Last fall, Saturday Night Live made some changes to its lineup, including booting Cecily Strong as the Weekend Update anchor and replacing her with newbie Michael Che. Now, we’ve reached the end of Season 40, and Cecily Strong recently spoke out about the “Weekend Update” lineup change, and what bothered her the most regarding people’s reactions. Here’s what she had to say about her exit from the popular segment:
My one issue with the whole ‘Update’ thing was only the way that it was going to be torn apart in the press — you know, a thing that I was actually happy about. I almost feel like I’m in a lucky position that I got to do it and got to flex that muscle. And then [I] got to have a talk with Lorne, and got to have power in my [career] and say, ‘I want to do sketches more than anything on the show.'
Here’s what happened. Back in September of 2014, SNL announced that Weekend update would be undergoing some changes. Colin Jost was able to stay, but Cecily Strong was replaced by Michael Che, who formerly served as a correspondant on The Daily Show. At the time, there was a seemingly strong consensus that SNL may have booted the wrong Update host, with many seeming to favor Strong’s attributes over those of her co-host Jost.
At the time of Strong’s exit from “Weekend Update”, it really seemed as if SNL wanted to go in a different direction with the segment and asked Strong to step down. And while that might still hold true, it doesn’t seem to be the only truth. In an interview with The Wrap she makes it clear that she was always more interested in appearing in sketches than devoting time to time relating the news in a funny manner.
But then it became clear — especially towards the end of the year, when Seth [Meyers] left — that, ‘Oh, now it’s going to need a lot more work and a lot more of my time and attention.’ And that means taking away from this other thing that I actually really, really love even more.
Strong has portrayed a solid number of characters on the late night series. She’s mostly known for her celebrity portrayals, and has capably played Lana Del Ray, Khloe Kardashian and more on the long-running series. She’s also in one of my favorite recurring sketches in recent years, playing a former porn star who appears in commercials for classy brands, often mispronouncing them.
She’s doing fine without “Weekend Update,” and it’s nice to see she’s not particularly shaken up about the turn of events. So, while we might still be a little bent out of shape about the “Weekend Update” changes, it seems Cecily Strong isn’t. At all.