Cecily Strong was born and raised in the Chicago area, and after graduating from the California Institute of the Arts with her BFA in theatre (and a short stint as a recurring extra on MadTV in 2005), she returned to her hometown and began a career in comedy. She took improv classes at iO and The Second City Training Center, where she graduated from the Conservatory Program. She was then hired by Second City Theatricals, and after touring with the theater aboard Norwegian Cruise Line, Strong earned a spot with The Second City Touring Company and as Katie Rich’s understudy for the Mainstage.
In 2012, Strong was tapped as a featured player on Saturday Night Live along with fellow Second City vets Aidy Bryant and Tim Robinson, where she quickly won audiences over with characters like “Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With At a Party” and as the co-host of “Weekend Update” for a season.
Strong’s rapidly increasing television credits include Angie Tribeca, Netflix’s The Characters and Scream Queens. She has also appeared in several films while still an SNL cast member, including Ghostbusters and The Boss, and voiced a role for several seasons on animated series The Awesomes.
“My drama instructor suggested I try comedy. I was resistant at first because I considered myself a serious actor, but of course I fell in love with it.” -Cecily Strong