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While the guests and host Seth Meyers worked on Saturday Night Live together, Rudolph revealed that she saw Armisen perform at a club before the two became co-workers. “I saw him. He didn’t see me, like, we didn’t talk, but he had bleach-blonde hair and he was in a piece he wrote with Mary Lynn Rajskub where they were these Hawaiian conspiracy theorists,” she recalled.
“We’d play audiotapes of politicians — George Bush at the time — and we’d be like, ‘Think,'” Armisen said. “‘Think. Use your heads.'”
Rudolph said, “Immediately I was like, ‘That guy’s a beast.'”
Meyers then brought up one of the earlier SNL sketches the two did together called “The Nunis” in which they played a married couple that worked as art dealers. The characters regularly mispronounced other people’s names.
Meyers shared photos from sketches featuring the characters, including a shot of Rainn Wilson sitting on a chair made of toast and another that featured Meyers sitting in a massage chair. “I don’t remember any of this,” said Rudolph.
The host then asked who came up with the characters. “I think we all think we all did,” said Armisen before explaining that he had a friend from Holland who always corrected how the comedian pronounced his name.
“We wrote it with James Anderson because all great things come from James Anderson,” said Rudolph about the conception of the characters. She added that she had a similar story that may have inspired the characters. “My friend Gretchen told me she went a year abroad, or whatever, a summer abroad after graduation with her friend Shoshanna, and her name is Gretchen and so they met these Italian guys.” She explained that Gretchen and Shoshanna introduced themselves to the men, who couldn’t pronounce Shoshanna’s name.
Meyers then brought up “The Prince Show” sketch, which starred Rudolph as Beyonce and Armisen as Prince. When Prince served as a musical guest on the show, the two tried to get him to act in the sketch.
“We were poised to speak to him after his sound check,” said Rudolph. She explained that his team had told the comedians that Prince was aware that they wanted him in the sketch. “‘We’ve got the script. We showed it to him. He’s gonna play and then he’s gonna talk to you guys after this.’ OK, great. So the stage is right there and we’re standing right there for Prince’s set.”
While it seemed like the perfect opportunity to talk to the singer, Rudolph and Armisen quickly learned that getting to Prince would not be easy. “He finished, takes off his little stuff, jumped off the stage, walked directly toward us, made a 90 degree right turn past us, walked out the double doors and into the elevator and left the building,” recalled Rudolph. “We never talked about it.”
“This is a sketch that has a lot more historical significance than we maybe thought at the time,” said Meyers before introducing the final sketch he wanted to talk about. “Paris Hilton was hosting. Not a show people talk about a ton.” He then showed a photo of himself, Rudolph and Armisen in character as Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump.
“That is so upsetting,” responded Rudolph. “That is a weird thing that happened,” Meyers added.
Rudolph then asked Meyers if that was the week he started a bet about Hilton. “No one could really get Paris Hilton, our host, to engage in any personal conversation. We realized she hadn’t asked any of us a personal question and this one said, ‘The first one she asks a personal question to, I’ll give a hundred bucks,'” she said. “Didn’t ask one person.”
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