Ahead of her—and her sister Emily’s—star-studded Audible audio series Heads Will Roll (launching May 2), the SNL star, 35, reflects on her many role models and how her childhood was just a big joke.
MY EARLIEST COMIC INSPIRATION
My dad would quote [Saturday Night Live’s stop-motion character] Mr. Bill and say, “Oooh n0000.” He would also quote the land-shark. I just thought those were American phrases people said. SNL was part of the DNA of our house, for sure.
THE MOMENT I KNEW I WAS FUNNY
In elementary school I started doing impressions of my teachers and found that my classmates were laughing. I thought, “Ooh, this feels good. I’ll try to do this for as long as I can.”
COMEDIANS I GREW UP IDOLIZING
Catherine O’Hara from her work in the Christopher Guest movies; Tracey Ullman; Molly Shannon, Ana Gasteyer, Cheri Oteri, and Will Ferrell from SNL. I watched SNL [starting at age 13], and the part at the end where everyone hugs on stage, I’d think, “Oh my God, if I don’t get to do that…. I have to be there. That’s the most fun you could ever have.” I think of that every time I do it each week.
STAND-UP SPECIALS I RESPECT THE MOST
I’ve watched Ellen DeGeneres’ Here and Now  and Jerry Seinfeld’s I’m Telling You for the Last Time  about 70 times. I know them by heart.
Lorne Michaels taught me to infuse everything with a little bit of joy and heart.
DEFINING MOMENT ON SNL
Playing Hillary Clinton [after the 2016 election at the piano] was a high-impact moment for everyone, no matter which way you voted. It was a big week for our country. I was so worried about messing up the piano, that was really all I was thinking about. It’s historically been a problem if you have ever been to any of my childhood piano recitals.