‘Shrill,’ ‘SNL’ Star Aidy Bryant On Finding Her Confidence On Stage In Chicago

We talked about, what if we could put that in something? So we wrote it with Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider and thinking, they'll never put this on the show, it's too maybe harsh for NBC to hear "dyke" and "fats."

We asked (then "SNL" head writer) Seth Meyers about it and he said, "Put it at the table, why not? Let's see." And it did very well at the table read and so, yeah, I couldn't believe they let us make it.

It's truly one of my favorites and one of my proudest, because we were pretty new to the show still. I love it, I think it takes some of the power and pain out of those words.

Q: I know everyone has been asking you how much longer you see yourself on "SNL" ...

A: I know, and I wish I had a gorgeous answer. I'm kind of just approaching it the way I approach everything in my entire career, which is one day at a time. And I think it will suddenly become very clear to me that, OK, I can't manage both these things. Or, I want to take a break. But I'm not quite there yet.

In my early days there, it was all-consuming and it took every ounce of energy and strength to be there, I was so scared. But it's really different now. Now I love going there. It's relaxing. Even doing all this press, I've been like (happy sigh), I get to go back to "SNL" next week! It's a comfort level but also a protective level, where you're in this bubble, and I feel so relieved to be going back next week in a weird way, you know? Because I'll get to relax (laughs) which is an insane thing to say! I just love being there.

Q: Do you feel like at this stage you can be the person who helps newer performers find their way?

A: Yes! Fred Armisen was that for me. And Kenan Thompson, and Bill Hader and Jason Sudeikis. They all helped me so much in different ways when I was starting, even just understanding the mechanics of, "Hey, that's your camera and that's your single (shot) and that's the wide (shot)." Who knows any of that when you first start? And it's live, so if you don't hit your mark or whatever, now you're blocking someone else's shot because your shoulder is in their single. So not only are you trying to perform comedy, but you're trying to manage those technical elements. And unless someone explains it to you patiently and thoughtfully and shows you the difference, you're not going to know.

Q: I assumed there was a person there, a producer or someone, specifically to show new cast members the ropes about those things.

A: No! There's nobody! Nobody tells you anything! It's trial by fire. So that's why I'm so grateful to them.

And also, if you look at what I'm doing, I'm fully stealing the Fred Armisen model: I shoot in Portland, I use his exact same crew (from "Portlandia"), I'm shooting in the summer just like he did (when he was also simultaneously on "SNL"), his partner on "Portlandia" Carrie Brownstein directed one of our episodes. I just adore him.

So I hope I could be any kind of help the way those people helped me.

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