I’ve never been more intimidated by a hypothetical question than I am by the one Lindsay just proposed to me. Of Cheri Oteri, Molly Shannon and Ana Gasteyer, who gets my bed at my sleepover, who gets the floor and who doesn’t get invited?
This is insanely tough and I feel like I’m going to commit blasphemy by saying this, but maybe my other Mollys will understand: my first instinct is to not invite Molly Shannon. This is absolutely not because I don’t love her; I totally do. Jeannie Darcy was one of the most inspired characters on SNL in the 90′s. Her Courtney Love impression? Get out of here! I love it! But like- there can only be one Molly. And while I think she’s mad dope (and I appreciate that she got married at age 40 to a man named Fritz Chesnut), I ultimately think she’s had her fair share of praise and I feel like I really know the Molly Shannon brand. I’d like to get to know Cheri and Ana a little better.
So here’s where it gets rough. Cheri and Ana have both done characters that I love to death (Collete Reardon and Bobbie Mohan-Culp, respectively). Now it comes down to who’s going to whine if they don’t get the bed or who’s going to stay up and talk to me after the other one’s passed out. And this decision is made so much more difficult by the fact that both of these women seem to lead pretty private lives from what I’ve gathered. I don’t truly feel like I know enough about either to decide who gets the bed. In the ten minutes since my writing that last sentence and writing this one, I did some digging and turns out Cheri Oteri’s dad was murdered? But Tracy Morgan also says that she was mean to him? Things are hard for her? Maybe I should give her the bed? I guess she gets the bed. Sorry, Ana. We can go to the guest room while Cheri hogs my bed and you can tell me all about the 90′s SNL dish.
Even as I formulated this question, I was stymied about how I would answer it. I mean, I actually have a vivid memory of crying one night in seventh grade (which would have been the 1998-1999 season- the heyday of SNL women- in case you needed to know just how ancient I am) because the local news had intercepted coverage due to some alleged crisis in the Houston area. All I knew was that I was missing the live broadcast, and in the days before DVR or Hulu, that meant I was missing that episode, period.
So, down to business: Cheri Oteri… like. Who can’t love her? She’s a pint-sized ball of hilarity. Colette, Nadeen (the “simma down na” lady), Arianna the Spartan cheerleader? I love her. LOVE. her. And yet… I feel like she would wear me out at a sleepover. Tiny people have more energy per ounce than the rest of us, and for some reason, they can stay up until 5 am, and then you’re exhausted the rest of the week. I’m getting too old to stay up super late at a sleepover.
For that matter, Molly Shannon would probably also wear me out, but between Molly and Cheri, I think Molly is maybe slightly more subdued in person. Plus, in her column, she has not only SNL, but she was also in Marie Antoinette, which is easily in my top 10 movies of all time. Molly gets an invite. She can tell me stories about a beautiful few months at Versailles with Sofia Coppola and Kirsten Dunst.
Ana, to her credit, has her brilliant turn as Martha Stewart and Bobbie Mohan-Culp on SNL, but she’s also in Mean Girls, which is, again, in my top 10. Ana gets an invite, for sure.
Between Molly and Ana as to who gets the bed and who gets the floor, it really comes down to gut instinct. Ana gets the bed because I get the impression that she’s got that wonderful sleepover skill of bringing the T until exactly the moment when you’re too tired to keep talking, and then the conversation comes to a natural end and it’s clear that it’s time to go to sleep. (I discovered that my friend Lindsey shares this same skill at yearbook teacher camp last summer. It’s a rare gift in a friend.) Molly in her boundless energy seems like she’d keep on telling stories and saying “y’know?,” prompting a drowsy “mmhmm” from me as I’m in that weird half-awake half-asleep phase, which is miserable in a sleepover guest.
So there you have it. What direction would you swing when asked this question?