SNL Guitarist Maddie Rice: Balancing Live Performances and Creative Pursuits

New York, NY – Maddie Rice, the guitarist for the Saturday Night Live Band, has become a notable addition to the popular late-night show. Rice, who joined the show in October 2020, has made a name for herself with her talent and youthful energy. With only six vacancies in the band since the start of the millennium, Rice’s presence has garnered attention from viewers and industry peers alike.

Before joining SNL, Rice spent time as a guitarist on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, working under bandleader Jon Batiste. It was through industry recommendations that she landed the opportunity to join the SNL Band. Now, after three years on the show, Rice has found a balance between her work on SNL and her passion for writing music.

When asked about her experience on SNL, Rice acknowledges the significance of the show in the comedy world. As a session musician, she didn’t originally view SNL as a career milestone, but rather as a natural progression from her previous television experience. Rice credits her success on the show to her dedication and the confidence the bandleader had in her abilities.

The energy behind the scenes at Studio 8H is described as “super high” and “chaotic” by Rice. The weekly show is a whirlwind of rehearsals and last-minute changes, with the band members collaborating closely with the actors and production team to bring the sketches to life. Despite the pressure, Rice enjoys the fast-paced nature of SNL and the opportunity it provides for her to showcase her skills as a guitarist.

While Rice primarily focuses on her role in the band, she has had the chance to collaborate with musical guests on occasion. However, most musical guests come with their own band or perform to pre-recorded tracks. One standout moment for Rice was when she got to jam with Miley Cyrus during a cold open sketch.

Reflecting on her time on SNL, Rice emphasizes that her main focus is playing the guitar and not writing jokes. She admits that she doesn’t always have a sense of how well the jokes or sketches are being received by the audience, but she always remains dedicated to her role as the visual representation of the TV audience.

Looking towards the future, Rice expresses her desire for the personalities of the long-standing band members to shine through in their own sketch. She envisions giving them the opportunity to showcase their unique talents and interests.

Overall, Maddie Rice brings her talent and enthusiasm to the Saturday Night Live Band, adding a fresh dynamic to the show. As the only visual representation of the TV audience, Rice’s guitar skills provide the perfect complement to the comedy and performances that SNL is known for.