guys they hired last year.

  11. PaulLanning says:

    Love Cecily Strong…and think Jost is pretty useless. But if Cecily gets more skits now that she’s off Weekend Update I’m good with that. However, the rest of the cast/writing needs work! Jay Pharaoh needs to be used more often, for starters.

  12. David4 says:

    Don’t worry she will leave the show for her own or maybe a movie like most of the SNL woman have in recent years.

  13. A. D. says:

    She was amazing…JOST SUCKS!!!!!!

  14. cyclone says:

    I don’t think this was a matter of her being good or not behind the Update desk, it was more that they needed more girls to do sketches. They made the mistake of dumping Noelle Wells (the only new girl last season), they lost Nasim Pedrad to the show Mulaney, so only Aidy, Vanessa, Sasheer and Kate are left for sketches who each have their niche. Does Cecily resemble anyone famous (or infamous) that they’ll probably exploit this season ala Sarah Palin?

  15. Tran says:

    I’m kind of wondering why Cecily is NOT on Twitter anymore even though she was forced to delete it because of personal and professional issues she had back in late January about her “faux pregnancy” and whether she was dating SNL writer turn cast member Mike O’Brien at the time.

  16. Mandy says:

    She’s still on the show. I mean what is she supposed to do? Contradict Lorne Michaels, her employer? Not likely, Lily. I guess we’ll never know for sure unless she writes an autobiography some day.

  17. Wini says:

    What I love about Cecily Strong is that her delivery of a short, laugh-enducing phrase at the end of a story was always on point. I can hear her voice as she said, “Play on, playa” because that was one of the things that made her a viable Weekend Update co-host. I trust Lorne Michaels’ decision, but if it was based on a weak link theory, the weaker link last year was (clearly, in my opinion) Colin Jost.

  18. Cory Thomas says:

    today shows are afraid to make fun of the mistakes power full people make(actress,obama ,cnn,fox,sports , ) snl is afraid they will be sued $$$$$$$$ . new world order $$$$$$$ SNL keep it light keep your job.

  19. ralph lauren says:

    i love cecily tyson . their chicken is the best

  20. Guy says:

    I’m not angry and sad for her. I’m angry and sad FOR ME, as a viewer. Now I have to watch Colin Jost AKA The Hair crash and burn for another 22 episodes.

  21. ba4 says:

    Don’t know how Update will fare, but she’s put to better use in sketches. As much as I loved Kristen Wiig, she too would have been wasted as a WU anchor. I don’t know why they don’t use Beck Bennett on the desk. His deadpan delivery from the AT&T commercials could be an huge asset.

  22. Bill says:

    Strong much better than Jost. He is too stiff. Sometimes a head writer is not on-air funny!

  23. carter says:

    Love Strong, but I never thought she looked comfortable being an WU anchor. I’m looking forward to her “party girl” character returning. A lot of people on message boards talk about how bad SNL has been for years, but I wonder what have they been watching. Show is still laugh out loud funny. Not all the time, but what show is perfect each week? Must be the same people that think Modern Family is funny.

  24. dman6015 says:

    I think most people are very happy for you, Cecily. What we’re most upset about is that Jost will STILL be on Weekend Update, and with a DUDE!!!

  25. Laurel says:

    Yay, this means “Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation with at a Party” will be back! I liked her as anchor, but she’s much better in character as a guest. I think.

  26. Bob G says:

    I’ve been an SNL fan even in the years when many were trashing it. This was the least funny show I’ve ever seen from start to finish.

  27. Tracy says:

    Leslie Jones was great. So funny so smart!