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Cecily Strong’s harshest burns in her White House correspondents’ dinner speech

Celebrity host Cecily Strong took a jab at politicians, media and President Obama at the 2015 White House correspondents' dinner on Saturday. (Video: AP)

“Saturday Night Live” cast member Cecily Strong took the stage at the White House correspondents’ dinner, taking digs at the media; Aaron Schock; NBC; Fox News; the Secret Service; and of course, the president. Here were some of her harshest burns:

– To President Obama: “Your hair is so white now it can talk back to the police.”

– “It is great to be here at the Washington Hilton…is something a prostitute might say to a congressman.”

– “The Washington Hilton, you guys. Man, if these walls could talk. They’d probably say ‘clean me.’”

– “Seriously, the Washington Hilton is great. And I bet when the president walked in and saw all those bellhops, he thought, finally, some decent security.”

[The funniest lines in President Obama’s White House correspondents’ dinner speech]

– “Let’s give it up for the Secret Service. I don’t want to be too hard on those guys. You know, because they’re the only law enforcement agency that will get in trouble if a black man gets shot.”

– On taking a “trip” with Aaron Schock to the Eiffel Tower in Paris: “Mr. President, you should really think about going there sometime. I hear the weather’s nice in January.”

– “You know, it’s crazy to think our president is right here in the ballroom of a Washington Hilton. And it’s even crazier to think our vice president is right now in the ball pit of a Washington Chuck E. Cheese.”

– “There are so many stars from so many great shows here, we are really in a golden age of television. But I have to say, I still see so many negative portrayals of black and gay people out there. I mean, it’s 2015 and we still have TV characters like Don Lemon. It’s ridiculous.”

[Complete coverage of the 2015 White House correspondents’ dinner]

– “NBC is here. You know, even us at ‘SNL’ got criticized for making fun of ISIS. Now I think that’s unfair. I mean, if anyone is guilty of taking ISIS too lightly, it’s him. You know.” (Nods in the direction of Obama.)

– “Who should I even vote for? (Hillary.) There’s Marco Rubio, it’s like, who’s better than Marco Rubio? (Hillary.) And there’s Rand Paul, I mean, who’s more knowledgeable about foreign policy than Rand Paul? (Hillary) And of course, there’s Hillary! I mean, who’s better on the economy than Hillary? (Bill.)”

– “Sen. Tom Cotton got 47 other senators to sign an open letter he wrote to Iran. I guess the most surprising thing is that a guy named Tom Cotton is a U.S. senator and not a rabbit from an old racist Disney cartoon.”

– “Our relationship [with Israel] will be better in the next administration, just as soon as Israel makes a generous donation to the Clinton Foundation.”

– “What can I say about Brian Williams? Nothing, because I work for NBC.”

– On Ted Cruz: “It’s like the right wing thought, ‘What’s the exact opposite of a black president? How about a Canadian Latino who will never be president?’”\

– “Some of the cast of the epic fantasy series ‘Game of Thrones’ is here, and they told me that even they have never seen this many nerds before.”

– “Naomi Campbell’s here. Now Naomi, you’re lucky Hillary Clinton is not here. Because if you threw your BlackBerry at her, she would just delete everything right off of it.”

– “Hillary Clinton said that she used her private email because she didn’t want to use more than two devices. Now if that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s also one of the rules of the sex contract of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.'”

– “Buzzfeed is here. But I can show you a listicle of 17 reasons why they shouldn’t be.”

– “It’s just comforting to know that whenever a big story breaks, I can turn to CNN and watch Anthony Bourdain eat a cricket.”

– “MSNBC shows so many prison documentaries they’re making Ed Schultz get a teardrop tattoo.”

– “Carly Fiorina is considering running for president. Seems like a lot of work to be a Fox News pundit.”

– “Some of the cast of ‘Downton Abbey’ is here thanks to a generous donation from the constituents of Aaron Schock.”

– “Just because  Aaron Schock resigned doesn’t mean there aren’t any more smoking hot congressman left.  I mean, looking out tonight, I see so many 10s. Well, Washington 10s, so New York 4s. Indiana 30s.”

– “Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I’m gonna go easy on you people. I’m gonna go easy on you people because my brain is smaller.”

– “Last year’s host Joe McHale proves that speaking at this dinner is an amazing opportunity that can take you from starring in a show on NBC all the way to starring in the same show on Yahoo.”

– To Obama: “You’re a lot like Madonna. You’ve both given this country so much but in like a year and a half, you gotta stop.”

– “I took Amtrak here, it was way more luxurious than I thought. Did you know that they have massage seats available on those trains? All you need to do is sit in front of Joe Biden. Those hands don’t get tired, somehow.”

– “Since I’m only a comedian, I’m not going to tell you politicians how to do politics or whatever. That’s not my job. That’d be like you guys telling me what to do with my body. Can you even imagine?”

– “Tonight’s event is being broadcast on C-SPAN, so to some viewers watching at home on C-SPAN, hello! But to most viewers watching at home on C-SPAN, meow.”

– “We tried to get Memories Pizza to cater this event, but they heard a rumor Barney Frank might be here, so thanks a lot, Barney. We could have had that world-famous Indiana pizza.”

“Fox News has been losing a lot of viewers lately, and may they rest in peace. That’s nice to say! That channel is all hot blond ladies and old dudes. You know, every show on Fox News looks like a party scene from ‘Weekend at Bernie’s.'”

– “USA Today is here. Of course, they’re only here because they were slipped under the hotel door. Now that’s USA Today, unless today is Saturday or Sunday.”

– After asking all members of the media to put their hands up, repeat after her, and swear something this election season:
“I solemnly swear
Not to talk about Hillary’s appearance
Because that is not journalism.”

– NPR’s “Serial” podcast, which finally answered the question: “What would it be like if somebody gently whispered an episode of ‘Dateline’ episode.”

– “Sarah Koenig [of ‘Serial’] is so pissed about ‘The Jinx.’ It’s ‘Serial’ but with an ending. Hey Sarah, next season, pick someone who definitely did it. Like Amanda Knox. There’s DNA on the knife, you guys.”

– On Rand Paul’s future: “He didn’t get elected, but at least he Rand!”

– “Oh man, Aaron and I just had so much fun, and no, I know what you’re thinking, it was not romantic, it was strictly a friendship trip. He reminded me every day.”

– “Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is retiring after serving 30 years in Congress. Now a lot of people don’t know this, but Reid was a boxer before he spent five terms as a punching bag.”

– “Big story: The Republicans finally succeeded, and Obama is being forced out of office in 18 months. You did it!”

– On Jeb Bush taking things too far with a nickname because “John Ellis Bush” sounds too elitist: “That would be like if Benedict Cumberbatch decided to go by ‘Skeeter.'”

– “I love Hobby Lobby. I went there this morning and bought this cute little wicker basket to hold all my morning-after pills.”

– “Hillary’s campaign slogan is ‘It’s your time,’ which is what I assume is what she says into a mirror while she’s dead-lifting 200 pounds.”

– “Jeb Bush is probably in the race. The presidential race, not the Hispanic race.”

– “Marco Rubio is running for president. When Jeb found out, he said, ‘Ay, dios mio.’”

– “Let’s not forget Martin O’Malley. Oh, I don’t have anything to add. That’s his actual campaign slogan.”

– “Let’s talk about the most important person in the room, my leader: Michelle Obama. Now Michelle, you take care of that garden while you can. In 18 months, you know Bill is turning that thing into an above-ground pool.”

Updated at 12:44 p.m.:

Cecily Strong taped a segment for NBC’s “Meet the Press” — still in her evening gown, God bless her, so presumably she didn’t have to get up early for this — to talk about her performance.

Yes, the president is a hard act to follow, as all her predecessors had warned — not least because the commander-in-chief’s speechwriters sometimes get to the good topical stuff first, forcing Strong to tweak some of her own material on the fly. “I kept checking in with my writers, I know where they were sitting. I would go, ‘Should we keep it, cut it?’ . . . There were two I chose to cut.”

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