The Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party, is now becoming the life of the party.
"Saturday Night Live" sophomore cast member Cecily Strong will be joining Seth Meyers at the "Weekend Update" news desk when the long-running NBC late-night comedy sketch show begins its 39th season on Sept. 28, with host Tina Fey and musical guest Arcade Fire.
"Cecily, from the first show, was right there," executive producer Lorne Michaels told The New York Times Monday. "She exploded."
Michaels added that although Meyers is taking over hosting duties from Jimmy Fallon on "Late Night" starting in February, that doesn't necessarily mean he won't continue on the "Weekend Update" desk. "Late Night," which Michaels is also executive producing, won't produce a Friday episode, leaving the possibility open for Meyers to continue with "SNL" in some capacity.
NBC also made it official that Studio 8H is getting a serious influx of new comedy blood this season as well. After weeks of speculation, the network announced that the show is adding six featured players to the cast: Beck Bennett, John Milhiser, Kyle Mooney, Mike O'Brien, Noël Wells, and Brooks Wheelan. It's the largest new influx of talent since 1995's huge transition season, when Will Ferrell, Cheri Oteri, Darrell Hammond, Chris Kattan, and Colin Quinn (among others) joined the cast.
While O'Brien, a writer on the show since 2009, makes the move to on-screen talent, Tim Robinson, who was a featured player this past season, is moving to the writing staff. It's unclear if Strong and fellow breakout newbies Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant are moving to become repertory cast members, but with the six new cast members joining as featured players, that seems likely to be the case.
So, where do you recognize Strong from most during her inaugural season on the cast? Here are five of her best sketches, proving she's ready to inhabit that coveted "Weekend Update" chair.
The Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party:
This was no doubt the character that landed Strong the "Weekend Update" gig. It's rare that a first-year cast member creates such a memorable original character, and her one-on-one chemistry with Meyers was undeniable from the start. We saw The Girl four times this year, first in the fall with her take on politics, again just before the November election, during holiday season, and lastly in the season finale sharing her summer vacation plans. The only question is, with Strong now hosting "Update," is it the last we'll see of our favorite party girl?
Arguably the funniest recurring skit from Season 38 was Strong and Vanessa Bayer's series of commercials starring two former porn stars who hawk luxury goods. Buried as the final skit in the show, these girls had us in stitches every time they came on. The original had them selling Swavorski Crystals ("they're crystals for sharks!") along with Jamie Foxx, followed by turns with Moet & Chandon featuring Justin Timberlake, and Hermes with Ben Affleck. Some of the best lines from these skits are a bit too risqué to repeat — which is why it always ran after 12:30 a.m. — so, be sure to watch for yourselves!
New Xanax for Gay Summer Weddings:
Sure this faux-mercial was a full cast effort, but Strong's deadpan Xanaxed out wedding goer was the gay BFF who stole the show. Her delivery of the line about Keith and William giving guests two tickets to Italy and $40,000 as wedding gifts was comedy gold.
The Girlfriends Talk Show:
Girlfriends talkin' 'bout guys and stuff … a new play on a familiar "SNL" former (the daytime talk show), this skit reminded us of Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph's "Bronx Beat." Strong gives us her best Regina George, as she stomps all over with her less popular friend played by Bryant. Add Anne Hathaway or Jennifer Lawrence to the mix, and it left us craving more!
Strong took the lead in this "Grease" spoof, opposite her doo-wop date played by Justin Bieber. Perhaps no skit all season showcased that the show was in good hands with a full slew of upcoming female talent. Moreover, Strong showed off her singing talents alongside the Biebs, proving that she's more than a one-note talent.
"Saturday Night Live" airs Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. on NBC.