Season 48 of Saturday Night Live premiered this weekend but fans of Cecily Strong are concerned after she didn’t appear in the long-running sketch comedy series’ brand-new opening credits reel.
After last year’s mass cast member exodus, it’s no wonder that viewers would be worried that the former Chicagoan may have joined the others, despite her decade-long tenure on the show.
A total of 8 cast members have left the show since last season, including Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant and Kyle Mooney, Pete Davidson, Melissa Villaseñor, Alex Moffat, Aristotle Athari and Chris Redd.
And when the new credits sequence ran, the series skipped over Strong, who should have appeared between Ego Nwodim and Kenan Thompson; the show has long listed and featured the show’s repertory performers in alphabetical order, followed by featured performers.
Well, you can rest easy. According to the Sun-Times, Strong will only be absent while doing a play in Los Angeles but she intends to return to the popular NBC sketch show.
Strong is starring in a revival of the one-woman show The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe at the Mark Taper Forum, assuming Lily Tomlin‘s original 1985 roles.
The play, which is scheduled to run through October 23, is directed by Leigh Silverman and produced in association with SNL‘s Lorne Michaels.
As with many SNL veterans, Strong has been expanding her repertoire with work outside of 30 Rock. In addition to the Tomlin play, which she also did in New York last winter, she stars alongside Keegan-Michael Key in the Apple TV+ series Schmigadoon!, which premiered in 2021 and recently finished shooting Season 2.