Heidi Gardner Says She Was Afraid To Break Character On ‘SNL’: “I Thought I’d Get Fired”

Heidi Gardner is seven seasons in on Saturday Night Live and had never broken character until Ryan Gosling and Mikey Day personified Beavis and Butt-Head.

The comedian completely lost it during SNL when she turned to see her co-star dressed as Butt-Head during one of the sketches. In a new interview, Gardner said she had always maintained her composure during the live sketches, thinking they would cut her from the cast if she broke.

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“I just had it in my head [that] I couldn’t do it,” she said on Today with Hoda & Jenna. “I think you get this big job on SNL and you want to do your job at the best of your ability, I think maybe I thought I’d get fired.”

Gardner shared the techniques she had implemented over the years to help her avoid breaking character, such as “biting your lip” or ” yawning.” However, none of that worked while sharing a scene with Day.

“A friend of mine [was] like — you know when you spike the camera? — it’s like, ‘Mikey spiked you, Heidi,’” she said. “He spiked me! It’s like his eyes just go… He didn’t look fully human to me. He looks like a kangaroo.”

Gardner had previously talked about the crack-up during the live show, telling Vulture she had seen Day in the Butt-Head costume during dress rehearsal but was unaware of the “exposed gums and teeth.”

“When I looked and saw Mikey in the dress rehearsal, I lost it,” she said. “I was shocked. I’m thinking about it right now and laughing. I recovered and tried to tell myself in between dress and the live show, ‘you can’t laugh like that again.’”

She continued, “Mikey does seem to turn his head just a little bit and bug out his eyes. It’s like he’s doing a subtle acknowledgment. That was new…. Something in the way he moved on live television felt like when someone messes with you to make you laugh.”

Watch Gardner’s full interview in the video below.

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