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Jenny Slate on What She'd Tell Her Younger Self About 'SNL' and Her Daughter's Love of 'Marcel the Shell'

Jenny Slate on What She'd Tell Her Younger Self About 'SNL' and Her Daughter's Love of 'Marcel the Shell'

Jenny Slate is opening up about her decade-long journey after her 2009 stint on Saturday Night Live and sharing some adorable stories about her 1-year-old daughter. 

Slate's newest project, Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, hits theaters on Friday. The movie features Slate's longtime animated character, Marcel, who is a talking shell that she created over a decade ago with her now ex-husband, Dean Fleischer-Camp. In 2010, the duo's first animated short became one of the first-ever viral videos and was later adapted into a children's book. Slate reunited with Fleischer-Camp for the character’s silver screen debut. 

Now reaching a career high, Slate reflected on the roller coaster she's taken to get here. In 2009, she joined the cast of Saturday Night Live, but only lasted one season before producer Lorne Michaels let her go after she accidentally cursed on her debut episode.

Many actors and comedians view SNL as the ultimate ticket to career success, so the layoff hit hard for Slate at the time. Now, though, Slate sees it as a blessing.

"It's probably shortsighted to think of one experience as your arrival at the final castle. I think I would tell myself that there are secret doors in every experience," she told ET's Lauren Zima before reflecting on the decade since her SNL run.

"I've done my Netflix special, Stage Fright, a book I wrote, Little Weirds, those pieces of art are treasures to me and they're things I've made in order to help myself be happy and healthy," she shared, "so the chance to progress is always there."

Slate also welcomed her daughter, Ida, in February 2021 with her second husband, Ben Shattuck. Ahead of Marcel's premiere, the comedian said that Ida loves to hear her mother perform Marcel's voice.

"I think there’s something about the tone of his voice and the littleness of it. I like her thinking of it as something that Mom does… I don't know that she’ll ever be able to separate me and him and I think that’s OK," she said, noting that she also sings and reads to Ida in Marcel's voice. 

Slate also narrated the Westminster Dog Show as Marcel. "That is so fun and so cute," she said. "We just recorded Marcel commenting on the dogs... and eventually we went on for so long because it was so funny to us, just Marcel talking about a Husky or whatever."

The Marcel Twitter account posted a clip of the commentary, calling the shell a "special guest reporter." 

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On is out in theaters June 24. 

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