Cecily Strong did not feel comfortable playing Rep. Elise Stefanik in the 'SNL' sketch about the "genocide of Jews" hearing in Congress ... and ended up bowing out right before the show started.
The former "Saturday Night Live" star was supposed to return as a guest star in the cold open skit, and she went through a dress rehearsal as Stefanik. But, she "was uncomfortable with the sketch" ... according to a NY Post report.
Instead of Cecily making her first 'SNL' appearance since December 2022, when she left the NBC show after 11 seasons, she was replaced on air by Chloe Troast.
The report also cited sources claiming the writing of Saturday's cold-open sketch was slightly rushed ... and that Cecily backed out for "a variety of reasons."
It's unclear if her issue was the bit's obvious political slant in mocking a staunch Donald Trump supporter -- namely, Rep. Stefanik -- or its lack of humor. Kenan Thompson really had the only decent laughs in the skit.