When “Saturday Night Live” cast member Cecily Strong was invited to perform at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner she was both honored and terrified.
“My thinking was I was hoping we had a live show that weekend so that I could say no,” she said in a telephone interview this week from a movie set in Los Angeles. “It’s a daunting task. But I would kick myself if I didn’t do it.”
The event being held Saturday at the Washington Hilton that gathers power brokers and celebrities from media, journalism, politics and entertainment should elevate the fame of the 31-year-old Strong, who went from playing Chicago comedy clubs to NBC’s legendary sketch comedy show in 2012. While the WHCA dinner is watched live by political junkies on cable news channels and C-SPAN, her monologue and the reactions at the dais will be analyzed and critiqued on news programs in the days that follow.
After a series of weekly meetings with the comedy writers who are developing material with her, Strong is now conferring with them daily as the event approaches. She’s also getting help from “SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels and “Late Night with Seth Meyers” head writer Alex Baze.
“No. 1, I want the funniest jokes,” she said. “I was telling Lorne today – I don’t want any stale Fox News jokes because it’s all been done. I would hope to be getting both sides because there are things to laugh at on both sides, luckily.”
‘Ridiculous Six’ loses Indian actors
A group of American Indian actors has walked off the set of an Adam Sandler movie over complaints about stereotypes and offensive names.
Actor Loren Anthony told the Associated Press on Thursday that he and eight others quit the production of the satirical Western “The Ridiculous Six” after producers ignored their concerns about its portrayal of Apache culture.
Anthony said the script also included offensive names for Native American female characters. He said producers told them to leave if they felt offended.
“The Ridiculous Six” is produced by Sandler and Allen Covert and is slated for a Netflix-only release. Production on the film began this month in Santa Fe and northern New Mexico.
A prime-time sendoff for Letterman
David Letterman is getting a prime-time goodbye from the folks at CBS. The network said that comic Ray Romano will host a 90-minute tribute to Letterman’s television career. It will air on Monday, May 4.
Letterman will retire May 20 after 6,028 late-night shows over 33 years on CBS and NBC. CBS said the special will “mine the video vault” of highlights from some of his best interviews and comedy, including his signature Top Ten lists and stupid human and pet tricks.
The birthday bunch
Actress Shirley MacLaine is 81. Actress-singer-director Barbra Streisand is 73. Country singer Richard Sterban (The Oak Ridge Boys) is 72. Actor-playwright Eric Bogosian is 62. Actor Michael O’Keefe is 60. Actor-comedian Cedric the Entertainer is 51. Singer Kelly Clarkson is 33.
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