National

SNL comedian to headline White House dinner

Comedian Cecily Strong, a cast member of Saturday Night Live, will serve as entertainer for the White House Correspondents’ Association’s spring dinner.

“Her political humor is sly and edgy, and it comes with a Chicago accent,” WHCA president Christi‎ Parsons said in an email announcing the April 25 gig. She noted that Strong grew up in suburban Oak Park, Ill. and got her start in Chicago's comedy scene with stints at iO and Second City.

Strong, best known for her SNL character -- “ Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With” -- and turn on Weekend Update -- is a “product of the same strong Chicago tradition of improv that gave us Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert and Tina Fey,” Parsons said.

The annual dinner is traditionally attended by the President and first lady, as well as other senior government officials and members of the press corps -- which is often a favorite target of the president.

Parsons notes Strong “comes with a special working knowledge of the crowd,” as her father, Bill Strong, is a legendary former Associated Press bureau chief at the Illinois Statehouse.‎

In the 82-year history of the dinner, Strong will be the fourth woman to serve in the role.

Founded in 1914 to represent the White House press corps, the association works to maintain independent news media coverage of the president, advocating for access, handling logistics for pools of reporters who stay close to the president and those who travel with him, and providing scholarships to journalism students.

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