Former SNL Star Cecily Strong On The Classic Sketch She Performed In Talent Shows As A Kid

cecily strong on snl
(Image credit: NBC)

Saturday Night Live's current season is going to look a little different when it returns in the new year, as longtime cast member Cecily Strong announced her final show during the sketch comedy's close-out episode for 2022. She’s opened up previously about her favorite SNL moments of her own, and she has also revealed the classic '90s sketch that was a go-to for her talent show performances as a kid.

Cecily Strong was a huge presence on SNL for 10 years, but her love for the long-running variety series started up at a very early age. As revealed to THR, which spoke to several of the show's Season 48 cast members about their favorite classic sketches, Strong admitted she knew as a very young girl that she wanted to be on SNL, and so her absolute favorites are too numerous to consider. However, she did share that she would recreate “Bill Swerski’s Superfans” sketches for talent shows, while also sharing her particular love for a fan-favorite cast member. In her words:

I’m not sure if there was one sketch I saw that pushed me into thinking, ‘Now I want to be on the show,’ because I wanted to be on the show the minute I knew there was a show — which must have been pretty young, because I know I was 5 or 6 when I was tricking my babysitter into thinking my parents absolutely let me stay up late on Saturday nights to catch it. I definitely re-created ‘Bill Swerski’s Superfans’ sketches for talent shows. I was probably imitating Mike Myers characters and sketches pretty often. I’m sure I had a bad impression of every single SNL character at some point in my life.

SNL having such a heavy impact on Cecily Strong in her youth is likely indicative that the series will always hold a special place in her heart for all the years after her surprising exit. But the real question now is whether there are any compilation videos from those talent shows showing her taking on the '90s sketch made famous by stars Joe Mantegna (as Bill Swerski himself), Chris Farley (as Todd O'Connor), Robert Smigel as Carl Wollarski, and Mike Myers as Pat Arnold. 

Though Strong didn't mention which of the characters she portrayed during those talent show years, she did also speak to her penchant for impersonating fellow vet Mike Myers, so it's likely safe to assume she wasn't a stranger to playing Pat. Check out one of the most famous Superfans sketches, with Cheers legend George Wendt swapping in for Joe Mantegna.

At more than 30 years old, that sketch is a reminder of days past both for the show and for pop culture as a whole. One can only imagine which sketches from the current era would be performed in elementary school talent shows these days. 

Cecily Strong is but the latest exit on SNL, following several departures earlier in the season. Even though the series has always featured a rotating cast whose stars tend to cut ties after reaching certain levels of fame, it's always hard not to miss the ones who leave. It's unlikely Strong will be replaced outright in the midst of Season 48, but we can probably expect some new blood for Season 49. 

Meanwhile, with her play and being part of the Schmigadoon! cast on Apple TV+, Cecily Strong is keeping plenty busy post-SNL. It’s unknown what other projects she’ll take down the line, but it wouldn’t be surprising if she nabs the role in another series or movie soon. Since she was absent from a few episodes of Season 48 already due to her stage work, fans were able to somewhat get used to episodes without her. Luckily fans are able to rewatch her episodes of SNL on Peacock with a subscription to relive her best characters. 

SNL is currently on hiatus for the holidays, but it will return to NBC on Saturday, January 21, for the first show of 2023, and the first episode without Cecily Strong. 

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.