Finding success on television is no easy task.

In Variety‘s new episode of “Actors on Actors”, “Hacks” star Jean Smart and Global’s “Saturday Night Live” star Bowen Yang sit down to chat about their experiences.

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Talking about how she got to work on “Watchmen”, Smart recalls, “I was sort of shot from guns because they hired me two days before I started. I’ll be really honest: I had Sigourney Weaver to thank for turning down the role. So, thank you, Sigourney. I knew nothing about the graphic novel. I knew nothing about the story at all. I started reading the pilot, and I said, ‘Oh, my God, this is amazing.’ I’d never really done that science-fiction genre, and the fact that Damon was able to use that tragic part of our history that almost no one knew about — that was what was so shocking, that I had never heard of the Tulsa massacre. That’s why I think he said no when I asked him to do a second season because I think he put everything into that.”

Bowen Yang on how his hugely popular “iceberg” sketch on SNL came about and why he thought it would never make it to air:
Smart: “One of my favourite things that I’ve seen you do was the iceberg, which was so off the wall and hilarious, and you were so deeply sincere. The iceberg’s monologue was crystal clear.”

Smart also asks Yang about his huge popular “iceberg” sketch from “SNL”, which she calls “deeply sincere.”

“No one’s described it as sincere yet, so that’s huge,” Yang tells her. “I wrote that with one of our head writers, Anna Drezen, who I’ve known since college. She texted me in February and said, ‘Maybe for the April 10th show, because the Titanic sinking anniversary is around that time, you come on Weekend Update as the iceberg that sank the Titanic and you’re just really annoyed that people still associate you with that.’ I told her it sounds like something we would have done back in the days — before we got professional comedy jobs and we would just, like, pound the pavement at bar basement shows in New York City with these outré concepts.”

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He continues, “In the back of my mind I thought, I don’t really see it. We vomited out this draft in a few hours. We read it at the table; it did pretty well, and then usually they let you know, Thursday night, Friday morning, if your Update piece is gonna go to the show. By Friday afternoon, we hadn’t heard anything, so I texted Anna, ‘RIP iceberg.’ Friday night at midnight, I got a text from Colin Jost saying, ‘I think we’re gonna try this iceberg thing.’ So then midnight to, like, 1:30 a.m., me and Anna are texting the departments, costumes, you know, uh, music, all these things, like, ‘OK, so he’s gonna have this song at the end that he sings and then, just ’cause he’s there to promote his album, and I think we want, like, a headpiece that’s made out of Styrofoam, white clown makeup, gloves, a blazer with stones on it.’”

Finally, he adds, “And then, all day Saturday, she and I are just, sort of, writing and rewriting and rewriting and just trying to punch up jokes, and then multiple times we turn to each other and just burst out laughing because we were like, there was no way this was gonna make it onto TV. There was no way. It got picked for air and we’re like, let’s just let go and let God… it was just a lovely surprise that it even happened.”

Later in the conversation, Smart tells him, “On a more serious note, I would like to thank you personally for speaking out against the violence against Asian people. I thank you, because my daughter is from China, and we adopted her when she was a few months old. So thank you.”

“I’m so touched to hear you say that,” Yang responds. “I had this vulnerability hangover the next day. It was just me as myself talking, trying to add some levity to this really bleak, terrible situation, and it’s just so hard to make light of any of it. Thank you so much.”