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Kristen Wiig Recalls an Unforgettable SNL Sketch Gone Awry

Kristen Wiig Recalls an Unforgettable SNL Sketch Gone Awry


  • Saturday Night Live
    star Kristen Wiig shared a sketch horror story that bombed despite rave reviews, highlighting the unpredictability of live comedy.
  • Wiig’s resilience and adaptability in the face of failure showcase her talent and professionalism, beyond a single setback on SNL.
  • Her legacy on the show is defined by memorable characters like Gilly and the Target Lady, earning her seven Emmy nominations.

Kristen Wiig recently shared a candid recollection of a sketch that, despite high hopes, disastrously bombed on Saturday Night Live. This offered a rare insight into the unpredictable world of sketch comedy.

Speaking with Team Coco, Wiig recounted an experience that stands out for its stark contrast to her usual success. She had co-written a sketch with Jillian Bell that had received rave reviews in the writers’ room. The anticipation was high, but when it came time to perform live, the response was chillingly silent. Wiig described the ordeal as a moment of realization, a reminder of the inherent uncertainties of live performances. Wiig recalled the weight of the silence that followed the initial joke. She revealed:

“I remember Charles Barkley was hosting and I wrote a sketch with Jillian Bell. And it was, for the writers’ room, it got the best reaction I’ve ever had in the history of the time that I was there. I mean like, people were clapping. And when I tell you, when we went to dress. And you know like, when the first joke comes out, and like that’s the sketch, so if they’re not going to laugh at that you’ve got about, it feels like 18 minutes of silence. It was so silent. And I was just looking at other people in the sketch like Andy, and Bill, they’re like looking at me laughing like ‘this is going so terribly.’ It was just absolutely silent. I couldn’t even predict that that was going to happen. But like it’s good also, so then it kind of like keeps you on your toes, you don’t expect certain things, but the way that it bombed was just for the books.”

Wiig, who joined SNL in 2005, quickly ascended from a relative unknown to one of the show’s standout performers. Her knack for creating quirky, endearing characters like the mischievous Gilly and the exuberant Target Lady endeared her to audiences and critics alike. These characters, among others, showcased Wiig’s versatile comedic talent, making her a vital part of the SNL show.

Watch some of the best Saturday Night Live sketches below:

This incident, while humbling, is a testament to the resilience required in the fast-paced world of live television. It shows the unpredictable nature of comedy, where a sketch that resonates with a small group might not necessarily connect with a broader audience. For Wiig, it was a learning experience, a reminder to remain adaptable and expect the unexpected.

Kristen Wiig’s Legacy Beyond a Single SNL Sketch

Wiig’s legacy on SNL is not defined by a single failed sketch but by her overall contribution to the show’s rich tapestry of humor. Her ability to bounce back from setbacks and continue creating memorable characters is a testament to her talent and professionalism. Wiig’s tenure on SNL earned her seven Emmy nominations, a reflection of her impact on the show and the broader comedic landscape.

Since leaving SNL in 2012, Wiig’s career has continued to flourish. She has starred in critically acclaimed films like Bridesmaids and The Skeleton Twins and lent her voice to popular animated movies such as Despicable Me 4. Her recent role in the Apple TV+ series Palm Royale showcases her continued versatility and appeal as an actress.


10 Funniest SNL Moments Where the Actors Broke Character, Ranked

Sometimes it’s just too much, and the actors can’t keep it together.

Wiig’s time on SNL is a narrative of triumphs and trials. Her journey underscores the reality that even the most talented comedians face challenges and that true success is measured by the ability to persevere and evolve. As Wiig’s career continues to unfold, her SNL legacy remains a cornerstone, reminding us of the laughter she brought into our lives and the lessons learned along the way.

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