Saturday Night Live has been a foot in the door for some of the biggest stars of the past 40 years, with a rotating roster of up-and-coming actors and comics, but only one boss. Lorne Michaels is the only person you have to impress to get your chance on the show. There are a few openings right now. Can you imagine the pressure of an audition with Michaels? You could be rejected, or you could get a shot at becoming the next John Belushi, Eddie Murphy, or Adam Sandler. The New York Times talked to 22 former SNL cast members about their audition.
SETH MEYERS The hotel I was staying at, everybody was somebody who’d been flown in for the audition. If you went and got ice, you would hear snippets of auditions. Everybody else’s stuff sounds better than yours.
KRISTEN WIIG They said the audition should be five minutes long, and do not go over five minutes. I ended up buying a stopwatch because I was so nervous. I would time it and it would say “5:02,” and I would be like, “I’m going to get this in five minutes exactly.” Then I heard that some people were out there for 11 minutes. I was like, “What?”
BILL HADER I got in an elevator, and there was a guy who was also auditioning, and I thought: “That guy brought a lot of props. I didn’t bring anything.” And he was looking at me, going, “That guy didn’t have to bring any props.” We were just sizing each other up in the elevator. And that was Andy Samberg.