Beck Bennett and Kyle Mooney have been on “Saturday Night Live” since 2013, but even for them it was an adjustment to film the most recent season. Season 46 began in October of 2020, with the pandemic resulting in strict protocols for the “SNL” cast and crew, including smaller audiences and limited time together during the week. “It was unlike anything we’ve ever experienced,” admits Mooney in an exclusive new interview for Gold Derby. Watch the exclusive video interview with Mooney and Bennett above.
On top of the limits for production, it was also an election year, which is typically a heightened time for the show. For Bennett, who reprised his role as Mike Pence this season, election years can be an exhilarating time. “To me, that’s when it feels the most like a sport,” he explains. “You know the character, you know how to read the cards, you know how to move with changes, so it’s really fun in that way.” Mooney adds that this early part of the season was “emotionally and physically intense,” especially with the COVID protocols making things more difficult. “For some of us, there was a hope that, ‘Let’s get through this, let’s hope this ends in a way that makes most of us happy and then let’s see what the rest of the season looks like.'”
Should Bennett and Mooney earn their first Emmy nominations this year, they would be asked to submit an episode that best represents their work from the past season. Bennett says he would likely submit the finale, hosted by Anya Taylor-Joy, which features a sketch of the actor playing Vin Diesel and a pre-taped sketch as a dad who accidentally shoots off a very private part. Mooney wants to submit one of the episodes in which he plays Baby Yoda at the Weekend Update desk, where the comedian dons heavy green makeup.
Bennett and Mooney do not yet know if they will return for their ninth season of “SNL” in the fall. While Bennett notes that they are both at the end of their technical contracts with the show, he offers that he will “most likely” be returning. For Mooney, it would be difficult to say goodbye to the cast and crew. “I think that’s truly the best part of the job is the awesome people that we get to hang out with and work with and be inspired by.”
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