Women in tech have long been under the "can they have it all" microscope, and yesterday they fired back, with comedy. Marissa Mayer, instead of simply updating the tech world on Yahoo's upcoming plans, decided to make her speech at CES 2014 a bit more interesting: she included special guests ranging from Katie Couric to John Legend to Cecily Strong. Cecily Strong's performance was important to Mayer's new and improved Yahoo image, but it also gave the Internet a chance to critique her solo Weekend Updates before they begin. Although some thought her jokes misfired, the whole event showed how far women in tech and comedy have come.
Cecily led with a killer joke about Snapchat, which could have been more current if she had added a bit about the security breach, but was chuckle-worthy nonetheless. Somehow, though, the video does not have a single audible guffaw. She also managed to make a Bitcoin joke that was both nerdy and biting, then turned around and made fun of people who went to the gym.
Yet, while I was giggling at my tablet screen, there was not a peep from the audience. The second Keenan Thompson stepped up to the desk, though, there were laughs at every sentence, even ones that seemed, well, out of place for a tech conference. This made me wonder if I have a particularly Cecily-friendly sense of humor, or if all the tech people had some sort of problem with Cecily's presence, and her hyper-targeted jokes.
Regardless of the amount of laughter, though, this event was a success. We now live in a world where one woman can host a major sketch comedy segment solo, and she can do that at a tech conference supporting another woman's company. Critics can fight about the future of the Weekend Update on SNL for hours, but this success is what I will take away from the CES Tech Update 2014.
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