Fred Armisen says his famous Prince impersonation on “Saturday Night Live” grew out of his desire to meet one of his musical heroes.
“I have never stopped loving Prince,” Armisen told TheWrap on Sunday. “The reason I did the sketch was 100 percent so I could meet him. It was like a love letter.”
“Saturday Night Live” was criticized by some Prince fans over the weekend for including Armisen’s silly Prince sketches alongside old musical performances by the real Prince. (The show was airing previous Prince material from the “SNL” archives; Armisen did not reprise his take on Prince over the weekend. Prince died at 57 on Thursday.
Armisen was a drummer before becoming a comedian. He said he was a punk fan until Prince expanded his tastes.
“He made me totally throw out all my rules,” Armisen told TheWrap during a video interview. “I was just immediately struck by him.”
When the “Portlandia” and “Documentary Now!” actor finally met Prince, it was unforgettable, he said.
“I’m so grateful for that moment. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe I was in the same room with him,” he said, recalling his feelings.
Watch the video above to see more of Armisen’s appreciation of the late Prince.