Saturday Night Live's Cecily Strong, a native of Oak Park and Second City alum, has landed one of the most coveted gigs for a comedian: Hosting April's White House Correspondents' Dinner, an annual media circus attracting an intersection of Beltway political elites, the journalists who cover (and drink with) them and the celebrities who want to appear "serious" at a decidedly un-serious event.
The Hollywood-ized Correspondents' Dinner is one of the most reviled parties on the Washington social calendar. Despite the bad buzz, a who's who of attendees angle to see, be seen and be in close proximity to power brokers of all stripes. The ridiculous intersection of people in the room demands a savvy emcee who can subtly savage the crowd while getting laughs, too. Last spring, it was Joel McHale of Community and Talk Soup, picking up the torch from recent predecessors Conan O'Brien (2013), Jimmy Kimmel (2012) Seth Meyers (2011). This year, it's Strong, the first woman in the job since Wanda Sykes in 2009.
"Her political humor is sly and edgy, and it comes with a Chicago accent," says White House Correspondents’ Association President Christie Parsons, in a statement to The Hill. "Cecily grew up in suburban Oak Park, Ill. and got her start in Chicago's comedy scene with stints at iO and Second City."
The 30-year-old performer, whose father, Bill Strong, was an Associated Press reporter covering Illinois politics, joined SNL in 2012 and has introduced impersonations of MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and Fox News' Megyn Kelly. (Check out the rising star as Kelly, Maddow and "The Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started A Conversation With at a Party.")