Meredith Vieira Called “Comedic Genius” by John Early and Kate Berlant

John and Kate flew to 30 Rock in New York City to film the sketch with Meredith—And the pressure was on.

“We were there at, like, 4 in the morning,” John said. “It was the first thing we shot, too. This has been a very meaningful opportunity for us, so we were very nervous. She was immediately such a pro. She was like, ‘My kids love you guys.’ Her kids told her to do it. We were shocked that we got her. She was in this tier of anchors where we were like, ‘She’ll never say yes.’ “

Luckily for all of us, she did.

Later, in the final sketch of the special, John and Kate play the same characters, reunited in their old age. As the two dine in a restaurant, they are desperate for the waitstaff to acknowledge them for the celebrities that they are.

It turns out, it’s a sketch that was born from a real life experience.

“We were at a restaurant in New York when Kate was visiting me last summer,” John said, “and, it’s not that our waiter was doing anything wrong, we were just trying to detect if he was a fan. Every time he went away from the table, we were dissecting it. “

While the real-life John and Kate don’t remember if the waiter ever gifted them anything, the fictional John and Kate end up with a free banana split.

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