Kate McKinnon is taking her comedy to Audible. Starting today, the Saturday Night Live star and her sister, Emily Lynne, can be heard on Heads Will Roll, an audio-only original scripted comedy that plays out over 10 episodes.
McKinnon plays the evil Queen Mortuana of the Night Realm, while Lynne takes over as her ditzy raven, JoJo. The duo receive a prophecy about a peasant uprising, so they go on the search for the Shard of Acquiescence to help stave off the rebellion.
Crazy, right? Here, EW checked in with McKinnon and actress/writer Lynne (Our Cartoon President) about the comedy’s evolution, how they pulled it together, and whether there was any real argument over who would play the evil queen.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did this all begin? And for Audible!
EMILY LYNNE: I think we had a dream about writing something about an evil queen. Like a Vanessa Redgrave type from the ’80s.
KATE MCKINNON: It’s quite an old art form but it’s making a comeback, which is so exciting. We got this opportunity and thought, “Oh, maybe we can do that evil queen idea we always wanted to do.” We wouldn’t have to build a castle and stuff, so cool!
LYNNE: We can make it as big as we wanted it to be, which is very exciting.
Did you start doing skits together when you were young?
MCKINNON: Emily, you made more videos with your friends.
LYNNE: That’s true. I went to film school. Oh boy.
MCKINNON: We both watched the same movies. We had a limited number of VHS cassettes that we watched. We watched The Producers once a week for five years, on Sundays. We memorized them over and over and started to speak to each other in quotes from those movies. To this day, it’s a film language that no one can understand. We speak in code.
LYNNE: Our mom encouraged it. She was very funny.
MCKINNON: Our father was very funny as well. Everyone was doing voices throughout the house.
Did you go into this with a specific goal?
MCKINNON: We wanted it to be as funny as possible. We get to do all these voices that we wanted to do, that we had not been able to do in any of our previous work. We also wanted it to be grounded in this sisterhood, the story of my life, this relationship that is everything to me. I think Emily feels the same.
LYNNE: I do!
How did you decide who played the queen?
LYNNE: Kate was clearly the queen and I’m her ditzy shoulder raven — which is kind of like our dynamic in real life, but not quite.
MCKINNON: No, you’re such a genius. I always was obsessed with Maleficent. I just always wanted to be Maleficent. Why? I consider myself something of a nice person. I don’t know why I wanted to be such an evil tyrant. But that’s my deal.
LYNNE: It was fun. We would go to a workspace or either of our apartments. We just wrote away for hours on end. It was a blast.
MCKINNON: We got help initially from our SNL friends. They pitched all these ideas, and we wrote them up.
You two seem to get along so well. Did you ever argue during the process?
MCKINNON: We’ve never had a fight.
LYNNE: We’ve never had one.
MCKINNON: There was just this one time when I was a bitch to her about having bed bugs, and I’m so sorry.
LYNNE: It’s okay. It’s fine.
MCKINNON: I was scared.
LYNNE: I understand. The bed bugs were not even in my room. They were confined. So don’t worry.