Tonight the top political correspondents, news casters, a mix of celebrities, and politicians will gather together in our nation’s capital for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Also known as the one night of the year when lawmakers and their critics gather to publicly poke fun at each other under the guise of comedy.
This night of sanctioned witty repartee has been dubbed the Nerd Prom (#NerdProm). It’s a title that doesn’t quite hit the mark, especially now that the event has been more than slightly invaded by Hollywood, but I have to admit, I still love it.
In recent years it’s brought us some great comedic moments from comedy stars like Stephen Colbert, Jay Leno, Craig Ferguson, Seth Meyers, Joel McHale, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, and in 2009, during an apparent white guy drought, Wanda Sykes was the comedian of the night.
This year, SNL’s Cecily Strong will stand at that podium, giving me the perfect chance to express my somewhat pent-up annoyance that she was unceremoniously replaced at the SNL Weekly Update desk. I’m familiar with the official reasons behind replacing her with Michael Che (it’s a “new era”), but as a female viewer of the show, the fact that it was not addressed on the program felt odd. Were we not supposed to notice?
It’s water under the bridge of course, and Cecily Strong continues to be one of the strongest cast members in an era of SNL that presents an undeniably talented ensemble that just can’t seem to find its footing. That and she may not be hosting the SNL Weekly Update, but she sure is hosting a nationally televised dinner with the president of the United States.