‘SNL’s Cecily Strong Slams Texas Abortion Law in Bizarre, Brilliant Weekend Update

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NBC
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Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” had a lot of ground to cover this week—especially given that Ice Cube, a celebrity whom Kenan Thompson has perfectly impersonated before, lost out on a $9 million acting gig in the Sony comedy Oh Hell No! because he refused to get vaccinated. (“My loss? Your loss!” he insists. “Oh Hell No! was gonna feature the greatest comedy duo of all time—Ice Cube, Jack Black.”)

But the real stand-out was Goober, a clown played by Cecily Strong and styled to look a lot like Loonette from the childrens’ series The Big Comfy Couch. The reason for her appearance? To respond to the stringent Texan law that effectively bans abortion after six weeks—because just one day before she turned 23, she had a “clown abortion.”

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“I really don’t [want to talk about this],” Strong’s character said. “But people keep bringing it up, so I gotta talk about freaking abortion... I wish I didn’t have to do this, because the abortion I had at 23 is my personal clown business.”

The segment is as bizarre as it is brilliant—and as wacky as the bit gets, Strong’s performance remains furious throughout. “It’s a rough subject,” her character says, “so we’re gonna do fun clown stuff to make it more palatable. Who wants a balloon animal?”

Strong used the absurdity of her concept and manic quality of her performance to underscore some sobering facts: “Did you know that one in three clowns will have an abortion in her lifetime?” she asked. “You don’t, because they don’t tell you. They don’t even know how to talk to other clowns about it, because when they do talk about it, if you were a clown who wasn’t the victim of something sad like clown-cest, they think your clown abortion wasn’t a ‘righteous clown abortion.’ I mean, what the dick is that?!”

When Colin Jost reminded Strong with a smile that cursing is verboten on SNL, she didn’t miss a beat. “It’s funny, Colin, we’re having fun—just laugh, pull my finger... Laugh! I need it! I need you to laugh so hard, like the way I laughed when the doctor asked if I got pregnant on my way over to the clinic because I wasn’t very far along.”

“Not like a funny-haha joke,” she said, “but like, in a funny, you’re not an awful person and your life isn’t over joke. A-honka honka!”

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