Now & Then Edgy Comedians
Age: 36. Currently in her fifth SNL season, Wiig has also made her mark in films like Knocked Up and Adventureland.
Age: 57. There at the start of SNL, Newman has since found success voicing animation. “I love it,” says the mother of two teens. “It lets me be a mom.”
Are you fans of each other’s characters?
NEWMAN: Oh God, yes.
WIIG: I don’t know a lot of the names, but of course Connie Conehead, and the Valley Girl—
NEWMAN: Sheri, yeah. I tried never to repeat characters. It was dumb of me because it kind of made me invisible.
WIIG: I don’t think you were ever invisible.
NEWMAN: Where do I start? The two A-holes, and the Target Lady, and Aunt Linda—everything!
Has SNL‘s comedy changed in 35 years?
NEWMAN: I look at it kind of like the Olympics: What gymnasts could do in 1975 is nothing compared to what they can do now.
WIIG: I think people pay much more attention to the political stuff we’re doing now. I don’t know if it’s just the times, or that there’s so much that’s able to be parodied recently.
NEWMAN: From a technical standpoint, I see all the hairpieces, and wardrobe, and technology—that’s just dazzling to me. When I think about our skits it’s like the Stone Age!
The show always pushed boundaries, though …
NEWMAN: I was the first person to ever say “sucks” on television.
NEWMAN: I was also the first to say “pissed off.”
WIIG: That’s an honor!
NEWMAN: I had to personally apologize to the NBC censor—but boy, today they pass me by!
Is anything the same?
NEWMAN: The schedule.
WIIG: The norm is to go in at 3 p.m., go home at 7 the next morning.
NEWMAN: It’s definitely the domain of the young.
And behind the scenes?
WIIG: Just tons of drugs and sex stories. Nothing anyone wants to hear.