What Hosting ‘SNL’ Was Really Like For Lena Dunham
From September to May (almost every week), another celebrity puts on their hosting cap and clambers onto the stage at 30 Rock to lead the most famous sketch crew around. What is it like, to be up there? Well, Girls mastermind Lena Dunham, who hosted in March, went over the experience in an interview with Fred Armisen in Variety. The answer is that it’s mostly fun and inevitably nerve-wracking.
“I still, by the way, have three dreams a week where someone’s like, “It’s an emergency! You’ve gotta come back and host ‘SNL,’” and I’m like, “I don’t know any of the sketches!” That’s like my new version of a no-underpants-in-high-school dream,” Dunham said.
Despite the inevitable anxiety, Dunham found the experience a good one, overall.
“It was truly one of the most valuable experiences of my entire life. Like, creatively, delivery-wise, like stretching my own limits, learning like it really felt like that thing where I am a fetus and I’m doubling my size in the first few weeks of my life,” she said. “I had to just get out of the way and let the people who do this job so well do it because even though I’m used to having a certain amount of control in my workplace, I have a different kind of workplace. “
“It was like, ‘Lena, you are going to just sit down and shut up and wear whatever weird mustache is handed to you.’ I don’t know anyone who’s hosted who’s had a bad experience. Everyone I’ve spoken to since says, ‘Was that not the best week of your entire life?’” she continued.
Dunham even got the nod from SNL’s longtime impresario, Lorne Michaels. “Then he gave me this nod in the middle of the show when he was walking the floor, that was like, things are going ok,” Dunham said. “I was just ‘ok, I can enjoy the rest of this ‘cause I made eye contact with Lorne and it felt good.’”
She got our nod of approval too. In case you forgot what an awesome job Dunham did on SNL, here’s a handy reminder.