Comedian and actress Jenny Slate has opened up about her 'humiliating' one-season stint on Saturday Night Live earlier in her career - a role that was cut short when the star made a massive blunder live on air.
Circa 2017, 35-year-old Slate is one of Hollywood's most in-demand comedic talents, with a particular knack for memorable voice work: She can be heard in Despicable Me 3, Zootopia, The Secret Life Of Pets and The Lego Batman Movie, to name a few.
Back in 2009, she was a relatively unknown young comic who'd landed her dream gig, as a recurring cast member on Saturday Night Live.
In her very first sketch of her very first episode, Slate and co-star Kristen Wiig were acting together as biker chicks when she delivered the following line to her colleague: "You stood up for yourself, and do you know what? I f**king love you for that."
The F-bomb was Slate's own, and one of the few times during SNL's mammoth run when an actor had sworn live on air (swearing is banned on the show due to its prime time slot).
As the audience laughed nervously, it was clear that Slate knew she'd messed up:
Come the end of the season, her contract was not renewed. While she's gone on to bigger and better things, some eight years later, the star still describes the experience as "devastating."
"It does bother me to have to talk about something that was one second of my life a decade ago," she told the Guardian in a new interview.
"It was embarrassing, devastating, humiliating, a bummer of a mistake. But since I made that tiny mistake, so much has happened. It feels like, if I were a guy, I'd have to talk about it a little bit, but, because I'm a woman, I have to talk about it forever. I want to honour all the good things I've done on purpose, instead of the stupid thing I did by mistake 10 years ago," she said.
Slate sought hypnotherapy after her firing, having developed stage fright due to the knock to her confidence.
"Once I was fired, I got a specific type of stage fright - a narrative inside of me: 'These people don't like you and they don't want you to be here. And whatever that magic is that clicks in when you're on stage, it's not going to happen tonight.' My entire self-worth was challenged," she told the Guardian.
Slate had written the sketch that she appeared in, but accidentally adlibbed the F-bomb in the heat of the moment - used to live stand-up comedy, where swear words were never out of bounds.
While she knew she'd made a mistake, she later revealed it wasn't something she thought she would be fired for.
"People should see a woman saying a swear word by mistake rather than seeing a sketch where two people get raped by a gorilla. I don't understand why that's more acceptable. Or all the sexist and racist stuff that's, like, on Two and a Half Men. I don't care at all. I don't feel bad. And I'm not sorry, but I am sorry to myself for how I treated myself that year," she said in a 2014 interview.