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Cecily Strong bids farewell to ‘Saturday Night Live’

Cecily Strong, center, has said farewell to 'Saturday Night Live.'/NBC

(CNN) — Cecily Strong said goodbye to “Saturday Night Live” this weekend.

Appearing as her brash and quirky character Cathy Anne in a Weekend Update segment, Strong announced she was set to leave the long-running sketch show.

“I’m a little emo tonight, because I’m here to say goodbye,” she said

When anchor Michael Che asked her why, Strong as Cathy Anne cracked, “turns out, prison.”

“You had enough of me,” Strong said, adding she already had “friends on the inside.” (former “SNL” cast members Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant were shown in a photo wearing orange prison uniforms.)

“Everybody has to go to jail at some point, and it’s just my time now, but I feel really lucky that I got to spend so many of the best moments of my life with these people that I love so much,” Strong said.

The show announced on social media prior to Saturday’s episode that, Strong, who has impersonated figures like Melania Trump and members of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, would be departing.

“Tonight we send off one of the best to ever do it. We’ll miss you, Cecily!” the post read.

Strong joined “Saturday Night Live” in fall 2012 and went on to be a stalwart at the series, which earlier this year said goodbye to high-profile cast members like McKinnon, Bryant and Pete Davidson.

The move, while a gut-punch to the show’s lineup, comes as no surprise, as Strong has already set the stage for her post-“SNL” pursuits.

She leads the comedy ensemble on Apple TV’s musical parody series “Schmigadoon,” which is executive produced by “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels and is set to return for a second season.

In her time on “SNL,” Strong established many standout characters, like Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started A Conversation With At A Party and a British singer named Gemma.

Last year, Strong memorably dressed as character named Goober the Clown, who led a conversation on abortion in light of the controversial Texas law that barred most abortions at the onset of a fetal heartbeat.

During the segment, the actress explained the clown costume was to make the topic a little more palatable for the audience and shared a story of a woman seeking an abortion on the eve of her 23rd birthday.

Talking to “The View,” Strong said she was “surprised and moved by the reaction” the sketch received.

“I had so much anxiety and frustration, and it was like, ‘I’m either gonna write, every night, essays for nobody, or I can finally just put this on the show.’ And luckily … right away, the show was very supportive. I think it was the only thing I’ve ever done where I haven’t had any notes. I don’t think anybody wanted to give us notes.”

At the end of Saturday’s episode, Kenan Thompson praised Strong’s contributions over the years before host Austin Butler and the cast serenaded her with a rendition of “Blue Christmas.”

“You’ll be doing all right every Saturday night,” Thompson sang, “But we’ll all have a blue, blue, blue, blue Christmas.”