Sasheer Zamata’s Mom On Her Saturday Night Live Adventure

The show gave Indy’s Ivory Steward—and other SNL moms—the star treatment in its Mother’s Day special.
On last weekend’s Saturday Night Live episode, cast members brought out their moms during host Reese Witherspoon’s monologue and apologized for some of their bad (or just bizarre) behavior as children. Sasheer Zamata, an Indianapolis native and Saturday Night Live cast member, apologized to her mom, Ivory Steward, for breaking a girl’s glasses in second grade. Steward even scored a laugh of her own with her snappy comeback. (See the full video below.) She has been watching the show since it first aired 40 years ago, and spending the weekend as an honorary cast member was a dream come true for her. Now, live from Steward’s house in Indianapolis …

How did you end up on SNL this past Saturday?

IS: Friday, around noon, Sasheer called me and said, “Do you think you could come to New York this weekend? SNL wants to bring all the moms in.” I thought, “I can make that happen.”

That’s really last-minute.

Yes! I had just started a job. It was my second day there, and I had to run upstairs and ask my boss if it was okay if I left that day. I ran home and only had 30 minutes to pack. They sent a car to take me to the airport, and when I got there, a car picked me up and drove me to Rockefeller Center. They took me to the green room, and there I was with all the other moms!

Did you have to rehearse?

They ordered dinner for us, and we did a run-through Friday. On Saturday, they did our hair and makeup, and I just thought, “This is something special.” Then I got to choose from a couple dresses, and I picked that lovely blue one. We went back downstairs to the studio and did a formal run-through. At 8 p.m., they do a final run-through, and the audience is filled with staff members and people that work in the building to see how funny the jokes actually are. They ordered dinner for us again, and finally at 11 p.m. we started getting ready for the live taping. It was just so surreal and so wonderful!

Sounds like a long day.

Yes. And they always have an afterparty. We went to a restaurant, and I got to meet Lorne [Michaels]. I didn’t get home until 4:30 in the morning.

Was there a highlight of the weekend?

I got to check off three things from my bucket list: I’ve flown first-class, I have stayed at a five-star hotel, and I’ve been on national TV. And of course that I got to spend Mother’s Day with my daughter.