I don’t belong to the club of people every week who declare, like they’re the first person to ever say it, that “I don’t watch SNL anymore, it’s not funny anymore”. Saturday Night Live is often not funny. Saturday Night Live is not without its faults. But to me it remains relevant, because it’s actual live television, live sketch comedy, and at a time when everyone edits and filters the sh-t out of everything, this is an artform that should be preserved. Especially when there’s so much talent on display.
And the talent we are talking about today is Cecily Strong. We are big fans of Cecily Strong here, and we have been for a long time. Two years ago, in this space, I posted about how underrated she is; how, as SNL said this weekend on Instagram, she’s “one of the best to ever do it”, and they don’t throw that around very often.
Cecily IS one of the best to ever do it, even though she’s never been as high-profile as some of the other bests to ever do it. For eleven seasons, though, Cecily was as reliably skilled as those who are widely acknowledged to be SNL greats – and she showcased breathtaking range, from physical comedy to accents to characters to high-concept mood pieces, Cecily can go from Liza Minnelli to Love Island in a flash, she can handle political humour and toilet humour and everything in between. Sometimes, when given the opportunity, she can cover the entire spectrum in one single sketch or performance. The best example of that is her take on Jeanine Pirro on Weekend Update. People will be playing back this appearance for years:
For me, personally, it was Cecily as Goober the Clown. The whole piece was full of great lines, delivered with equal parts entertainment and exasperation. My favourite line:
“We kept this secret for so long despite being so grateful and happy.”
Goober the Clown— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) November 7, 2021
(who had an abortion when she was 23) pic.twitter.com/1rFv6UrPGu
She was back just a month ago as Tammy the Trucker. Because “remember, we all love someone who’s had an abortion”.
tammy the trucker!â™¬ original sound - Saturday Night Live - SNL
Cecily said goodbye with one of her other characters – Cathy Anne, who finally lit her cigarette. And she did well to hold on to her emotions…but her cast-mates, you could see, could barely hold it together. That’s another way you know that Cecily is “one of the best to ever do it”. Keenan Thompson and Colin Jost were particularly choked up.
They sent her off with a song, a perfect song for the episode, for the season, for the person.
“You’ll be doing alright, every Saturday night…
Have a blue, blue, blue, blue Christmas”
Yours in gossip,