Before she appeared in “Parks and Recreation,” Plaza came up in the improv community as part of Chicago’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theater — a performance company co-founded by her future co-star, Poehler. It’s not surprising, then, that like many a UCB alum, Plaza auditioned for “SNL.”
The actress recently appeared on “The Tonight Show” in the lead-up to hosting the NBC sketch show, where she disclosed that she auditioned to become a cast member in 2004. As she told Fallon, “I didn’t make it to the Lorne audition, the famous final audition, but I did a preliminary first-round showcase at UCB.” And the characters she chose to showcase at the audition were about as off-beat as you might expect from Plaza:
“One character I did was a Puerto Rican news reporter that was always trying to make all of the news stories sexy, even if they were horrific news stories. I was just trying to sex up the news. Then the other one was, I was a pill-popping housewife that had a show called Celebri-Tails, where I would just name celebrities and name what kind of tail they would have if they had a tail. I would say, ‘Lindsay Lohan would have a bushy squirrel’s tail.’ Or, like, ‘Bill Clinton would have a polar bear’s nub.'”
Despite not making the cut, Plaza went on to become an intern in the design department at “SNL,” with four “moody b*****es” who, according to the actress, didn’t want to waste time teaching an intern about design. She would also work as an NBC page where she’d frequently lead tours of the studios hungover, sneaking out periodically to “go into the hallway, throw up in a trash can, and continue on.” She’s come a long way since then.