How Kenan Thompson kept it together during “SNL”'s “Beavis and Butt-Head” sketch: 'Just chaos'

"I cracked so hard at dress rehearsal," Thompson said.

Saturday Night Live's Beavis and Butt-Head sketch went viral with nearly 10.5 million views on YouTube and meme status achieved. It gained a lot of charm from almost everyone on-screen, including Mikey Day, Ryan Gosling, and, especially, Heidi Gardner, breaking.

However, Kenan Thompson, playing a professor partaking in an interview about AI on NewsNation, kept it together. He told Variety he was able to maintain his cool because he broke so hard during rehearsals.

<p>NBC</p> Kenan Thompson with Mike Day and Ryan Gosling on 'Saturday Night Live'


Kenan Thompson with Mike Day and Ryan Gosling on 'Saturday Night Live'

"It's hit or miss. Sometimes I can hold it, sometimes I can't. I got lucky on Beavis and Butt-Head that I cracked so hard at dress rehearsal," Thompson said. "I haven't had a break like that in a while where I was in tears and I couldn't talk. It was that funny to me, and what I was about to say next was funny to me. And I was frozen. I was literally quivering, and then I started to panic. Because I was like, I can't talk without cry-talking. I don't want to waste the line! It could throw off everything. It was like, three seconds of just chaos."

SNL's longest-tenured cast member applauded Day's performance, who cowrote the sketch, and Gosling. "It’s the absolute best to find something so funny, written by someone you adore. I’ve known Mikey for almost 25 years, so you’re rooting for them," he said. "Ryan is such a gem. People who are that successful don’t have to be. He doesn’t have to be as warm as he is. He’s a professional, so he’s playing it very real. We know it’s very funny, but that’s what makes it funny — the fact that he’s so in it and not messing with it."

Gardner also "lost it" during dress rehearsals and that didn't stop her from breaking again during the show. "This makes me feel almost even worse and unprofessional," she told Vulture earlier in the week. "When I looked and saw Mikey in the dress rehearsal, I lost it. 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.'"

Part of her laughter during the show was thanks to the prosthetics — the noses and the mouths, according to Gardner — which were used during the rehearsal. "I didn’t know about Mikey’s exposed gums and teeth," she said.

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