On Wednesday's episode of fellow SNL alums Dana Carvey and David Spade's Fly on the Wall podcast, Sweeney looked back at the lack of female representation on the show during the early 1990s, noting the rarity of sketches that featured predominantly female cast members. When it was noted that political figures, like Sarah Palin and Clinton, offered opportunity for women be part of sketches, Spade reminded the group that Sweeney had once portrayed Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, a teen at the time, and that it "rubbed somebody wrong."
"Yeah, Hillary," Sweeney responded, adding that the former secretary of state "wrote a letter" to SNL creator Lorne Michaels to express her disapproval.
Everett Collection Julia Sweeney, Phil Hartman, and Jan Hooks on 'SNL'
"People were saying how unattractively I was playing Chelsea and all I did was not wear makeup and put braces on," Sweeney quipped. "If you say that, you're saying I'm unattractive!" The comedian maintained that she "wasn't trying to play her unattractive."
"I just didn't wear makeup and put on braces," she said. "That was it, and a wig. A long wig." Nonetheless, Sweeney said, "I understood what Hillary was saying, especially now that I'm a parent. It's like, yeah f--- off. I mean, don't play kids. That was wrong. She was right, that was wrong."
In the January 1993 episode in question hosted by Harvey Keitel, Sweeney played the teenage Clinton alongside Phil Hartman and Jan Hooks, who portrayed then-president Bill Clinton and the first lady, respectively, in a gala sketch.
Although Sweeney didn't play the first daughter again, the variety show continued to include sketches about the then 13-year-old, including one that same year that resulted in Michaels and the cast issuing an apology to the young Clinton. In a "Wayne's World" sketch, Mike Myers and Carvey's characters suggested the teen wasn't as attractive as then-vice president Al Gore's daughters.
Cynthia Johnson/Liaison; Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images A teenage Chelsea at her father's 1993 inauguration; Julia Sweeney circa 1992
It was reported that Myers wrote an apology letter to the Clintons. "We felt, upon reflection, that if it was in any way hurtful, it wasn't worth it," Michaels said at the time. "She's a kid, a kid who didn't choose to be in public life."
Listen to Sweeney's interview with Carvey and Spade in full above.