Cecily Strong

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Cecily Strong
Cecily Strong at the 74th Annual Peabody Awards (cropped).jpg
Strong at the 74th Annual Peabody Awards
Birth nameCecily Legler Strong[1]
Born (1984-02-08) February 8, 1984 (age 35)
Springfield, Illinois, U.S.
MediumTelevision, film
Years active2012–present
GenresImprovisational comedy, sketch comedy, blue comedy, satire
Subject(s)American culture, current events, pop culture
Notable works and rolesSaturday Night Live

Cecily Legler Strong (born February 8, 1984)[2][3] is an American actress and comedian who has been a cast member of Saturday Night Live since 2012.[4] Other roles include the film Ghostbusters and voice work on The Awesomes.

Early life[edit]

Cecily Legler Strong was born in Springfield, Illinois, and was raised in Oak Park, Illinois, an inner ring suburb of Chicago.[5] She is the daughter of Penelope and William "Bill" Strong, who worked as an Associated Press bureau chief and is now managing partner at a Chicago public relations firm.[2][5] Penny Legler Strong is a nurse practitioner, having worked extensively at area hospitals. Strong's parents are divorced.[6] Strong grew up adoring SNL as a child, reenacting sketches with her friend[7] and watching old SNL commercials on VHS. "I had a tape of the best commercials, and I wore it out, every day." She has stated that she was inspired by Phil Hartman.[8]

She attended Oak Park and River Forest High School before transferring for her senior year to the Chicago Academy for the Arts, where she graduated in 2002.[6] She then studied acting at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), graduating in 2006 with a BFA in theatre.[9][10][11] After graduating from CalArts, Strong returned to Chicago, where she studied at the Second City Conservatory and iO Chicago.


Strong performed regularly at The Second City and iO Chicago.[6] Strong performed on a "cruise ship with fellow Second City members for four months".[12] She appeared at the Chicago Sketch Fest, Chicago Just for Laughs, the New York Sketchfest, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival,[10] the Goodman Theater, the Bailiwick Theater, the Mercury Theater, and with the all-female improv troupe Virgin Daiquiri.[13]

Saturday Night Live[edit]

Strong debuted as a featured player on Saturday Night Live on September 15, 2012.[10][14][15] The next season, Strong became a repertory player and co-anchored the recurring Weekend Update segment with Seth Meyers, beginning with the season 39 premiere. Strong later co-anchored with Colin Jost,[16] and was replaced on Weekend Update with writer Michael Che, beginning with the season 40 premiere in September 2014, partly at her own request to focus on doing sketches as a part of the regular cast.[17]

Recurring Characters[edit]

  • ”The Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party", an extremely ditzy, unintelligent and unnamed pseudo-activist[18]
  • Dana, a loud-mouthed, unfriendly retail employee who always insults her coworkers out of fear of being fired
  • Heather, the One-Dimensional Female Character from a Male-Driven Comedy
  • Kyra from "The Girlfriends Talk Show"
  • Cathy Anne, the drug-addicted neighbor of Michael Che (usually introduced by Che as "the woman who's always yelling [sometimes "screaming"] outside my window"), who has strong opinions on current events;
  • an unnamed blond former porn star-turned-model/commercial actress who hawks elegant items alongside Vanessa Bayer;
  • Gemma, a British woman with various boyfriends
  • Gracelynn Chisholm, one half of a married duo that hosts a talk show.

Celebrity Impersonations[edit]

Other work[edit]

Strong was the featured entertainer at the 2015 White House Correspondents' Association dinner (cracking that she was the first straight woman to do so in twenty years).[20] She took digs at the various news organizations in attendance, politicians of all persuasions, and President Obama. She also took shots at the US Secret Service, host location the Washington Hilton, Brian Williams, Sarah Koenig and the state of Indiana.[21]

In 2016, she appeared in a commercial for Old Navy,[22] alongside other SNL cast members Nasim Pedrad and Jay Pharoah. That year, Strong also joined the climate change documentary show Years of Living Dangerously as a celebrity correspondent.[23] In 2016, she guest starred as Samantha Stevens in TBS's Angie Tribeca and Catherine Hobart in Fox's Scream Queens. She appeared in a series of commercials for Triscuit in 2017.



Year Title Role Other notes
2012 How to Sponsor a Uterus Karen Rigsby Short film
2015 The Bronze Janice Townsend
2015 Slow Learners Amber the ex
2015 The Meddler Jillian
2015 Staten Island Summer Mary Ellen
2016 The Boss[24] Dana Dandridge
2016 Ghostbusters Jennifer Lynch
2018 The Female Brain Zoe


Year Title Role Other notes
2012–present Saturday Night Live Herself, Various Main cast
2012 Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday Various 2 episodes
2013–2015 The Awesomes Various Voices 13 episodes
2015 White House Correspondents' Dinner Herself (host) TV special
2016 Angie Tribeca Samantha Stevens Episode: "Tribeca's Day Off"
2016 Years of Living Dangerously Herself Episode: "A Race Against Time"
2016 Netflix Presents: The Characters Herself Episode: "Natasha Rothwell"
2016 Superstore Missy Jones Episode: "Olympics"
2016 Scream Queens Catherine Hobart Episode: "Scream Again"
2017 Detroiters Roz Chunks Episode: "Dream Cruise"
2017 Great News Jessica Episode: "Night of the Living Screen"
2018 The Simpsons Megan Matheson (voice) Episode: "Homer Is Where the Art Isn't"
2019 RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Herself Episode: “Roast in Peace”
2019 I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson Brenda Episode: "It's the Cigars You Smoke That Are Going to Give You Cancer"


  1. ^ "St. Andrew's; Spring 1984" (PDF). St. Andrew's School Magazine. Spring 1984. p. 25. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Dettro, Chris (January 19, 2013). "New SNL Comedian has shallow Springfield roots". The State Journal-Register. Springfield, Illinois. Archived from the original on November 3, 2014. Retrieved October 5, 2013. Strong's father, Bill Strong, was the Associated Press bureau chief at the Statehouse when Cecily was born in February 1984.
  3. ^ Saturday Night Live - SNL [@nbcsnl] (February 8, 2013). "Happy Birthday Cecily Strong!! So glad we get to spend the day w/ her and a bunch of snow and @justinbieber! tinyurl.com/apxz6pn #SNL #Fun" (Tweet). Retrieved March 8, 2019 – via Twitter.
  4. ^ Metz, Nina (September 10, 2012). "Aidy Bryant, Tim Robinson, Cecily Strong join cast of 'SNL'". Chicago Tribune.
  5. ^ a b "Cecily Strong to co-anchor SNL's 'Weekend Update'". Sj-r.com. September 16, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2013. (subscription required)
  6. ^ a b c Gomez, Luis (June 14, 2013). "Interview: 'SNL' star Cecily Strong returns home amid dream year". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  7. ^ "Cecily Strong Is Being Serious". The New York Times. February 7, 2014. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  8. ^ Cecily Strong - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (2013). February 19, 2013.
  9. ^ "CalArts Grad Cecily Strong Added to Cast of 'SNL'". SCV News. December 11, 2012. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  10. ^ a b c "Cast Bios". Cecily Strong. NBC. Retrieved September 12, 2012.
  11. ^ Fretts, Bruce (November 8, 2013). "Meet Saturday Night Live's New "Weekend Update" Anchor Cecily Strong". TV Guide. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  12. ^ Heilpern, John. "Cecily Strong Shares the Secret to Her Saturday Night Live Success".
  13. ^ "Cecily Strong". Tumblr. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  14. ^ Levin, Gary (September 10, 2012). "'Saturday Night Live' adds three new cast members". USA Today.
  15. ^ "'Saturday Night Live' adds 3 performers for upcoming season after departures of Wiig, Samberg". The Washington Post (The Associated Press). September 10, 2012.
  16. ^ Morgan, Richard (May 9, 2014). "Cecily Strong and Colin Jost Are Newest 'Weekend Update' Anchors on 'Saturday Night Live'". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  17. ^ Reed, Ryan (September 12, 2014). "'SNL' Replaces Cecily Strong as 'Weekend Update' Anchor". Rolling Stone.
  18. ^ Fishman, Elly (February 20, 2013). "Questions for Saturday Night Live's Cecily Strong". Chicago Magazine. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  19. ^ "SNL Archives | Cast | Cecily Strong". snlarchives.net. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  20. ^ C-SPAN (April 25, 2015), Cecily Strong complete remarks at 2015 White House Correspondents' Dinner (C-SPAN), retrieved February 12, 2017
  21. ^ Cecily Strong’s harshest burns in her White House correspondents’ dinner speech, Washington Post, April 26, 2015. Retrieved May 1, 2015
  22. ^ "Old Navy enlists SNL alums to improvise series of online spots". Campaign Live. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  23. ^ "David Letterman Will Explore Climate Change For National Geographic Docu-Series". Variety. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  24. ^ Mike Fleming Jr. "Cecily Strong Joins Melissa McCarthy Comedy ‘Michelle Darnell’", Deadline Hollywood, April 28, 2015. Retrieved May 1, 2015

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Amy Poehler
Weekend Update anchor with Seth Meyers
Succeeded by
Cecily Strong and Colin Jost
Preceded by
Seth Meyers and Cecily Strong
Weekend Update anchor with Colin Jost
March 1 – May 17, 2014
Succeeded by
Colin Jost and Michael Che