The annals of history are full of funny and famous people who failed to land Saturday Night Live, like Stephen Colbert, Kevin Hart, Zach Galifianakis, and Jennifer Coolidge. Flubbing an SNL audition clearly does not preclude a successful career, as is the case for Aubrey Plaza. Plaza actually did work at the show, as a set design intern (“They loved me because I did not care about set design at all. And they wanted an intern that had no interest in learning what they did”). Yet when it came time for her to try out, she sadly didn’t make the cut.
“I didn’t make it to the Lorne [Michaels] audition, the famous final audition, but I did a preliminary first-round showcase at [the Upright Citizens Brigade].” she tells Jimmy Fallon during an interview on The Tonight Show. “I remember one character I did was like kind of like a Puerto Rican news reporter that was always trying to make all of the news stories sexy, even if they were horrific news stories. And I was just trying to like, sex up the news or something.”
She continues, “The other one was, I was like a pill-popping housewife that had my own talk show called Celebri-Tails, where I would just name celebrities and name what kind of tail they would have if they had a tail. Like I would say, ‘Lindsay Lohan would have a bushy squirrel’s tail.’ Or, like, ‘Bill Clinton would have a polar bear’s nub.’ Or, like, ‘Oprah Winfrey would have a dragon’s…’ it’s just stuff like that. Anyway, I didn’t get on the show, so.”
Without having been at that fateful showcase in which Plaza didn’t get through to the next round, we can’t possibly know if the issue lay with her performance or with the characters themselves. Certainly, a strange audition isn’t an issue anymore: in a new profile for Vulture, current cast member Sarah Sherman reveals she was scouted from a showcase in which she joked about her “pastrami-like pussy lips” and later had a “grotesque” final audition in which she “talked about tying my nipples together with my long nipple hair.”
The “horrific, but make it sexy” news anchor seems almost tame in comparison. Nevertheless, Plaza will host SNL for the first time on Saturday, January 21, so all’s well that ends well!