Entertainment

Interview: 'SNL' star Cecily Strong says 'Weekend Update' still being updated

Cecily Strong says her sign-off with Colin Jost at the end of “Saturday Night Live's” “Weekend Update” is still a work in progress.

Strong and former co-anchor Seth Meyers blew kisses to the audience or gave each other a fist bump at the end of the segment during their half season together. But with Meyers having left “SNL” to host his NBC late night talk show, the Oak Park-raised Strong would like to develop a new tradition with her new co-anchor.

“Being from this nerdy improv world of Chicago, I'm like ‘We've got to keep it organic,'” Strong said in a playfully whiny tone Wednesday at the Godfrey Hotel Chicago, where she celebrated her cover on the spring issue of Michigan Avenue magazine. “We did the E.T. ‘ouch' because there was a Steven Spielberg reference (one week), and then we did the Matthew McConaughey surfer thing.”

Strong said she came up with the idea to blow kisses with Meyers for her own personal amusement.

“It's something I did because I wanted to see a buttoned-up Seth Meyers blowing kisses.”

On April 23, Strong will attend Planned Parenthood of Illinois' fourth annual Generations Celebration at Navy Pier's Grand Ballroom. She said in her Michigan Avenue interview she once worked at Planned Parenthood in Chicago in the corporate office.

The Second City and iO alum has since moved to New York, where she has been living for a year and a half. What's the most New York thing about her?

“I love to love eavesdrop, and I love to jaywalk — that's very New York,” Strong said.

And the most Chicago thing about her?

“Probably my awful accent, No. 1. My love for cheese. My love for hanging out and drinking. And I think there's a real Chicago thing, like ‘C'mon ...' if someone is showing off,” said Strong, giving her best side-eye expression. “Chicago is big on, ‘C'mon, buddy ...'”

After her first season on “SNL,” Strong was given the “Weekend Update” gig alongside the departing Meyers. She quickly went from being the “Weekend Update” rookie in September to the veteran by default this month when Jost made his debut.

“I think it was a lot tougher (for Jost),” Strong said. “He had to come in midseason and didn't have Seth next to him, who for years has made the person next to him look amazing. And I don't have that skill yet. I think he did so well — especially considering all that. I don't think he gets as nervous and anxious as I do. He's really lucky in that way. I think I feel anxiety for the both of us.”

lgomez@tribune.com | Twitter @TribLuis

For more celebrity news and sightings in Chicago, go to chicagotribune.com/luis

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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