BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — During a recent late-night TV appearance, a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” talked about how he got the call to join the longtime comedy show while on a trip to Alabama last year.
On “Late Night with Seth Meyers” Monday, James Austin Johnson talked about auditioning for “SNL” this past season. Johnson, who is from Nashville, has frequently imitated President Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump, and other celebrities on the show.
Johnson said that after auditioning and having a meeting with show creator Lorne Michaels, he was told to expect a call.
“After that meeting, they were like, “’Tomorrow, you might be getting a call from a very important producer,’” Johnson said. “I was like, ‘Ok, this is it. I think it’s going to happen.’”
However, Johnson said he did not receive the call the next day. However, instead of flying back home, he decided to take a different route.
“My wife was on vacation with our families in Tennessee. I was here in New York. I was like ‘I’m not getting on a bumpy Southwest flight right after the most stressful audition of my life and just sitting back down in Nashville trying to eat baked beans with my hands are going like this (shaking hands),” he said. “I need to decompress somehow, so I took an Amtrak train from New York to Birmingham.”
It was on the train ride that Johnson got a call from Michaels.
“I was crying,” he said. “I was in tears because I was so exhausted and they didn’t call when they said they were going to call.”
Johnson said that after getting connected to Michaels, the producer explained that they had the wrong number for him. During the call, Johnson told Michaels that he was on a train to Birmingham.
“He goes ‘Oh, what a glamorous life you lead,'” Johnson said. “By the way, you need to join the cast Saturday night.”