When you achieve something that seems impossible, your whole mindset shifts of what you think you’re capable of accomplishing. It was just such an absurd goal, but I never really strayed from it and then it happened. It’s like, fuck. If only I could tell my 8-year-old self I could have been an astronaut after all! Getting hired, I didn’t have a ton of expectations going into the show, but I guess I thought it would be more like a family, more collaborative, and definitely more open-minded. I found SNL to be fairly conservative… It’s very much a boys club, in a rigid, unimaginative type of way. I was cast as the “cute girl” and I was treated like I was dumb and didn’t belong. And I admired so many people there, so to be invited in but then kept on the outside was devastating. It was the loneliest year of my life, and I’m pretty sure I got into comedy because of loneliness. When it ended, I felt very much like a bad breakup. Deep down, I probably saw that SNL wasn’t right for me, but I would have tried to stay with it longer, even if it killed me. But when they dumped me, I really had to get clear about what I wanted and my values and the type of work I wanted to create, and I recognized I’d be able to be much more successful in more meaningful ways without the show looming over me. I’ll have to work much harder and it could take longer, but I plan on being in this creative field for a long time, so I have plenty of time.
– Comedian Noel Wells on becoming an SNL cast member …and then being canned.