Though some of the funniest women around have been in the Saturday Night Live cast, Jane says it wasn't always an easy place to work in the early days. She says the way women were treated at SNL reflected society. "Women's liberation happened in the '60s, and so women were going out into the workforce and challenging men," she says. "Well, it was not necessarily embraced by the male population—understandably so. They were threatened by the fact that there were all these women going out into the workplace and they were going to have to compete with them as well as the other men."

Jane says one cast member, John Belushi, was especially tough on women writers. "They were working against John, who said women are just fundamentally not funny. You'd go to a table read and if a woman writer had written a piece for John, he would not read it in his full voice. He would whisper it," she says. "He felt as though it was his duty to sabotage pieces that were written by women."

Tina says her time at SNL showed how things had changed. "By the time I got there, in that read-through room ... our director was a woman; one of our stage managers was a woman," she says. "The more women that were in the room to laugh at the different pieces, then [the more] people were like, 'Oh, okay, maybe we'll put it on.'"

"And I did the Church Lady to increase gender diversity," Dana jokes.

Watch how Dana brought the Church Lady to life


Next Story