The Mandalorian‘s scene-stealing asset is a lot more than a million-dollar baby. At least, that is what series boss Jon Favreau told two very special guest stars when it came time to spank “Baby Yoda.”
Appearing at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Saturday to talk up his new NBC sitcom, Indebted, Adam Pally shared some anecdotes about his and SNL alum Jason Sudeikis’ season-ending cameo on the Disney+ series, as a pair of scout troopers minding the kidnapped child.
Amid exchanging banter about their ballbusting boss, Moff Gideon, Sudeikis’ trooper repeatedly whacks the saddle bag inside of which they have stowed the restless Child. By the end of the sequence, Pally’s curious trooper goes to check on the too-quiet asset only to get his finger bit — at which point he winds his arm and slugs the creature.
“I remember the first take that I did when I punched it…,” Pally told reporters at TCA. “They called ‘cut’ and Jon, who was watching on a monitor in his office, came down and said, “‘I just want to let you know that this is the hero [expensive puppet] and it costs, like, $5 million. I want you to hit it, but I want you to know that.'”
Apprised of his wee scene partner’s worth, Pally said, “The next three takes I missed, because I was so nervous.”
How did the Happy Endings alum come to mount a speeder bike on TV’s first live-action Star Wars series? “I’ve been friends with Favreau for a little bit, and he said he has this thing where he needed someone to ‘do something special.’ That was kind of the headline I got. So Jason and I talked and were like, ‘Yeah, we really want to be part of it.’ It seemed exciting.”
But after landing the fun gig, “It was very hard to keep it a secret,” Pally noted with a laugh.
As for what it was like to work opposite the instantly meme-able munchkin of unknown origin and name, Pally quipped, “The truth is that Baby Yoda is a bit of a diva. Just constantly vaping.”