Former Saturday Night Live writer, current Insecure writer and actor, and all-around delightful funny person Natasha Rothwell talked some shop with Late Night host and fellow SNL veteran Seth Meyers on Tuesday. It’s always interesting when Meyers and a former SNL colleague talk shop, and Rothwell—who showed off some of the sketches presumably too good for SNL in her episode of The Characters—had some fine anecdotes about a particular, star-jammed, momentously awkward night from her time on the show.
Rothwell and Meyers reminisced about SNL’s 40th anniversary special, with Meyers admitting that there are nights where even jaded cast members and writers realize that there are celebrities—and then there are celebrities. Rothwell could relate, as she told of how she spent most the night playing wallflower, seemingly only venturing out to repeatedly collide with the nearest possible megastar. Megastars presumably have their own gravitational pull. She bumped into Prince. (“No it’s not!,” she says she blurted in response Prince’s graciously Prince-like, “It’s all right, baby.”) Fleeing in shame, she almost did the same to Leonardo DiCaprio. (“No!,” she similarly cried when Leo asked if she were okay.) So, with a brief stopover to admire Bill Murray dancing like nobody was watching (everybody was watching), she took up what she thought was a safe spot near the studio entrance. And that’s when Beyoncé walked in. Realizing that all attention in the room was suddenly directed right at her (well, right next to her) set Rothwell into a giggle fit at the “fever dream” her night had become.
Now that Rothwell is finding her own celebrity outside of the SNL writers room, what with stealing scenes as Insecure’s hilariously outspoken Kelli, she told Meyers that the show’s “it’s not TV, it’s HBO” raciness is an occasional trial for her otherwise supportive parents. (Her former drama students from KIPP NYC College Prep HS in the Bronx text her some appreciative taunting every time Kelli does something dirty.) The real-life outspoken Rothwell (sporting a T-shirt reading “Pro Black, Pro Brown, Pro Queer, Pro Trans, Pro Science, Pro Choice, Pro Hoe”) also has dog named after Say Anything’s Lloyd Dobler, which isn’t especially relevant to the writer and actress’ accelerating career path, but is pretty adorable, nonetheless.