Heidi Gardner reveals how Kelly Clarkson helped her land “Saturday Night Live” role

The comedian who joined the "SNL" cast in 2017 says “Heartbeat Song” had a crucial role to play.

When she’s not scaring her peers away from singing their own music, Kelly Clarkson is inadvertently influencing the world of comedy.

During her appearance on Monday’s episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show, comedian Heidi Gardner credited the Grammy-winning singer with helping her snag a role as a Saturday Night Live cast member. While joining Clarkson on the couch, Gardner surprised the singer by saying, “I have to thank you because you are actually part of why I believe I’m on SNL.”

“What?!,” Clarkson asked. “No way.”

“I was actually playing one of your songs during my audition,” Garner said, before clarifying, “Not before to hype me up. Like, you were playing while I was on the stage auditioning for SNL.”

Baffled, Clarkson asked, “Were you doing interpretive dancing or singing?”

<p>The Kelly Clarkson Show/YouTube</p> Heidi Gardner and Kelly Clarkson

The Kelly Clarkson Show/YouTube

Heidi Gardner and Kelly Clarkson

Gardner went on to explain that she integrated Clarkson’s 2015 single, “Heartbeat Song” into her audition sketch.

“I was playing this crazed Mary Kay executive makeup woman giving a seminar,” she said, “And every time I would hit a point, I would then make eye contact with the audience, start tracking across the stage, while Heartbeat Song was playing. So it was like, ‘This is my heartbeat song.’”

Gardner and her heartbeat song indeed made an impact because she was welcomed into the SNL fold in 2017, alongside cast members Chris Redd and Luke Null, though she is the only of the three who remains with the show.

“Heartbeat Song” was the lead single for Clarkson’s seventh studio album, Piece By Piece. Though the singer dropped her tenth album, Chemistry, in 2023, she still performs the 2015 hit in concert — especially when her daughter gets a say.

Last year, 9-year-old River Rose, chose the song when invited to throw a dance part onstage at one of her mother’s Las Vegas residency performances.

Clarkson told the audience that her daughter chose "Heartbeat Song" because it holds a special place in her heart. "She's been jamming to this song since she was a baby," the pop star said. "She loves this song so much, so she was like, 'Can I sing this song?' She picked her dress, y'all.”

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