It’s been a weird year for a lot of people in the entertainment industry as they have either had to take a break from working or get used to myriad new safety rules while on set. One of the most notable productions to get back to work has been Saturday Night Live, the mainstay sketch comedy series that actually figured out a way to continue filming during lockdown. Now the show’s back on set, there’s been a bit more work than normal, and Colin Jost hilariously recalled complaining about it to his mom.
Colin Jost was recently promoting his new movie Tom and Jerry on an episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers when he realized he finally had someone to commiserate with in regards to SNL’s long days and weeks producing new episodes. Telling Seth Meyers he’d been working for “five weeks straight” with Meyers referred to as a “punishing schedule,” Jost also admitted he was happy to get sympathy from a fellow former SNLer. Most people just don’t get it.
Yeah, mentally I think a lot of us are hitting a breaking point. But it’s very hard -- it’s extremely hard -- to complain when you work at a comedy show. [To] be like, ‘We worked five weeks in a row!’ You [Seth Meyers] understand, but to any sort of normal, functioning human, they’re like ‘Uh huh.’
Colin Jost went on to share that he had tried to gain some sympathy from the one person who is supposed to be in his corner all the time: his mom. Unfortunately, his mom was a badass nurse for years and seems to have a no-nonsense attitude about work.
You know, you can’t like complain. Like with my parents I’m like, ‘Yeah Mom, you know you can’t believe I’m working five weeks in a row. And she’s like, ‘Yeah, I worked just in like hospitals for six years straight without a week off, so yeah, no that must be tough.’ [I’m] like, ‘Yeah, OK that’s harder.’
Look, when it is airing Saturday Night Live is not known for having the best hours. Monday-Saturday the cast members and writers are in grind, grind, grind mode in order to ideate, write, practice different jokes and ideas, go through the rigmarole of costumes, the brutal dress rehearsal where sketches are cut and more all in order to present a live show, live from New York, on Saturday night. It’s not an easy week, and the show famously has tended in past years to go out and have big after parties on Saturday nights after episodes air to blow off steam.
But, of course, with the pandemic even that has changed. Colin Jost also noted to Seth Meyers that the show is weird. It’s quiet on set. It’s hard to get notes from people in masks and, of course, there’s far less camaraderie to keep you going day in and day out. It must be particularly weird for the new featured players on set, though in some ways I suppose they at least don’t know what they are missing.
Colin Jost went on to say that he has had an occasional hall beer with one of the other cast members, but it doesn’t work great because they’ll just be like shouting at one another down a long hallway in order to maintain a safe distance. So, yes, if you’ve been wondering how things have been going at SNL, it’s been as weird for that profession as it has for many others in 2021.
The good news for Colin Jost is that he should be getting a break this week, as SNL is on hiatus after a promising appearance from Promising Young Woman’s Carey Mulligan. We’ll keep you updated as soon as the next upcoming Saturday Night Live guest hosts are announced. In the meantime, take a look at what’s coming with our full TV schedule.