All of my favorite actresses are comedians at heart: Shirley MacLaine and Madeline Kahn, Diane Keaton and Debra Winger. And they are all amazing dramatic actresses, but everything they do is funny.
Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph – when they speak, everyone listens. Because they’re freaking hilarious.
At my wedding, I was dancing so furiously that I fell hard on my kneecaps. The next morning, my knees were so swollen that I had to get a wheelchair at the airport to go on my honeymoon.
Both my parents were working in politics when I was growing up, so going on stage was not that great a leap.
Debra Winger blows me away, always.
Especially with Facebook and Instagram and Twitter, I can’t tell necessarily the nitty gritty of what you’re really up to. I’m just seeing the performance of all the work you’re doing and the look you’re giving; it’s very hard to get to the center. It’s very hard to see what’s what.
Even before I got on ‘SNL’ I assumed I would do some type of sitcom; I kind of thought that was how I would start. I don’t mean to sound arrogant – I just thought I would be best suited to the form.
Everything related to ‘SNL,’ that was very sudden – from the time I found out I was joining the cast to the time I could read on a blog that someone watching the show thinks I’m fat, that was about 30 days. That blog part, that could’ve moved a little more slowly. But hey – it’s all material, right?
Frankly, ‘Bride Wars’ got made because movies with women need to be about weddings and love.
I actually do enjoy the Kardashians’ show, and I know that other people do enjoy it, but at the same time, they want to make fun of it. Like, I know that girls are watching that show – I’m just the only one courageous enough to say it. Other people are courageous in acts of war, but I’m courageous in my love for the Kardashians.
I am riveted by Phaedra Parks and her performance of herself. She kills me.
I can never turn my creativity off.
I didn’t have the greatest ride on ‘SNL,’ but I always felt support from gay fans, which made me feel accepted within a place I didn’t feel totally accepted.
I don’t love to fail.
I guess funny people are attracted to funny people, and then you get comedy marriages.
I have never turned to my girlfriend and said, ‘Oh, okay, babe,’ and I see it in scripts all the time.
I know this is a weird niche, but a lot of my female friends have these strange stories where there their dads have seen the small successes of their daughters and have decided that they are creative as well.
I love Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Adele.
I love Nene Leakes, of course.
I love the area I grew up in, which is right outside D.C., in Alexandria, Virginia.
I love the idea of someone getting knocked down repeatedly, but they still believe in love.
I still am not a size two – I don’t think I could get there if I wanted to.
I think the key to working with my husband is that collaboration in comedy is best.
I think there’s almost nothing that I won’t, sadly, do for a laugh. It’s a problem, actually.
I took a clown class at NYU – that’s where I met June Diane Raphael, my writing partner and best friend.
I use a method approach to all my sitcom work.
I want to see a ton more comedy for women.
I went on the road with Hillary Rodham Clinton when she was out campaigning.
I went to drama school at NYU for serious acting. So I was doing Chekov and Sam Shepard plays.
I’ll take discrimination if it’s in my favor!
I’m a voyeuristic American.
I’m getting into all sorts of L.A. things. I go to bikram yoga, I went to an astrologer recently… I’m accepting L.A. for who she is. She’s a dark temptress.
I’m in therapy, and I think everyone should be.
I’m the girl that writes feverishly in my tiny trailer on set.
I’ve always been very animated.
I’ve met architects before, and they’re not living the life we see on TV.
I’ve started meditating, but I do have a quick temper.
If Damon Wayans is not breaking, it’s a miracle. He is so funny that he makes everyone die laughing.
If you can have a laugh with someone, you’re then in each other’s world.
If you have a sense of your place in the world, that’s the best preparation for anything.
If you’re going to be part of a nationally televised show that airs live and do sketches that haven’t even been brainstormed a week earlier, you really can’t be afraid to fail.
Instead of going into politics, I decided to go into comedy, which is the second most daunting career path for a woman.
It’s always great to get to do what you love and to do something that hopefully people will see and love.
It’s certainly strange to do sketch comedy with cue cards at midnight in a skyscraper as opposed to in a basement with your friends.
Jake Johnson is one of my oldest friends.
Kenya Moore is everything to me. She’s everything.
Molly Shannon, for example, is someone I’ve always really looked up to, because her comedy is so physical and wild and unembarrassed and brave.
My dad always said that 90 percent of marital problems could be solved by getting your blood sugar up, and he’s right! So I would say pick a partner who’s forgiving when you have low blood sugar and threaten to drive your car through your shared home.
My dad would write these sketches for me while I was at ‘SNL.’
My dad’s cool. He is socially liberal.
My goal is to generate more material for myself.
My mom always worked, and I certainly don’t want to look back and think, ‘Well, I don’t have kids, but I’m glad I did that sitcom.’
My mom worked tirelessly on getting equal rights for women.
My mom’s brother was gay, and he actually passed away from AIDS when I was 13. He was quite a character, but he also worked at the electrical plant, so he was this complicated guy with a big laugh who would wear a trucker hat and do impressions. He was gay, but to me, Uncle Alan was just the funniest person in the world.
My parents are both super funny, and I always knew I wanted to be on ‘SNL.’ My mom and I would watch it a lot.
New York is hard living. It’s fun living, but it’s hard.
Not everyone is married at 25 and taken care of.
On ‘Saturday Night Live,’ you wear so many hats there. You’re the prop person, the actor, you’re everything.
Once I made a boyfriend dress up as Woody Allen from ‘Annie Hall.’
Pageants are already ridiculous and sad, I think.
Posturing is funny to me.
So many shows don’t have laugh tracks now that, when you hear it, it can be slightly jarring.
Something that’s good in the mini-culture of ‘Happy Endings’ is that the goal is to try and make each other laugh. There is a pretty high bar, and you want to make the writers laugh, and you want to elevate what’s already great material – and also, we’re like, ‘Who is even watching this? Let’s just go for it.’
Somewhere along the way, I think I realised that taking yourself seriously is the worst thing that you can do in life, so once I let that go, I’ve just let it all go. I have no standard of personal dignity.
The alternative comedy scene is actually pretty small, I guess.
The comedian just wants to get a laugh.
The down-side of these huge-budget movies is that so many people have a hand in them, sometimes they come out a little more vanilla.
The more money you spend, the more you need to make back, and the more pressure there is to appeal to everyone – which to the studio means that the specificity and uniqueness must be watered down. But I think mass audiences like things that are more specific and tend to have a voice, like ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ or ‘Superbad.’
The woman I’d want to meet the most is Nicole Holofcener. I’ve loved every single film she’s done. I think her films are deeply comedic while being deeply disturbing and dark.
There are sometimes concerns about being respectful with a gay character, and you either end up with a tiptoeing quality or an all-out cliche.
There’s a creative freedom with being under the radar. But I guess if you’re too under the radar, you get canceled?
What I think is funny is when people, despite tragic situations, are still hopeful, still trying. It’s sweet and sad – and, to me, hilarious.
When I was 13, I was in my tent at Girl Scout camp, trying to change out of my bathing suit and talking at the same time. I fell out of the tent in front of everyone with my bathing suit around my ankles. I was humiliated – but no amount of humiliation has ever seemed to stop me.
When you move to New York, especially, you feel like you need to be something.
When you’re on a road trip, anything goes.
With agents, I’ve learned to bring them into the process when I feel confident. You’re the only one that can really know what’s right for your career. You’re on a wing and a prayer through most of it.
You can’t always tell if someone’s gay over Twitter, but when he’s talking to you about ‘Real Housewives,’ it’s probably OK to assume.
You only feel as good as your last sketch.