Before she became a famous comedic actress, Julia Louis-Dreyfus began her career on the show “Saturday Night Live”, although she eventually hated the experience. The sketch comedy series, which has been broadcast on NBC since 1975, includes several iconic cast members, and many graduates of the show have become real stars. Although many former actors, such as Kristen Wiig and Laraine Newman, look back fondly on their work at SNL, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is an example of someone who spent far from stellar time there.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus was only 21 years old when she joined the Saturday Night Live program in 1982, making her the youngest cast member at that time. Prior to her participation in the series — long before her success as Elaine in Seinfeld — Louis-Dreyfus studied theater at Northwestern University and performed in the Chicago improvisational group “Second City”, as well as in the Chicago Practical Theater troupe. Her performance at the latest “Golden 50th Anniversary Jubilee” led to an invitation to join Saturday Night Live. On SNL, Louis-Dreyfus’ recurring characters included Patty Lynn Hannsaker, a teenage Weekend Update correspondent, and April May June, a televangelist, and she impressed various celebrities such as Ali McGraw and Andie McDowell. Julia Louis-Dreyfus was on SNL for three seasons, from 1982 to 1985.
During a Q&A with Stephen Colbert, Julia Louis-Dreyfus revealed that her experience on “Saturday Night Live” was a “pretty brutal time” (through people). she felt naive and didn’t understand the dynamics of SNL. She also described the set at one time in the early-mid 80s as “very sexist” with rampant drug use. Louis-Dreyfus became close to Larry David, who worked for a year as a screenwriter on SNL in the last year of his life, because they both felt unhappy in the series. She also told Colbert that her experience with SNL taught her an important lesson: “I realized I wouldn’t do this showbiz shit anymore if it wasn’t fun. I don’t have to walk and crawl through that nasty glass if it doesn’t ultimately bring satisfaction, and so I kind of moved forward from that point on. Since then, I have applied the pleasure counter to every job, and it has been very useful.”
What Julia Louis-Dreyfus Did after SNL
After leaving the show “Saturday Night Live” Julia Louis-Dreyfus starred in the movie “Troll”. Soon after, she landed the role of Elaine Benes in the Larry David-created 90s sitcom Seinfeld, which lasted nine seasons and earned her an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy in 1996. The role in the CBS series “The New Adventures of Old Christine” from 2006 to 2010 and received her first Emmy Award for Best Actress in a comedy series. Louis-Dreyfus also received critical acclaim and praise for her role as Selina Meyer in the HBO political satire “Vice President”, for which she also worked as a producer, and won the Primetime Emmy Awards six times in a row. She returned to SNL as a host in 2006, becoming the first former cast member to host the show.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ filmography includes National Lampoon’s Christmas holidays, Pixar films “The Life of a Bug” (as Crown Princess Atta) and “Forward” (as Laurel Lightfoot), as well as the romantic comedy-drama “Enough Said”, in which she starred with the late James Gandolfini and received nominations for Critics’ Choice and Golden Globe”. Most recently, Louis-Dreyfus joined the MCU as Countess Valentina de Fontaine, making his cameo debut at the end of Black Widow and then in two episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Although Julia Louis-Dreyfus did not have the best experience of participating in the show “Saturday Night Live”, it is clear that it was informative for her. It also landed her in one of her biggest roles to date, as SNL is where Louis-Dreyfus and co-creator Seinfeld and longtime showrunner Larry David met and became friends. Promoting SNL’s second hosting gig in 2016, Julia Louis-Dreyfus noted (via CBS News) that “since I’ve been back, I can tell you it’s much more like an equal opportunity environment” compared to the misogynistic conditions she was in. during the 80s. For current and future female stars on Saturday night live, it’s good that times have changed since Julia Louis-Dreyfus was a cast member.