Bobby Moynihan couldn’t feel luckier to be a part of NBC’s Mr. Mayor — mostly because he adores his costar Ted Danson. Although they never worked together before the sitcom, the Saturday Night Live alum, 44, met the former Cheers star, 73, many years ago.
“I don’t think I’ve ever told him this. But we did meet once, like, 20 years ago,” the comedian told Us Weekly exclusively on the “Watch With Us” podcast. “Backstage at Conan O’Brien, I was doing some bit, and he handed me a coffee. I said, ‘Cheers,’ because I was a bartender at the time. And he looked at me like, ‘Ugh.’ I was like, ‘No, not Cheers, like your TV show!’ I felt very stupid, but now I get to do scenes with him, and I’m in awe of him every time.”
On the sitcom, created by 30 Rock‘s Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, Moynihan plays the interim Director of Communications Jayden Kwapis who is working alongside Danson’s mayor Neil Bremer. Fey, 50, wrote the part with him in mind, and when she called him with the offer he “tried not to cry” before immediately saying yes.
“[I want] to work with other amazing people. That’s what I learned from SNL and from Upright Citizens Brigade — I feel like I thrive in that kind of environment,” he added. “So getting to be on the show with this cast, I feel like I won the TV lottery.”
During the podcast, the New York native looked back at his time on Saturday Night Live, which he joined in 2008 and remained a cast member until 2017. The writer explained that while his “Drunk Uncle” character is one of the most famous he portrayed on the show, he gets more fans bringing up his portrayal of Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi.
As for what makes him laugh, that’s changed a bit amid the pandemic.
“I have a 3 and a half-year-old daughter during a pandemic, so I’m asleep at 8 p.m., like, I don’t watch comedy anymore! I want to sleep,” he said with a laugh. “Whenever I need to laugh or just don’t want to think, I just go watch that Zach Galifianakis Live at the Purple Onion for the scene with Brian Unger. It’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Mr. Mayor airs on NBC Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET.