Gotham magazine and sister publication Hamptons celebrated the launch of its Spring issue with the cast of Saturday Night Live who are on the cover. The event took place at the Four Seasons New York Hotel’s newly unveiled venue, Fifty7 on Monday, Feb. 23. Gotham Publisher Dawn DuBois and Editor-in-Chief Catherine Sabino toasted Saturday Night Live’s 40th Anniversary with the show’s creator and producer Lorne Michaels and cast members: Cecily Strong, Colin Jost, Kyle Mooney, Bobby Moynihan, Jay Pharoah, Taran Killam, Kenan Thompson, Sasheer Zamata, Kate McKinnon, Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Vanessa Bayer, Pete Davidson, Michael Che and Leslie Jones.
Also in attendance were “The Black Lists’s” Amir Arison and Mozhan Marno. Hamptons Publisher Debra Halpert and Editor-in-Chief Samantha Yanks also commemorated the evening with Deleon Tequila cocktails and light bites from Four Seasons Hotel New York. New York’s iconic jeweler Wempe Jewelers also supported the invitation-only event. In this issue, the cast interviews each other about their Saturday Night Live experiences. Kate McKinnon dished to Kenan Thompson about her favorite moment with a host. Jay Pharoah reflected on his Kanye West impressions. The cast go on to open up about their fears and triumphs, how they create their beloved characters week after week, working with their own pop culture icons, favorite SNL moments, and much more.
Gotham is New York’s premiere lifestyle publication, chronicling the best the city has to offer for its most successful and discriminating residents. Gotham reports on what New York insiders want to know, from society events to the latest in fashion, philanthropy, art, culture, real estate, cuisine, celebrity happenings, entertainment, and beauty. In each issue Gotham takes the pulse of the city and curates its content for one of the most exclusive readerships in the world. Read our exclusive red carpet interviews below:
So what is it like to be on the cover of Gotham magazine?
It’s an amazing thing. I’ve never been on the cover of anything before and frankly I never thought I would.
How was SNL 40 for you?
What was your favorite moment from it?
I did a little part in a celebrity jeopardy sketch which I used to memorize when I was a kid and that was amazing.
Who was your favorite celebrity that you met for the first time?
I met a lot of former cast members. I’ve met them over the years, but two that were my favorites that I never met were Molly Shannon and David Harvey. I met them in one fell swoop and that was crazy!
Your favorite SNL cast members from before your time on SNL?
I started watching when it was Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri and Molly Shannon as guest stars.
Who would you want on the show as a musical guest?
Radiohead, we all want Radiohead. We all want Ben Folds to come on the show. We want Ben Folds to host it.
So how does it feel to be on the cover of Gotham magazine?
It’s really amazing, it’s a very cool feeling.
And how was SNL40?
It was very cool. I got to meet a lot of people that I have watched growing up and everything, and so the whole weekend was just really, really cool.
Are there any hosts you would like to have on the show?
I mean it’s funny because they kind of cover a lot of them, they really get a lot of really good hosts and musical guests in so, off the top of my head I can’t think of any, but I’m sure there’s a million.
Any favorite hosts?
There have been a ton of them because we just have a lot of amazing people. I mean Kerry Washington was really great, she was so sweet and funny and great to work with. God, there’s just been a ton, that’s just one out of many.
So how was being on the cover of Gotham Magazine?
Pretty awesome. I got some calls from my parents which is always, I feel like I’ve pleased them the most if I’m in a magazine … they’re like okay great television, but you’re in this magazine.
How was SNL40 last week, any highlights that you want to share?
Lots of highlights. I mean I was saying I think the coolest thing about it was the mix of people. You know where else are you going to see Joe Torre and Derek Jeter hanging out … next to Jack Nicholson and Leonardo DiCaprio and they’re next to Wayne from Arcade Fire and Miley Cyrus. Like those people all mixing was pretty cool to see.
And Tina, Amy and Jane dud the weekend update.
Oh they were so good.
Any weekend update anchors that you like look up to and take inspiration from?
I mean those they’re all very important and for me also I started, Tina was one of the people that hired me on the show. And Amy was there when I started who taught me a lot when I was starting out and wrote with me and was very kind and wrote with me when I started at the show. So those are big role models for me.
I love them so much.
They’re the best and they’re undeniably so funny, and so fun. Amy is the funnest person to ever hang out with and also when I would look back at sketches I loved, so many of them Tina wrote … They’ve worked really hard for now decades to be that good. They’ve put in so much time, it’s great.
Any hosts or musical guests that you want to see in the future?
I’m very excited for Alabama Shakes this week. I thought they were awesome the first time they did the show. I want the Wu-Tang Clan to get back on our show, have a fun reunion show.
What can we expect from SNL coming up in the future?
Definitely sketches, I can almost virtually guarantee a monologue in most of the shows. I think it’s a nice thing right now where there’s a lot of new hosts, new musical guests, like having Dakota Johnson, having Chris Hemsworth … it’s like some fresh blood which I think is also good coming off of a big anniversary, you are introducing a new wave or a new generation of people that might host the show for years to come, which is cool.
So what is it like being on the cover of Gotham Magazine?
It’s the greatest, I’m on the back cover. I didn’t make the front cover …When we did the photo shoot I was in the middle and the guy literally told me I’d probably have a staple in my face. I was actually really hoping for that, I thought that would have been awesome but then they moved me over a couple inches.
So SNL 40 was last week, how was that?
The whole thing was the highlight. I can’t believe it was only last week, it feels like 100 years ago and yesterday. It was the best day ever, I’ve been waiting for that day my entire life. To get to be there and be on the show, it was mind boggling … I’ll be honest, I think I’m a big SNL nerd, I think in the beginning it was like space camp, I couldn’t believe I was on the show. After a couple years it’s a job. Once the 40th started rolling around that SNL nerd love came back, I’ve very much fallen in love with the show again … I remember sitting at home watching the 25th anniversary, being like, “Someday mom,” then waving to her on the goodnight on this one, it was crazy.
You’ve been on SNL for a while, who has your favorite host been? Or favorite musical guest?
It changes. I have a top 5 more than anything. Standing next to Alicia Keys singing New York was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Pearl Jam, just for my own personal, I love them forever, so that was pretty amazing. Hosts, Sigourney Weaver, sticks out to me as somebody who fought for a sketch that I wrote early on, she was really awesome. It changes.
Who would you want to host or musical guest in the future?
My dream show, I always say, is Chris Farley and Notorious BIG, I can’t get that.
So what would you settle for?
So now I want something weird, something that when I was 15 would have been awesome like Jennifer Love Hewitt and Heather Graham hosting together. Somehow Beastie Boys and Parliament-Funkadelic, together … They did a thing in the first or second season of the show where you could send in a postcard, and if they picked your postcard you could host the show. That was a real thing they did. An 80 year old woman named Miskel Spillman, she hosted the show. I thought that was the coolest thing, I think we should bring that back.
So, what is it like for you to be on the cover?
It feels good being with my coworkers feels like family. Feels like I’m at a cookout.
What was your favorite part of SNL 40 from last week?
Just everyone being there. Seeing the stars of so many years ago come through and just to know that they all came from that institution. And then the fact that other stars who aren’t even from the institution showed up to pay homage. That was really beautiful.
Who was your favorite cast member from before your time on SNL?
I got a few. I would say Dana Carvey, Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Farley and you got to put Belushi in there, too.
Who would you want to be on the show?
You know I think they ought to give Trey Songz a chance. I think he should be on. And shout out to VA, Chris Brown needs to come back. And who would I want to host? Margot Robbie. “Margot. What’s up? It’s Jay Pharoah again. Once again I’m talking to you about this thing that we have. You see lady, I know you working with Will Smith, however I can be a thousand more people. So what you need to do, is just to know that I want you to come on the show, and I loved you in “The Wolf on Wall Street.” Those sky highs were amazing. Hallelujah. Sorry. Thank you.
And what is probably your favorite sketch to do on the show?
Favorite sketch to do on the show so far? I don’t know, man. I’ve had so much fun. I mean working with Kerry Washington and doing “What Does My Girl Say” was really fun, though … It’s based on my ex-girlfriend – me and her relationship, but I’m glad that the world thought it was funny.
What is it like being on the cover of Gotham Magazine?
I get my own microphone, so things are looking up. It’s awesome. I mean, to do any magazine cover is crazy, so … I’m not necessarily the guy who’s out there trying to get “Most Handsome in the World” by People Magazine or something. I’m just an actor … I’m involved with a great alumni, and my bros right now in the cast, they all deserve it, they all deserve something like this, so I’m really happy.
And how was SNL 40 like for you?
Yeah, Eddie Murphy was in the house, you know what I’m saying? George Lucas, Steven Spielberg was in the house. It was crazy. Whoopi was in the house, you know what I mean? It was awesome.
What was your favorite sketch that they re-did or they showed on SNL 40?
Keenan: I liked them all, from “Celebrity Jeopardy” down to “Wayne’s World,” you know what I mean? It was just … cool to see even Bob and Marty for a quick second chopping broccoli, and it was awesome to have all those little moments happening right in front of you by the people that did them. And it was also cool for our crew because Dan Aykroyd did “Bass-O-Matic” and the original cameramen from “Bass-O-Matic” were still working there, and it was a reminiscing type of experience, too, so it was cool for everybody.
You’ve been on SNL for a long time. What has been your favorite moment from your entire career at SNL so far?
Probably first walking in in the audition and seeing that hallway and seeing that studio for the very first time. You never forget those moments, you know what I mean? And of course your first show, but I don’t know, man, watching people come in and then do well on the show is cool, too. We’re really happy for Leslie, because she’s blowing up right now.
Who would you want to host?
Will Smith, those big, giant dudes. Denzel could be cool.
So, what is it like for you to be on the cover of Gotham Magazine?
It’s a lot of fun, it’s exciting to be on the cover of anything, for a good reason.
And how was SNL40 for you?
Billy Murray, and Celebrity Jeopardy with Norm and Darryl and those guys, seeing them, their chemistry. It was just cool seeing guys do stuff that you remember them doing for a long time. And they can still do it and it’s still funny, you know? You don’t lose funny. It’s cool to see Eddie Murphy up there.
So how has Weekend Update been like for you?
It’s fun! It’s exciting you know? You get to sit behind a desk and tell jokes.
And who would you want to host or be a musical guest coming up in the future?