Exclusive: Michaela Watkins 'shocked' by 'SNL' firing
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Bitch, pleeeeze. That sums up my reaction to the news that Saturday Night Live has dropped the hilarious Michaela Watkins from the cast. In just one short year, Watkins gave birth to a slew of memorable characters and impersonations, most notably bitchpleeze.com blogger Angie Tempura and Today‘s Hoda Kotb. (Watkins’ co-star Casey Wilson was also axed.) What the heck was Lorne Michaels thinking? Dude’s not talking so I tracked down the next best thing: Michaela herself.
What was Lorne Michaels thinking?
MICHAELA WATKINS: I don’t think anyone knows what Lorne Michaels was thinking. That’s one of the exciting things about him. If he were to vanish the show would just freeze. Not a single thing would be shot because so much hinges on him.
What explanation did he give you?
WATKINS: The only explanation I got from him — and he’s not known to say things just to make people feel better — was that he felt deep down that I should have my own show. And I agreed. SNL was a dream come true for me. It was a fantastic year. I don’t have any regrets.
Lorne fired you because he thought you were good enough to get your own show? What am I missing here?
WATKINS: You tell me. I honestly don’t know. What he said is he’s trying to get what’s best for him and best for me. He said it had nothing to do with talent. And I’m just going to go on that. That was his only explanation. He’s looking at the whole mix of the show and maybe he feels that what I bring would be better served on a sitcom. They hired two new gals [Jenny Slate and Nasim Pedrad] that I think are going to be exquisite.
What was your reaction?
WATKINS: Shock. And sadness [because] it just felt premature. But on some level I feel like there are so many opportunities and things that I want to do in the future and now they’ll just happen sooner rather than later.
Did you and Lorne get along?
WATKINS: Yes. I really like him. I have a ton of respect for the man. He’s also a businessman and he thinks about things that I don’t think about and that might be reflected in this decision. I think this was more of a business decision than it was about talent. I know how much [airtime] featured players get and I surpassed my own expectations.
Have you heard from any of your former cast members?
WATKINS: Yes. They’ve been terrific. Last night we went out and had a farewell dinner with a lot of wine. [Laughs]
What’s next? Are you going to take Lorne up on his advice and pursue your own show?
WATKINS: Yes. I just want to make people laugh, and I want to do that the best way possible.
What do you think of SNL‘s decision to drop Watkins? Sound off below!
The original late-night comedy sketch show from the one and only Lorne Michaels.