Ellen DeGeneres welcomed the actress to her show Wednesday. An dMcKinnon was incredibly excited to meet impersonation inspiration.
"It's been such a journey. You know, I'm trying not to cry because I just have loved you my whole life truly. And I have wanted to meet you so badly. My mother has come up with schemes to try to meet you," McKinnon told DeGeneres. "I used to paint. I was an oil painter. And she would say, 'You know, if you would just paint a portrait of Ellen and send it to her, and she will have you as a guest on the show. I don't know why you don't just paint a portrait.' And I never did, and I don't know why. I guess it was because I was meant to appear in a different capacity on the show."
It was McKinnon's first talk show appearance ever. But she said that wasn't what what driving her excitement.
"It's like I've met Jesus. If you believe in that sort of thing. I have arrived at the gates. and here you are," McKinnon said.
McKinnon said she was hired on "SNL" after one five-minute audition that included all the material she had.
"It's in the studio where they do the monologue on that stage, which if you grew up watching the show as I did, it's like another part of heaven. Here is one part, and that's another part. So just being on that stage is so incredibly overwhelming, and everything you've worked for comes down to this little chunk of time. And I'm shocked I survived," McKinnon said.
DeGeneres, who has hosted "SNL" once, asked if McKinnon had done the impression of her before she was on the show.
"I spent years. Everyone said, 'You must do, certainly you do an Ellen,' and I could not do it. And then I thought I have to," McKinnon said. "So one day in my apartment I said, 'I'm going to get this.'"
McKinnon said she had attended the taping of one of Ellen's standup specials and had it memorized.
"I watched it and made notes on the way you say the different letters and the way you say Rs, that sunk in," McKinnon said.
McKinnon said her famous "I'm Ellen line was improvised. She also apologized to DeGeneres for leaving a terrible birthday message on her voicemail once.