Live From Scripps Ranch…It’s Saturday Night
Fans of the longest running variety show on television know the opening line is “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!” But for Saturday Night Live (SNL) star Kyle Mooney, the phrase “Live from Scripps Ranch…it’s Saturday night” could work too! That’s because Kyle grew up here, started his creative endeavors here, and it’s where his family still lives.
There’s arguably no better feeling than doing what you love, day in and day out. And for Kyle, his love is to make people laugh, which he gets to do on each show as one of the SNL cast members.
Kyle, who turns 34 on Sept. 4, says his love for comedy, writing, and acting was incredibly influenced by his childhood, in the way he grew up and the people he interacted with. “Environment builds who you are, and for me it’s helped to build my comedy and my observations about the world around me,” Kyle says.
Kyle grew up in Scripps Ranch, attending local schools throughout his education. He started at Miramar Ranch Elementary School, which he revisited for this SRCA Newsletter cover. At Marshall Middle School his 8th grade class named him the student most likely to become a television star! They were right! At Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) he was chosen best actor, and his classmates voted him class clown for senior standouts.
Before graduating from SRHS in 2003 he took two years of drama. He joined the school’s improv group that started his junior year. He also says his two older brothers, Sean and Ryan, played a major role in his comedic development by showing him funny things as they were growing up. Through all of that, Kyle realized he enjoyed trying to make people around him smile…just a little bigger.
“When I was at elementary school and middle school and high school, I loved doing bits around my friends and trying to make my friends laugh,” Kyle says. “I just enjoyed being around people and trying to be funny and trying to, at times, make life or class or Little League baseball games more entertaining.”
After high school Kyle attended the University of Southern California (USC) to study film, where his love for comedy took off. That fall he tried out for the school’s improv and sketch comedy group, Commedus Interruptus. After a six-week tryout process, Kyle found out he made the troupe! The group would perform improv weekly and put on a sketch comedy show once a semester. Through the group, he met several influential people.
“It was inspiring to meet people who had different ways of thinking and approaching things and approaching comedy,” Kyle says. Beck Bennet and Nick Rutherford became his close friends in the troupe. They started writing sketches together, and Kyle says they just clicked.
At college graduation they all wanted to pursue a career in comedy. Nick was a writer for SNL, and Beck is a cast member alongside Kyle. “Beck is one of my closest friends and that’s been such a special part of my experience of Saturday Night Live…it can be at times tough to find your way so I feel so fortunate that he was there with me.”
Kyle joined SNL in 2013. Some of his favorite skits were done with artist Kanye West and actress Saoirse Ronan. He says he has the most fun whenever he performs with Beck. He tries to explain what it’s like to be a cast member on the popular show.
“There’s no TV job I can think of that’s like Saturday Night Live,” Kyle says. “Those of us who’ve been through it know it’s insane and intense, but it’s been a truly wonderful experience and I’m so glad I’ve gotten to be a part of it.”
He also has created dozens of comedic YouTube videos, and he formed a comedy group called Good Neighbor with Beck, Nick, and another good friend Dave McCary, now a segment director on SNL. Kyle co-wrote and starred in the 2017 film Brisgby Bear. With plenty of experience in the entertainment industry, Kyle has advice for anyone who may be considering a career in that field.
“Stay at it,” Kyle says. “The entertainment industry can be incredibly frustrating, and it can take a long time for you to get work or to make a name for yourself. And don’t consume just comedy. There’s so much out there that can influence the stuff you make. And have fun!” Kyle’s life is centered around comedy and acting. He says a large part of that is due to the support he received from the Scripps Ranch community.
“I think feeling comfortable is so important, especially what I do,” Kyle says. “You have to have a good idea of who you are, and I think that’s what people appreciate, is a person who is themselves, and I think this community has helped bring that out in me.
“I just want to say “thank you” to the residents of Scripps Ranch.”