‘SNL’ Star Aidy Bryant Reveals Her Worst Moment on Stage: ‘It Was the Only Time I Cried After a Show’

Aidy Bryant has become one of today’s top comedians after joining Saturday Night Live in 2012. Making her way up the ranks with Chicago’s Second City, Bryant recently described an incident during a performance that brought her to tears.

Aidy Bryant of 'Saturday Night Live' smiles for cameras as she attends Hulu's 'Shrill' Season 2 Preview & Talk at 92nd Street Y
Aidy Bryant of ‘Saturday Night Live’ | Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Aidy Bryant recalled performing with ‘Second City’

In a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune, Bryant revealed that she had several options when it came to picking her very worst moment.

“I had a tough time choosing my No. 1 because I’ve had a lot of awful shows in my life,” the SNL star said. “But there was one that happened to me at Second City that was pretty formative and probably my lowest low. It was the only time I cried after a show.”

Though Bryant had worked on local shows and cruise ship tours for the comedy troupe, she was still honing her comedy skills.

“This was probably 2010 and it was my first revue at Second City,” she explained. “I was definitely seasoned, but I was also 23, so I was pretty young. And I was still finding my own voice as a writer and a performer.”

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‘SNL’ star’s ‘Bird’ performance hit the wrong note

Bryant went on to describe a skit that she compared to one she performed with SNL guest host Harry Styles called “Joan”, where a woman sings to her dog, who she considers to be her boyfriend.

“There was this piece that I did on stage every night called ‘Bird’,” Bryant shared. “It was something I did with (fellow cast member) Tim Baltz. Basically, he played this bird that I caught. I sing this quiet, sweet little song about how I caught this bird and now he’s my boyfriend and he has no choice, but he is my boyfriend and we love each other very much.”

When Bryant tried the skit out on an audience smaller than usual, the crowd was clearly unreceptive.

“So I start to perform this little song about the bird,” the SNL cast member said. “It was pretty obvious that this wasn’t going great. … Midway through this little song, one of the men just stood up and said, ‘This is horrible!’ and it felt like time slowed down.”

Aidy Bryant said the ‘horrible moment’ helped her with her ‘SNL’ audition

During the performance crisis, Bryant wasn’t sure what her next step should be.

“I was like: I am going to be out here forever and I’m never going to get out of this,” she remarked. “This is where I live now; for the rest of my life I’m going to be in this horrible moment. … I just kind of plowed ahead and kept going, but I was also like, should I keep going? Should I just get offstage?”

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Though Bryant was shaken by the incident, she later felt empowered by the experience. She recalled that particular moment to calm her nerves when she tried out for Saturday Night Live.

“I definitely cried immediately when I got offstage,” Bryant said. “But by the end of the night I was able to laugh about it and be like: I survived that. … I remember when I went to audition for SNL, I kept thinking about that moment and being like, nothing can be as bad as that.”

She added,” I’m so grateful for having someone say, ‘This is horrible!’ to my face because it made later high-pressured situations for me on television feel a lot less frightening. … I think about that moment at least once a year. Especially when I’m scared to do things. … No matter what, I know whatever I’m going into will never be as bad as that, and I use the memory all the time.”