Video Of Cecily Strong's White House Correspondents' Dinner Speech Shows Off Her Sharp Humor & Political Jabs
When it was announced that Saturday Night Live star Cecily Strong would host the White House Correspondents' Dinner, there were already big shoes to fill. Not only has the event, nicknamed "Nerd Prom," been hosted by the likes of Conan O'Brien, Stephen Colbert, Wanda Sykes, and many other hilarious comedians, she is only the fourth women to ever serve as host. That's more pressure than most people can handle in a lifetime. No wonder Strong was initially terrified to take on hosting duties. But with some SNL Weekend Update Desk experience under her belt and incredibly funny and witty characters like "Girl You Wish You Never Started A Conversation With At A Party," there was no doubt Strong was up for the challenge. Thankfully, she did not disappoint, but she definitely surprised with her biting and at times controversial jokes, especially since she told CNN about her hosting gig before it began: "You know i don't think I've been a real envelope pusher joke-wise. I would hope not to — I don't want to be mean. I'd rather be funny."
From poking fun at Hillary Clinton's recent Presidential campaign announcement video to joke after joke after joke about the Republican presidential candidates, Strong was biting when she needed to be and took quite a few risks in the subject matter of many of her zingers. In fact, she really didn't leave anyone out from scrutiny. And at the end of the day, isn't that the White House Correspondents' Dinner host's job?
Right off the bat, Cecily began her speech with a sharp, funny comment involving women's issues. "Just because I'm a woman, doesn't mean I’m gonna go easier on you people. I'm gonna go easy on you people because my brain is smaller," she said.
But that wasn't the only time she focused on women during the speech, Strong also made this epic zinger. "Since I'm only a comedian, I'm not going to try and tell you politicians how to do politics or whatever. That's not my job. That'd be like you guys telling me what to do with my body. I mean, can you even imagine?" BOOM. That was easily one of the best parts of her speech.
However, it still couldn't top what was undoubtedly the most incredible moment of the night. Towards the end of her time at the podium, Strong asked all of the correspondents in the room to repeat this line about the upcoming presidential election. "I solemnly swear to not talk about Hillary's appearance because that is not journalism." Can I get an amen?!
And who can forget the many jokes about gay rights and racism? At the beginning of the speech, Strong threw a biting comment at the Anti-LGBT Memories Pizza in Indiana. She later made this comment about the secret service, "I don't want to be too hard on those guys, you know. Because they're the only law enforcement agency in the country that will get in trouble if a black man gets shot." And she followed that joke about racism with another memorable quip at President Obama, "Your hair's so white now, you can talk back to the police." It was a great way of addressing very important issues, because the jokes made us laugh without disrespecting those issues or lessening their significance. You can watch the entire speech in the video below.
As you can see, instead of being unfair or rude, the more controversial jokes Strong made throughout the speech were usually pointed and filled with important messages that needed to be stated. That's also what made her work at the Weekend Update desk on Saturday Night Live so great. Even her most ridiculous characters or moments on Weekend Update had some kind of point to them. And she proved that once again with her White House Correspondents' Dinner speech.
I truly believe it's this kind of intelligent balance of subtlety and directness with biting and controversial jokes that made Strong so suited to take on this gig. White House Correspondents' Association, are you listening? Strong, the fourth women to ever host your dinner, killed it. So can we get some more female hosts in the future, please? I have a few suggestions for next year and beyond.