Chicago Native Cecily Strong to Emcee White House Correspondents' Dinner - NBC Chicago
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Chicago Native Cecily Strong to Emcee White House Correspondents' Dinner

The "Saturday Night Live" player lands one of the best comedian gigs in the business.



    Chicago Native Cecily Strong to Emcee White House Correspondents' Dinner
    LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 19: Cecily Strong attends the iHeart Radio Music Festival - press room held at MGM Grand Resort and Casino on September 19, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

    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.")

    Strong was recently replaced as co-anchor of Weekend Update, reassuring fans she was happy about the move. 
    As future Correspondents' Dinner host, she has big shoes to fill—notably that of Stephen Colbert, who absolutely killed it circa 2006 when Dubya was in the Oval Office. Nobody since has come close to besting Colbert. He had lots of material with which to satirically singe an unpopular president, and he wasn't afraid to use it.