Anyone dismayed thinking Saturday Night Live replaced the wrong person at the Weekend Update desk this season will rejoice at this news: The White House Correspondents’ Association announced today that Cecily Strong will deliver the featured address at their 2015 dinner.
“Her political humor is sly and edgy, and it comes with a Chicago accent. Cecily grew up in suburban Oak Park, Ill. and got her start in Chicago’s comedy scene with stints at iO and Second City,” WHCA President Christi Parsons said in making the announcement.
Strong does have a journalism connection, too — her father served as Associated Press bureau chief in the Illinois statehouse.
Still, it’s either a bit of a wild-card pick for the White House press corps or a telling evolution into what they see and want to see from their annual dinner when it comes around again on April 25, 2015.
In recent years, the WHCD pick has fallen toward a late-night talk-show host, a stand-up comedian or someone with extensive monologue/impersonation experience. The past 10 years have seen Jay Leno host twice, Cedric the Entertainer, Stephen Colbert in character, Rich Little, Craig Ferguson, Wanda Sykes, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O’Brien, and this year, Joel McHale.
Strong is certainly the youngest of the bunch at 30.
Picking her also represents a choice away from the late-night crop of white guy hosts or the two guys currently hosting Weekend Update on SNL: Colin Jost and Michael Che. Of course, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see them and other SNL writers helping craft Strong’s WHCD monologue come April.