Live from Washington D.C., it's Cecily Strong!
Strong may have lost her Weekend Update co-anchoring role, but the Saturday Night Live actress just got an even more prestigious gig. The 30-year-old sketch comic, who often portrays "The Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party" (watch above), is going to be the head entertainer of a major one: the 2015 White House Correspondents' Dinner.
Strong will be delivering jokes in front of President Barack Obama, celebrity guests, government officials and journalists who report and write about the U.S. leader for print, wire, TV, radio and online outlets. The White House Correspondents' Association, which holds the annual event, announced the news on Wednesday on its website. The dinner, which also typically features the First Lady and airs on C-Span, takes place on April 25, 2015.
"Go Cecily! So excited for her to perform at the 2015 White House Correspondents' Dinner," read a tweet posted on SNL's Twitter page.
Strong made her debut on SNL in 2012 and co-anchored Weekend Update with Seth Meyers and later, after he left to host NBC's Late Night With Seth Meyers, with Colin Jost. This season, she was replaced by Michael Che, marking the first time the satirical newscast's anchors are all male. Strong remains a cast member on the show and is also known for her impressions of singers Ariana Grande and Lana Del Rey and Fox News personalityMegyn Kelly.
The dinner is held annually by the White House Correspondents' Association to raise funds for its journalism scholarship programs and to honor recipients of its journalism awards. The group marked its 100th anniversary this year and held its first White House Correspondents' Dinner in 1920.
Strong is the first female star to headline the event since comedienne and actress Wanda Sykes performed in 2009. The other women who have served in this role are singer Aretha Franklin and comedienne Paula Poundstone, who in 1992 was the first woman to headline the event.
Strong also follows in the footsteps of Joel McHale, who headlined this year's White House Correspondents Dinner in May, Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel and Craig Ferguson as well as Meyers, Darrell Hammond and now-senator Al Franken, who were the only other SNL writers and performers to serve in the role. Fellow show alum Norm MacDonald performed a Weekend Update parody at the 1997 event, which Jon Stewart headlined.
Strong has a special connection to both the group holding the dinner and the guest of honor. The comedienne's father is a former journalist; He worked as the Associated Press bureau chief at the Illinois Statehouse when she was a child. She grew up in and around Chicago, which Obama considers his home town.
"Her political humor is sly and edgy, and it comes with a Chicago accent," the WHCA's president, the Tribune Company's Christi Parsons, said in a message posted on the group's website. "Cecily grew up in suburban Oak Park, Ill. and got her start in Chicago's comedy scene with stints at iO and Second City."
"Journalists are perennial targets for the WHCA entertainer, but Cecily has an edge," she added, citing the comedienne's father's former job.
As for the celebrity guests, the list of famous attendees for the White House Correspondents' Dinner is typically revealed several days before the event.
This year's dinner was attended by the likes of Jessica Simpson, Glee's Darren Criss, Modern Family's Sofia Vergara, Scorpion star and Smash and American Idol alum Katharine McPhee and Veep starsJulia Louis-Dreyfus and Anna Chlumsky.