Cecily Strong

“What is Oak Park? Characterize it for me,” podcast extraordinaire Marc Maron asked Cecily Strong during her Sept. 28 appearance on his show WTF with Marc Maron. 

Strong, an Emmy-nominated actress for her work on “Saturday Night Live,” dove into her time growing up in Oak Park — the good and the bad. 

“When I grew up [Oak Park] was pretty economically, religiously, and racially [diverse]…I got to grow up around a lot of people and ideas,” said Strong. 

The two comedians discussed how Strong became an actress, her first play being “Grapes of Wrath” at The Village Players on Madison Street when she was 8 years old (she played Ruthie Joad). 

When asked if that was the moment she knew she wanted to be on stage, Strong didn’t hesitate. 

“Oh absolutely,” she said. “My uncle is a producer in New York, and he was always against it until he couldn’t be anymore [laughs].” 

Strong also opened up about her experience at Oak Park and River Forest High School where she was expelled her sophomore year for bringing marijuana to school. 

“The first bag of pot I ever bought, [OPRF] found and I got handcuffed, marched through school and arrested,” said Strong. “Then I got expelled for a semester and went to Catholic school for the end of the year. … to get to the end of the year.” 

You can find the interview on Maron’s podcast feeds where Strong opens up about battling depression, her SNL career, the difference in star treatment in New York versus Chicago and more.

-James Kay

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Dan Haley

Dan was one of the three founders of Wednesday Journal in 1980. He’s still here as its four flags – Wednesday Journal, Austin Weekly News, Forest Park Review and Riverside-Brookfield Landmark – make...