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Why Cecily Strong Kept Her SNL Departure A Secret

A number of "Saturday Night Live" cast members departed this year, including some longtime faces. Aristotle Athari, Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney,  Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, and Melissa Villaseñor all announced they were departing the ranks of "SNL" this year, per NPR

There will undoubtedly need to be some major adjustments to the sketch show as some of these cast members have become fairly signature to the show. Davidson joined back in 2014 when he was only 20 before deciding to leave this year, via CBS News. McKinnon joined before Davidson, starting all the way back in 2012, and she's now closing out the decade of work by moving on, per NBC

Also joining in 2012 was Cecily Strong, a comedian who would go on to be known to audiences for portraying everyone from Cathy Anne, Michael Che's drug-addicted and opinionated neighbor, to former first lady Melania Trump. She also earned two Emmy nominations during her time with the sketch series. Strong is among those leaving "SNL" after its 48th season, but she kept her departure fairly quiet until it was time to say goodbye. Luckily, her final episode included a sendoff just for her. Strong also took to Instagram to officially say goodbye and in her message, she explained why she preferred to keep her departure quiet for so long. 

Cecily Strong didn't want added pressure

Cecily Strong took to Instagram after her last "Saturday Night Live" appearance and shared footage from the episode of the cast singing together, along with celebrity guest Austin Butler, perhaps best known for his role as Elvis Presley in "Elvis." During the episode, Strong got to duet with Butler on a cover of "Blue Christmas." In her message to fans, Strong noted she had the benefit of having Elvis sing her off the show. 

As to why she kept her decision to leave so quiet, the comedian said she didn't want added pressure on top of what is already a massive change in her career and life. "I'm sorry I've been a little quiet about it publicly. I didn't want the extra pressure on something already so emotional for me," Strong wrote.

Strong's last "SNL" appearance took place during the 48th season finale, which saw her bid farewell to her castmates and the audience. In one segment where she was playing an employee during her last day at Radio Shack, longtime cast member Kenan Thompson praised Strong's presence on the series.

"She had a power and joy to her performance that made you remember why you loved working at Radio Shack in the first place," Thompson joked about his co-star in the scene. Thompson has been on the series since 2003, which arguably made him the most fitting member of the cast to say goodbye.