After his one man show on Saturday Night Live this past weekend, Bruno Mars stopped by the 102.7 Fresh studios for a chat with Jim and Kim about being a part of one of SNL’s better episodes of the season.
Bruno had the great pleasure of being both the host and the musical guest on SNL. This rare and most likely exhausting -at least for the host/guest – method earned SNL their highest ratings in seven months.
But who knew Bruno was so funny? Apparently, he didn’t either.
“That is crazy. Are you serious?” asked a shocked, yet excited Bruno upon being notified about the spike in ratings.
Not too shabby for someone who does not have any professional experience in acting or stand-up comedy.
“I have never acted before in my life. I’ve done some things here and there that I thought were funny, but never anything to this level – scripts and cards and cue cards,” said Bruno. “I was being thrown to the wolves. I was really excited to stare fear in the face and then kick it in the balls! I mean it’s so hard to explain the process of how these guys do their show.”
Completely impressed by SNL’s creative process, Bruno still cannot believe that his opening monologue was literally written five minutes before the show went on air. Although the concept and music for the monologue was in place earlier in the week, the lines were not written until moments before.
“It’s funny ‘cause we’re in the dressing room and I’m sweating, panicking and Lorne [Michaels] comes in and he’s watching us write it,” said Bruno. “He says, ‘Alright come on, come on.’ Like I gotta get this going. It’s one of those things were you gotta try and have fun. It was a blast.”
Not only was Bruno’s singing put to use during the opening monologue, but in a number of skits throughout the night including one where Bruno is a Pandora intern and has to impersonate the vocals of fellow artists like Green Day, Aerosmith, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Louis Armstrong and Michael Jackson.
This was another sketch that was conceived earlier in the week, but written at the last minute. Bruno didn’t even know the words to some of the songs, which worked in his favor and made his performance much funnier.
“Seth Meyers said, ‘I got this idea about the Pandora thing breaking down’ – such a wacky idea. It’s amazing how they make things turn out. But it was just figured out on Saturday and I didn’t know that I was going into that,” said Bruno.
Last minute sketches and monologues are not unusual for the SNL staff. It’s simple how they operate.
“They say every week is like this. You don’t figure this stuff out until it’s show time. Those guys are such pros and all the actors and actresses they’re just super pros about everything,” he said.
But then there are those elaborate sketches that require more planning and are shot ahead of time. “Sad Mouse,” which Bruno says is he’s personal favorite, is a bit where he roams the streets of Times Square dressed in a patriotic mouse costume after being dumped by both his girlfriend of six-years and father.
During the skit, Bruno removes the mouse head, but to his surprise there are no cameras flashing or crazed fans screaming. No one even noticed him. The skit was executed so well, you would think the producers planted a snoop dogg impersonator as a distraction for the sake of filming the sketch.
“People’s minds were being blown. This guy had a whole crowd around him. No one gave a crap about me. I literally took the thing [mouse head] off and was talking to people. At first I was like wow this is great. No one’s trying to take a picture and then my insecurities kick in. And I’m like wait a minute, no one’s saying anything to me. Maybe I’ll start singing “Grenade” – that’ll get em,” said Bruno.
Aside from the dark “Sad Mouse,” Bruno appears in drag in the skit, “Haters,” where he plays a 17-year-old drop out who steals her mom’s boyfriends.
To make his experience even more memorable, actor Tom Hanks makes a surprise appearance and introduces Bruno’s musical performance of, “Locked Out of Heaven.” Bruno closed out the show with his second single, “Young Wild Girls.”
The SNL writers must also be commended for doing such a great job of putting Bruno’s many talents to use.
-Maria Bonello, Fresh 102.7/NYC
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