Who better to discuss Saturday Night Live's Christmas-themed compilation special than new featured player Noël Wells? With a first name like that, she was born to do it.
TV Guide Magazine: Why did your parents name you Noël?
Wells: Because my birthday is two days before Christmas. So I'm one of those people who had Christmas and my birthday always combined, and generally my birthday was pretty much ignored. But my parents are always good about making some kind of special effort to make me feel like I also have a birthday that exists. That's how the holidays always were for me—sort of bitter, but not really.
TV Guide Magazine: Did you ever have a white Christmas growing up in Victoria, Texas?
Wells: My last year of high school, it snowed starting on my birthday, which was really exciting. It snowed through Christmas Day. It was such an anomaly. Nobody knew how to drive in it — people were crashing their cars everywhere. But everybody was so excited it had snowed that it was OK.
TV Guide Magazine: How has your experience been on SNL so far?
Wells: It's been awesome. It's everything I've ever wanted it to be. So much happens so fast that you can't help but be a little overwhelmed, but also you have to work. So even if you're scared, you just go into a work mode. I feel like I've lived three generations just over the past six shows. Every time somebody is like "Oh, we've only done six shows," I'm like, "Are you sure it's not 35?" I feel like I've been through so much, but it's an absolute blast.
TV Guide Magazine: Do you have a favorite SNL Christmas sketch?
Wells: "Schweddy Balls," because I watched it live with my mom, and I don't think she knew I had been staying up late to watch SNL. I had to pretend I didn't understand certain things, but it was so funny, and we were both laughing so hard. She had to let me grow up a little bit.
TV Guide Magazine: How about a favorite Christmas carol?
Wells: "The First Noel." I feel really confident when Christmastime comes around, like, "I got this one!"
TV Guide Magazine: Why do you use the umlaut over the e in your first name?
Wells: Without it, people pronounce it "Nole." I started doing it when I was 4. I didn't anticipate making everybody's lives difficult having to spell it.
Saturday Night Live Christmas airs Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 9/8c on NBC.
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