Ratings wise, Saturday Night Live might be thriving in its current season, but that doesn't mean it's without its detractors. After all, the mainstream show doesn't take the same comedic risks as other similar programs. Noël Wells, a featured cast member from the 2013/2014 season, has just called out SNL for playing it safe in a new interview.
Wells spoke with Vanity Fair to promote her new film Mr. Roosevelt, which she wrote, directed and stars in. When the topic of Saturday Night Live came up, she had plenty to say about the NBC comedy juggernaut.
"SNL is the comedy establishment," Wells said of her former employer. "Of course you want to go through that, because you want that stamp of approval. But it has its own identity, and our voices didn't mesh for whatever reason — or they decided we didn't belong. I think a lot of us would have liked to keep trying and have our own voices shine through. For whatever reason, we got rejected.
"But that's O.K.!" she continued. "It's actually more rock 'n' roll. The quicker you find out that you're not going to go through the Establishment, the quicker you can decide to make your own version of how you want your craft to be."
Wells' career has thrived since her contract with the show was not renewed. In addition to Mr. Roosevelt, she's an integral part of Aziz Ansari's Netflix show Master of None. She joins the ranks of other wildly successful non-renewed SNL players like Jenny Slate and Michaela Watkins.
"I think telling SNL. that they have to accept us is just going to water us down," Wells added. "We're much stronger doing our own things. Don't we want to make rock 'n' roll? Why are we all trying to be accepted by all these comedy dinosaurs? SNL has become what it was always trying to make fun of. It's become this big machine. I don't want to be plugged into a machine."
Mr. Roosevelt premiered at SXSW earlier this week to positive reviews.