Julia Louis-Dreyfus will return this weekend to “Saturday Night Live,” where she began her career over two decades ago.
“It’s exactly the same schedule and pattern as it was 21 years ago — except more fun,” Louis-Dreyfus told The Associated Press on Wednesday, shortly before the show’s customary “table read” of potential sketches.
She hosts Saturday’s show (11:30 p.m. ET, NBC), with Paul Simon as musical guest.
Louis-Dreyfus first honed her comedic skills at improv theaters in Chicago. She was just 21 when she moved to New York and joined “SNL.” Her eventual husband, Brad Hall, made the same trip from Chicago to the NBC show as a cast member.
But Louis-Dreyfus’ three seasons at “SNL” — mostly during Eddie Murphy’s heyday — were tense for her.
“I think a lot of it was my own fault. I didn’t know how to navigate the waters of show business in general and specifically doing a live sketch-comedy show,” she says.
“I’ve learned a little bit since then.”
Of course, Louis-Dreyfus, 45, went on to play Elaine Benes in “Seinfeld,” and currently stars on CBS’ “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”
She is, to her surprise, the first female former cast member to host “SNL.”
“How’s it possible that Gilda (Radner) or Jane (Curtin) or all of these people didn’t host,” Louis-Dreyfus wonders. “For some reason they didn’t, and here I am.”
Louis-Dreyfus says she had been approached in the past to host “SNL,” but thought raising her two children with Hall took precedence over a week of rehearsing and then hosting the show. Now that the kids are a little more grown, she says, the timing is right.
“We’re going to get a huge kick out of being able to show the whole place to our kids,” Louis-Dreyfus says of herself and Hall. “We spent a lot of our lives here.”