It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not just because of Christmas. Because Saturday Night Live’s Christmas show, happening this weekend (to be hosted by our favorite comedy BFFs, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler). What’s in store? The Sisters stars got real about returning to their old stomping grounds, monologue freak-outs and after-party boozing in a Q&A with USA TODAY.
What makes the Christmas shows so epic?
Amy: “(Going back) weirdly feels comfortable … There’s so many people at SNL who were there when we were there, so many people behind the scenes and so many on a producer level. I have so good memories of those Christmas shows. They were major. They were just really special.”
Tina: “In that neighborhood at Christmas, it’s so beautiful. It’s madness but there are all these underground ways to get upstairs. But also the cast is about to go on vacation so… “
Amy: “…everyone’s super happy. I saw Taran Killam the other day, and I was explaining to someone about the Christmas show, and they were asking him, ‘Why is the Christmas show so fun?’ And he was like, ‘Well it’s a special thing…‘ And I was like, ‘No. It’s because the cast is getting ready for a three-week break and they’re going to party hard that night at the party.’ And also there’s a lot of their family and friends in the audience. That makes for a good show.”
Do you still get pre-show jitters?
Tina (to Amy): “I don’t know if you had this experience, but when I hosted, the first time especially, I went through all the behaviors that I had seen hosts do where Friday night I was like, ‘What’s the monologue?! We don’t have the monologue!’ I had all the same anxieties (they did). I could see it from the outside like, you’re being crazy. But I couldn’t not do it.”
Amy: “(Hosting) is a total blur. There is a wonderful relief as a host that you don’t have as cast member – which is that you know that you’re going to be on the show.”
Is the Monday morning pitch meeting different as a former cast member?
Tina: “One of the times I hosted, they had that pitch meeting and this was where my experience burned me. I could sit in that pitch meeting and I was like, ‘Every one of these pitches is a lie.’ And my blood started to boil. I wanted to be like, ‘Why are you lying to me! I know these pitches are lies!'”
Amy (nodding): “A lot of times if you don’t have an idea on Monday you just pitch bulls—-. You fake it.”
Tina: “And I was like, ‘Ugh, these kids. These kids don’t work hard enough.’ But that was years ago. This was not the current crop.”
Your alumni status must make it easier to bring in ideas of your own, though.
Tina: “Not that they’ll necessarily make it. I’ve gone back in the past even if to help out with someone else and you go, ‘I got this.’ And it dies at (table) reads and you go, ‘Oh yeah, this is still hard.'”
Amy: “I remember when (Chris) Pratt was hosting I wrote something for him and was like, ‘He’s going to nail this.’ And they didn’t pick it.”
What’s the best part about hosting together?
Amy: “It’s like double the fun, half the work!”
Tina: “It’s going to be easy and delightful.”