Cecily Strong was cut from credits but is still an ‘SNL’ cast member


“Saturday Night Live” returned for its 48th season Oct. 1 debuting four new cast members and missing one Strong star.

Viewers noticed that longtime cast member Cecily Strong was missing from the show and its opening credits sparking rumors of her exit.

Seven of the comedy sketch show’s cast members left the show at the end of last season — Pete Davidson, Chris Redd, Kate McKinnon, Kyle Mooney, Aidy Bryant, Melissa Villasenor and Alex Moffat — leading to speculation that others including Strong would also be walking away.

The comedian and actress, who has been on the show for nine seasons, didn’t appear in any skits on the season premiere hosted by Miles Teller and musical guest Kendrick Lamar, but several sources have confirmed that Strong will return later this season.

Strong is in production for the one-woman play “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe,” which wraps at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles on Oct. 23.

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Miles Teller, Kendrick Lamar Episode 1827
The newest season premiered Oct. 1 hosted by Miles Teller and musical guest Kendrick Lamar.

Beck Bennett as Vice President Mike Pence, Alec Baldwin as President Donald J. Trump, Cecily Strong as Senator Dianne Feinstein
Strong has been credited as a cast member on the show since 2012.

Kate McKinnon as Ms. Rafferty, host Natasha Lyonne, and Cecily Strong
She rose to fame alongside her other cast members, including Kate McKinnon and Pete Davidson.

Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key in “Schmigadoon!”
The comedian and actress has picked up some roles outside “SNL,” including “Schmigadoon!” on Apple TV+ and the one-woman show “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe.”

The show is playwright Jane Wagner’s commentary on American society and the feminist movement. Comedic legend Lily Tomlin starred in the original 1985 Broadway hit and 1991 film adaptation.

“SNL” creator Lorne Michaels is one of the play’s producers and is surely waiting to welcome the star back as the show struggles to find its footing with a fresh cast.

Backstage at the Emmy Awards on Sept. 12, Michaels told reporters that the new year “will be a transition year” noting that “change years are always difficult, but always exciting.”

The show added Marcello Hernandez, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow and Devon Walker to the cast and has kept the door open to welcome more.

SNL season 47 cast
Seven popular cast members did not return for the show’s latest season.
NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Multiple sources told The Post that the decision not to replace everyone is calculated, as the large size of last year’s cast — 16 repertory players plus five featured cast members — was actually hurting it.

“Their cast last year got to be pretty sizable, but what my understanding from Lorne was, during COVID everyone wanted to stay together. It’s unusual they had such a large cast,” said a TV industry source. “One thing I had heard is that there were so many people last season that they weren’t able to feature people in the way that they wanted to.

“Now, [Michaels] has got to develop new people.”

A spokesperson for Michaels confirmed to The Post: “Because of the pandemic, no one left [for the past couple years] — but that didn’t stop the show from adding newcomers. The way the series has survived is by renewal. Because if the show doesn’t add people every year, the show isn’t the show.”

“SNL” airs Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. on NBC and streams on Hulu the next day.