Julia Louis-Dreyfus on Her SNL Years: 'It Was a Very Sexist Environment'

Illustration for article titled Julia Louis-Dreyfus on Her iSNL/i Years: It Was a Very Sexist Environment

Though she spent three years as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, sketches like “Big Zit” didn’t make Julia Louis-Dreyfus a household name in the 80s. No, that came later. In an interview published today in the Times, Louis-Dreyfus (who hosts Saturday’s SNL) was asked whether she looked back at her prosthetic pimple days fondly, and she replied, “Fondly-ish.” She added:

“I did not come out of SNL as any kind of name. I didn’t do anything particularly great when I was there. I didn’t. It’s fine. But I learned a tremendous amount. It was a very sexist environment. Since I’ve gone back, I can tell you it’s much more of an equal-opportunity environment.”

She said the experience made her decide to refuse all jobs “that didn’t seem as if they would be really fun.” A solid—if lofty—goal, but one she has managed to achieve over the span of her many decades in the business.

“That’s very simplistic and Pollyannaish sounding, but really, I noted that. I’m not doing this unless I can have a deep sense of happiness while doing it. I’ve applied that, moving forward, and it’s worked. So in that sense, I have SNL to thank.”

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In the iconic March 2016 issue of Vanity Fair, Jennifer Garner said, “I take umbrage. I refuse to be the ashes.” (I keep that paragraph taped to my work monitor because it will never not delight me.) So, apparently, does Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who has, despite working in a sexist industry, created not one, but three iconic comedy roles in her still-thriving career.

Jerry and Jason? They’re still just Jerry and George. But Julia? She’s Elaine, Christine, and Selena—all in equal measure.

Image via NBC.

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Staff Writer, Jezebel | Man

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DISCUSSION

Julia was a ridiculously wealthy person from the day she was born due to family money, and all you hear about her is what a kind, good hearted, hard working woman she is, and how respected she is for earning her comedy cred on her own, without the influence of her father’s money. She is an icon of comedy, and proof you can be a decent human being and become, in Her case, one of the finest comedians of her generation. I absolutely adore this woman.