Strong at the 74th Annual Peabody Awards
|Birth name||Cecily Legler Strong|
February 8, 1984 |
Springfield, Illinois, US
|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|
Strong was born in Springfield, Illinois, and was raised in Oak Park, Illinois, an inner ring suburb of Chicago. 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. Strong's parents are divorced. Strong grew up adoring SNL as a child, reenacting sketches with her friend 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.
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. She then studied acting at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), graduating in 2006 with a BFA in theatre. 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. Strong has performed on a "cruise ship with fellow Second City members for four months". She appeared at the Chicago Sketch Fest, Chicago Just for Laughs, New York Sketchfest, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, at the Goodman Theater, Bailiwick Theater, the Mercury Theater, and with the all-female improv troupe Virgin Daiquiri.
Saturday Night Live
Strong debuted as a featured player on Saturday Night Live on September 15, 2012. Strong co-anchored the recurring Weekend Update segment with Seth Meyers, beginning with the season 39 premiere. Strong later co-anchored with Colin Jost, 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. However, she remained a part of the regular cast.
The moment that largely defined Strong as a hit on Saturday Night Live was from Strong's character in “The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation with at a Party”. Colin Jost, who succeeded Seth Meyers on “Weekend Update," also co-writes with Strong and Vanessa Bayer "non sequiturs and risqué malapropisms, “Porn Stars”: “Herpes handbags! One out of every four people has it—and so should you.” (while attempting to promote Hermès handbags)
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", Dana (one of a pair of loud-mouthed, unfriendly retail employees who always insult their coworkers out of fear of being fired), Kyra from "The Girlfriends Talk Show", 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, Lana Del Rey, Fran Drescher, Gloria Estefan, 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, Sofia Vergara and Allison Williams.
Strong was the featured entertainer at the 2015 White House Correspondents' Association dinner. 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.
In 2016, she appeared in a commercial for Old Navy, 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. 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 commercial for Triscuit in 2017.
|2012||How to Sponsor a Uterus||Karen Rigsby||Short film|
|2015||The Bronze||Janice Townsend|
|2015||Slow Learners||Amber the ex|
|2015||Staten Island Summer||Mary Ellen|
|2016||The Boss||Dana Dandridge|
|2017||The Female Brain||Zoe|
|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"|
- "St. Andrew's; Spring 1984" (PDF). St. Andrew's School Magazine. Spring 1984. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
- 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.
- "Happy Birthday Cecily Strong!!". Saturday Night Live official Twitter page. February 8, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
- Metz, Nina (September 10, 2012). "Aidy Bryant, Tim Robinson, Cecily Strong join cast of 'SNL'". Chicago Tribune.
- "Cecily Strong to co-anchor SNL's 'Weekend Update'". Sj-r.com. September 16, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2013. (subscription required)
- Gomez, Luis (June 14, 2013). "Interview: 'SNL' star Cecily Strong returns home amid dream year". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
- "Cecily Strong Is Being Serious". The New York Times. February 7, 2014. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
- "CalArts Grad Cecily Strong Added to Cast of 'SNL'". SCV News. December 11, 2012. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
- "Cast Bios". Cecily Strong. NBC. Retrieved September 12, 2012.
- Fretts, Bruce (November 8, 2013). "Meet Saturday Night Live's New "Weekend Update" Anchor Cecily Strong". TV Guide. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
- "Cecily Strong". Tumblr. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
- Levin, Gary (September 10, 2012). "'Saturday Night Live' adds three new cast members". USA Today.
- "'Saturday Night Live' adds 3 performers for upcoming season after departures of Wiig, Samberg". The Washington Post (The Associated Press). September 10, 2012.
- 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.
- Reed, Ryan (September 12, 2014). "'SNL' Replaces Cecily Strong as 'Weekend Update' Anchor". Rolling Stone.
- Heilpern, John. "Cecily Strong Shares the Secret to Her Saturday Night Live Success". HWD. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
- Fishman, Elly (February 20, 2013). "Questions for Saturday Night Live's Cecily Strong". Chicago Magazine. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
- C-SPAN (April 25, 2015), Cecily Strong complete remarks at 2015 White House Correspondents' Dinner (C-SPAN), retrieved February 12, 2017
- Cecily Strong’s harshest burns in her White House correspondents’ dinner speech, Washington Post, April 26, 2015. Retrieved May 1, 2015
- "Old Navy enlists SNL alums to improvise series of online spots". Campaign Live. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
- "David Letterman Will Explore Climate Change For National Geographic Docu-Series". Variety. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
- Mike Fleming Jr. "Cecily Strong Joins Melissa McCarthy Comedy ‘Michelle Darnell’", Deadline.com, April 28, 2015. Retrieved May 1, 2015
|Weekend Update anchor with Seth Meyers
Cecily Strong and Colin Jost
Seth Meyers and Cecily Strong
|Weekend Update anchor with Colin Jost
March 1 – May 17, 2014
Colin Jost and Michael Che