Cecily Strong bids SNL goodbye in holiday episode

Cecily Strong bids SNL goodbye in holiday episode


The exodus of beloved “Saturday Night Live” cast members continues with Cecily Strong joining the alumni ranks, bidding farewell to the show in Saturday’s episode and joining the recent departures of Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant and Pete Davidson, among others.

Strong, who joined the show in 2012, was a regular in political sketches and did an array of impressions, including of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), former first lady Melania Trump and Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.

Saturday’s cold-open sketch once again featured James Austin Johnson’s take on Donald Trump, this time touting his digital trading cards. Photoshopped in the same art style as the real trading cards that Trump announced last week, the parody NFTs (“nifties,” as Johnson’s Trump dubbed them) feature scenes with the former president melting President Biden’s ice cream with his laser eyes and with Trump on the cover of a romance novel.

“Trump cards are each $99. Seems like a lot. Seems like a scam, and in many ways, it is,” he rambles.

The grift doesn’t stop there. He then welcomes his “third least-embarrassing child,” Donald Trump Jr. (Mikey Day), and his tonally challenged fiancee, Kimberly Guilfoyle (Strong), to shill their Christmas CD, “Now That’s What No One Calls Music.” Guilfoyle belts (squawks?) that those who listen will “sleep in heavenly peace,” before being shooed offstage by Trump.

“Saturday Night Live” on Dec. 17 lampooned former president Donald Trump’s launch of non-fungible token trading cards depicting him in various guises. (Video: The Washington Post)

Saturday’s “Weekend Update” segment also made light of Trump’s NFT launch: “Semiretired maniac Donald Trump has launched a collection of digital NFT trading cards depicting him in various costumes including cowboy, superhero and, most unbelievable of all, guy who didn’t dodge the draft,” said “Update” co-host Colin Jost.

With the NFT market plummeting, Jost also questioned the timing of this release. “It’s such a funny move to get into NFTs after the whole market just crashed. It’s like getting into Kanye now.”

Strong, who briefly co-hosted “Weekend Update” during the 2013-2014 season, returned as the criminally kooky commentator, Cathy Anne. Wearing a Santa hat because of an accidental escalator scalping incident, Cathy Anne announced her departure: “Truth is, I’m here to say goodbye.”

Her criminal admissions on “Update” have landed her in prison. Cathy Anne said she wasn’t afraid to serve time, because she has “friends on the inside, they seem to be doing okay,” as a photo of former cast members Bryant and McKinnon wearing prison jumpsuits appeared on screen.

Strong leaves behind several memorable “Update” archetypes, including “girl you wish you hadn’t started a conversation with at a party” and “one-dimensional female character from a male-driven comedy.”

Musical numbers were a theme throughout Saturday’s episode, with host Austin Butler recently starring in the Golden Globe-nominated film “Elvis.” In a sketch about Jewish Elvis, Butler got the chance to be a geriatric fan girl, along with Strong and Ego Nwodim. The crew swooned and applauded as Sarah Sherman’s gyrating Elvis offered commentary to Elvis’s hit songs, asking, “Who are these wise men? Why are they so wise?” during a rendition of “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”

As a final farewell to a tearful Strong, the cast, led by Butler, sang a personalized version of “Blue Christmas.” As fake snow descended, they sang: “You’ll be doing all right, every Saturday night, but we’ll all have a blue, blue, blue, blue Christmas.”