On the red carpet on Saturday Night Live's 40th anniversary special, the star also shared the sketch he wish he'd starred in

By Lanford Beard
Updated February 16, 2015 12:00 PM
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Credit: Danny Moloshok/Reuters/Landov

Fred Armisen has a very simple, very personal reason for why he wanted to be on Saturday Night Live: his mom!

Armisen told reporters on the red carpet of Sunday night’s 40th anniversary special that he first discovered SNL when he was a child: “My mom used to watch it and she used to say, ‘I love Chevy Chase.’ She’s from Venezuela. This is all about impressing my mom.”

Thanks to that push in the right direction, Armisen eventually found his way in front of SNL creator Lorne Michaels and landed what turned into an 11-year gig. In fact, Armisen is one of the top “not ready for prime time players” based on his number of appearances (856) and impressions (99).

The gig also hooked him up with SNL‘s then-head writer Seth Meyers, whose Late Night band Armisen, 48, now fronts.

One of Armisen’s only regrets? He arrived at the sketch show a little too late: “I’m mad that I wasn’t on ‘Sprockets,’ ” he says. “I’m mad. I would’ve loved it.”

Reporting by JESSICA FECTEAU