Sarah Sherman is in the makeup chair at Saturday Night Live, morphing into a five-eyed, giant-eared beast. Since she joined the show in 2021, SNL’s makeup artist, Louie Zakarian, has transformed her into the Six Flags mascot, covered her in meatballs, and turned her real eyes into googly ones. That was all for sketches; today, though, they’re just experimenting. “Originally, my pitch I was gonna send you for this was, like, pimples that are eyeballs. But my face doesn’t have that much surface area,” Sherman says as Zakarian sticks prosthetic ears with eyes in their lobes to the sides of her head. He adds an extra eye to her forehead, applying thin layers of color until the latex around it is indistinguishable from Sherman’s skin.
“There are certain actors that you could put whatever you want on them and they don’t transform,” Zakarian says. “She just transforms.”
“I have kind of a ‘no’ face,” agrees Sherman. “I don’t have crazy-distinct features.” Once the makeup is applied and pictures are taken, Zakarian removes the ears and lets Sherman keep them as a memento. She leaves the eye on her forehead as she walks out, and no one at 30 Rock seems to notice. On her, that kind of thing has started to look natural.
Sherman is a 29-year-old body-horror comic who has been playing with detached eyeballs and exploding buttholes since she started performing stand-up in Chicago under the name Sarah Squirm. She finds glory in gore: In May 2021, shortly before she was cast on SNL, she made a video called “The Sarah Vaccine,” in which she made a concoction of “gasoline, juice, and the special ingredient … piss,” then drank it. “I did a show in Portland,” she says, “and my friend Tommy had to walk out in the middle to puke in the parking lot.” (She considers this an accomplishment.)
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