Jason Sudeikis Shares What Working On SNL With Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph And Co. Taught Him

Jason Sudeikis on Saturday Night Live
(Image credit: NBC)

It's safe to say that Jason Sudeikis has become one of Saturday Night Live’s most successful alumni, having since starred on the Emmy-winning comedy Ted Lasso and much more. Sudeikis started out as a writer on the show before becoming a cast member from 2005 to 2013. At the time, he joined alongside the likes of Andy Samberg and Bill Hader, with Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, and more being the series' veterans. Looking back at this time, Sudeikis shared what working with Fey, Rudolph, and other SNL vets ultimately taught him.

Not unlike the great cast shakeup before Season 48, there was a bit of a transition taking place at SNL when Jason Sudeikis became a key performer. He had been a writer since 2003 but being in front of the camera was different. Seasoned cast members like Tina Fey and Maya Rudolph, meanwhile, were inching toward the end of their stints on the show. Thankfully, they stayed on a bit longer and were able to help the new guns get used to TV sketch comedy. While speaking at the Indeed FutureWorks 2022 conference (via CNBC), Sudeikis could do nothing but praise Fey, Rudolph and Amy Poehler for their leadership:

It was a job I never thought I’d get. Then when I moved into the cast, I came in with Andy Samberg, Bill Hader, and Kristen Wiig, this new generation [of comedians] that really took off. We were all thrown in the deep end together with people like Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Maya Rudolph, all these great senior leaders that we just tried to keep up with.

One would imagine that the guidance provided by those stars was invaluable for the series' newcomers. Of course, the SNL staples surely knew what it was like to be a newbie. It probably goes without saying that EP Lorne Michaels and co. were sad to lose those stars. At the time, Fey was preparing to star in and produce the NBC sitcom 30 Rock, which led to her exit in 2006. Poehler and Rudolph would leave the sketch comedy staple in 2008 and 2007, respectively. Luckily though, thanks to them, Sudeikis, Wiig, Hader, and Samberg ushered in a new era for the long-running series.

Working with the well-established stars allowed the Horrible Bosses alum to really observe how his colleagues moved on and off set. Ultimately, it would seem that the actor learned a very simple -- yet incredibly important -- lesson from working with the vets. He continued:

Pay attention to the people who have carved a path slightly ahead of you.

It goes without saying that the actor has taken that to heart and, as he further explained, that's also taught him to find “harmony” between his personal and professional lives and to be sure he's “having fun” while doing so. The multi-Emmy winner has struck a balance between being a Hollywood star and a father of two. 

Things have worked out for Jason Sudeikis, as he starred in numerous TV shows since leaving SNL in 2013. Before his consecutive Emmy wins for his sports comedy, Sudeikis starred in Fox’s Son of Zorn while recurring on shows like Eastbound and Down and The Last Man on Earth. He's also starred in a number of notable films. At present, fans are eagerly awaiting Ted Lasso Season 3, which was allegedly been held up due to creative changes. Until the release date is announced, you can watch the first two seasons of the show using an Apple TV+ subscription. And to see Sudeikis act alongside Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey and more, stream classic Saturday Night live episodes using a Peacock subscription.

Adreon Patterson
News Writer

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).