Cecily Strong

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Cecily Strong
Cecily Strong at the 74th Annual Peabody Awards crop.jpg
Strong at the 74th Annual Peabody Awards
Birth name Cecily Legler Strong[1]
Born (1984-02-08) February 8, 1984 (age 34)
Springfield, Illinois
Medium Television, film
Years active 2005–present
Genres Satire, political satire, news satire, improvisational comedy, sketch comedy
Subject(s) American politics, American culture, current events, pop culture, mass media, news media
Notable works and roles Saturday Night Live

Cecily Legler Strong (born February 8, 1984)[2][3] is an American actress, voice actress, and comedian, known as a cast member of Saturday Night Live, having joined the show in 2012.[4]

Early life[edit]

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] 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.[citation needed]

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.[8][9][10] 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 has performed on a "cruise ship with fellow Second City members for four months".[11] She appeared at the Chicago Sketch Fest, Chicago Just for Laughs, New York Sketchfest, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival,[9] at the Goodman Theater, Bailiwick Theater, the Mercury Theater, and with the all-female improv troupe Virgin Daiquiri.[12]

Saturday Night Live[edit]

Strong debuted as a featured player on Saturday Night Live on September 15, 2012.[9][13][14] Strong co-anchored the recurring Weekend Update segment with Seth Meyers, beginning with the season 39 premiere. Strong later co-anchored with Colin Jost,[15] 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.[16]

Strong's recurring characters include an extremely ditzy, unintelligent and unnamed pseudo-activist known as "The Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party",[17] Dana (one of a pair of loud-mouthed, unfriendly retail employees who always insult their 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 addict neighbor of Michael Che, who has a strong opinion on current events, and an unnamed blond former porn star-turned-model/commercial actress who hawks elegant items. Most of her recurring characters are either very feminine, polished, youthful and/or mentally unstable. Her celebrity impressions include Brooke Baldwin, Maria Bartiromo, Gloria Borger, Paula Broadwell, Erin Burnett, Marion Cotillard, Stormy Daniels, Lana Del Rey, Fran Drescher, Gloria Estefan, Dianne Feinstein, Carly Fiorina, Ariana Grande, Scottie Nell Hughes, Anjelica Huston, Kendall Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, Jill Kelley, Megyn Kelly, Sarah Koenig, Tara Lipinski, Rachel Maddow, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Liza Minnelli, Alanis Morissette, Jeanine Pirro, Michelle Rodriguez, Melania Trump, Ivana Trump, Sofia Vergara and Allison Williams.[18]

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 be so in twenty years).[19] She lambasted 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.[20]

In 2016, she appeared in a commercial for Old Navy,[21] 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.[22] 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[23] Dana Dandridge
2016 Ghostbusters Jennifer Lynch
2018 The Female Brain Zoe


Year Title Role Other Notes
2005 Mad TV Recurring Extra Recurring role
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 TBD
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"


  1. ^ "St. Andrew's; Spring 1984" (PDF). St. Andrew's School Magazine. Spring 1984. 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. ^ "Happy Birthday Cecily Strong!!". Saturday Night Live official Twitter page. February 8, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  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. ^ "CalArts Grad Cecily Strong Added to Cast of 'SNL'". SCV News. December 11, 2012. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c "Cast Bios". Cecily Strong. NBC. Retrieved September 12, 2012. 
  10. ^ Fretts, Bruce (November 8, 2013). "Meet Saturday Night Live's New "Weekend Update" Anchor Cecily Strong". TV Guide. Retrieved November 3, 2014. 
  11. ^ http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2016/01/cecily-strong-saturday-night-live
  12. ^ "Cecily Strong". Tumblr. Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  13. ^ Levin, Gary (September 10, 2012). "'Saturday Night Live' adds three new cast members". USA Today. 
  14. ^ "'Saturday Night Live' adds 3 performers for upcoming season after departures of Wiig, Samberg". The Washington Post (The Associated Press). September 10, 2012. 
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ Reed, Ryan (September 12, 2014). "'SNL' Replaces Cecily Strong as 'Weekend Update' Anchor". Rolling Stone.
  17. ^ Fishman, Elly (February 20, 2013). "Questions for Saturday Night Live's Cecily Strong". Chicago Magazine. Retrieved November 3, 2014. 
  18. ^ "SNL Archives | Cast | Cecily Strong". snlarchives.net. Retrieved 2018-01-28. 
  19. ^ C-SPAN (April 25, 2015), Cecily Strong complete remarks at 2015 White House Correspondents' Dinner (C-SPAN), retrieved February 12, 2017 
  20. ^ Cecily Strong’s harshest burns in her White House correspondents’ dinner speech, Washington Post, April 26, 2015. Retrieved May 1, 2015
  21. ^ "Old Navy enlists SNL alums to improvise series of online spots". Campaign Live. Retrieved August 20, 2016. 
  22. ^ "David Letterman Will Explore Climate Change For National Geographic Docu-Series". Variety. Retrieved June 17, 2016. 
  23. ^ Mike Fleming Jr. "Cecily Strong Joins Melissa McCarthy Comedy ‘Michelle Darnell’", Deadline.com, 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