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‘SNL’ Cecily Strong Returns, Missed Season 48 First Episodes

Cecily Strong fans, rejoice! After missing the first three episodes of the season, Strong returned to her Saturday night live this weekend for the 11th time and in top form.

In this season’s premiere, Strong was unexpectedly absent from the new opening credits, prompting speculation about her status on the show. But the simple fact was that the new credits were being shot in New York while she was headlining 3,000 miles away The search for signs of intelligent life in the universe, at the Mark Taper Forum in LA. (Produced in collaboration with SNL Boss Lorne Michaels, the one-woman show ran through October 23.)

At this weekend’s Cold Open, Strong presented her Kari Lake impression. Lake is a former TV news anchor-turned-Arizona gubernatorial nominee, and her gentle demeanor perfectly matches Strong’s talent for playing seemingly normal people with insanity simmering just beneath the surface. Or, as she puts it, “Jump into Kari Lake, Arizona — because it’s calm and serene at the top, but a whole lot of Giardia underneath.”

Strong also played a shoe manager in one of those sketches that would be considered too implausible unless based on an actual news story. Ye (born Kanye West) rolled into Skechers after Adidas kicked him to the curb and was unceremoniously taken away by another sneaker company. Strong is smug as the manager takes a principled stance against anti-Semitism…only to join several colleagues in bragging about Skechers even being involved in the conversation.

It’s no wonder Strong was in almost every sketch from the very beginning; she has the backbone of SNL for years. Kate McKinnon has had wilder characters, yes, and Kenan Thompson has been around for longer, but Strong is hands down the best actor on the show, and has been for a while. Like Chris Parnell and Phil Hartman in years past, she is often cast in the role of a straight male to ground a scene in reality and is therefore underrated. So enjoy her time on the show now because if she leaves it will be years before the hole she leaves is filled.

Watch a clip of the Kari Lake sketch below, then rate the episode: ‘SNL’ Cecily Strong Returns, Missed Season 48 First Episodes


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