Cecily Strong hosted the White House Correspondent’s Dinner for the first time. By all accounts, it went pretty well.
According to Vanity Fair, Strong kept the audience of politicians, stars, and news correspondents entertained as the main speaker following President Barack Obama. This was Strong’s first time hosting the dinner, sponsored by the White House Correspondent’s Association, founded in 1914. The annual dinner began in 1920 and was exclusive only to men until 1962, when, at the behest of Helen Thomas, President John F. Kennedy said he would not attend the dinner unless the ban was lifted, which it was.
“Feels right to have a woman follow President Obama, doesn’t it?” Strong said as she began her speech.
“I took Amtrak here. It was way more luxurious than I thought. Did you know they have massage seats on there? All you have to do is sit in front of Joe Biden,” Strong joked. “Those hands don’t get tired.”
“It feels so weird to be up here,” Strong said. “Since I’m only a comedian, I’m not going to try and tell you comedians how to do politics. That would be like you guys telling me what to do with my body. I mean, can you even imagine? Crazy.”
According to CNN, Strong then ran into a bit of controversy.
“It’s an honor to be here at the Washington Hilton… is something a prostitute might say to a congressman,” Strong said, and the capacity crowd grew eerily silent. “I bet when the president walked in tonight and saw the bell hops, he probably thought, ‘Finally, some decent security.'”
Once the crowd got its breath back, Strong went back to less controversial, but still funny material. Strong next targeted the president himself. Strong commented that though Obama’s approval rating was 48 percent, his gray had taken over 85 percent of his head.
“Your hair is so white now it can talk back to the police,” she quipped.
Strong then made comments about a few networks.
Of C-SPAN, she said, “To some viewers watching at home on C-SPAN, ‘Hello.’ But to most viewers watching at home on C-SPAN, ‘Meow.”
Of CNN, Strong said, “Whenever a big news story breaks, I can turn to CNN and watch Anthony Bourdain eat a cricket.”
And of Fox News, Strong said, “Fox News has been losing a lot of viewers lately, and may they rest in peace.”
Strong ended her part of the speech with a story about her and Obama both being from Chicago.
“I’d lace up a pair of Jordans, he’d slip on a pair of my mom’s jeans and we would just miss three-pointers until sundown, when, of course, we’d have to stop and pray to Mecca.”
[Image courtesy of Glamour]