It was the biggest episode of SNL... maybe of all time? EVERYONE was there- Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Steve Martin (whom I embarrassingly asked for a photo), Dana Carvey, Chevy Chase, Martin Short, Paul Simon... basically, if they were still alive, they were there. The host was Justin Timberlake, with special surprise musical guest Jay-Z (hence Beyoncé) and I was lucky enough to be there all week for rehearsals and for the big night.
I had hoped that I would score an invite to the infamous afterparty, but my boss (Justin's then-stylist) insisted that I was not to ask, and I would have to load out our racks of clothing (approximately 12 racks for JT and his entire band) when the show wrapped at 2 am. Luckily, I befriended the gentlemen from the SNL wardrobe department, and they assured me that everything stayed at the studio overnight, and we ALL went to the party (!) Thank God, because loading out of 30 Rock, finding car service, and restocking a storage unit at 3am after a twelve hour day sounded like way less fun than attending one of the most storied parties of all time.
During the show, as guests, our one job was to STAY THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY, because the whole studio is basically a moving set for the live show. I somehow (and kind of accidentally) followed Jay-Z, Justin, and co. as they enter the stage door, and got to watch the whole performance from under the bleachers, about ten feet from the stage... and five feet from Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson.
On this night, Jay-Z told me that he wanted to be wearing so many chains "that it was IGNANT." and I'll never forget that moment.
Once the show wrapped, I hopped into a cab and flew downtown to Buddakan (aka, where Carrie and Big's rehearsal dinner was). Upon arrival, the heel of my shoe promptly broke*, so I had to wear my Nike Sky Hi Dunks, not quite my ideal outfit for the SNL afterparty, but I just went with the streetwear look.
As I descended the staircase into the main dining room to where dark booths surrounded the dramatically large main table, I spotted a group whom I thought were a few members of Justin's band, seated at one of the tables. I approached with the over-zealousness of someone happy to see familiar faces [in a sea of celebrity faces]... until I got close and realized it was in fact, the table at which Justin, Jessica, Jay, and Bey were sharing a meal and probably talking about owning basketball teams. Definitely NOT my table.
After putting a few drinks on Lorne Michael's tab (true story), embarrassing myself to Steve Martin (see photo), and chatting with Bobby Moynahan, a group of us moved on to the after-after party. I couldn't tell you where it was, but I can tell you that the password was "Bye! Bye! Bye!".
*The shoes were from the Proenza collection for Target, and it was the first time I had worn them. This is why I do not buy cheap shoes from these designer collab collections.