Travis Kelce 'Owes' “SNL” Cast Member Punkie Johnson 'Forever' After She Helped Get Him Into an “SNL” Afterparty

The comedian shared the hilarious story about helping the Kansas City Chiefs tight end while appearing on 'Late Night with Seth Meyers' Tuesday

<p>Lloyd Bishop/NBC; Leon Bennett/Getty</p> Punkie Johnson (left) and Travis Kelce

Lloyd Bishop/NBC; Leon Bennett/Getty

Punkie Johnson (left) and Travis Kelce

Travis Kelce has become more of a household name than ever in the months since his relationship with Taylor Swift began, but he hasn’t always been all that recognizable.

Comedian and Saturday Night Live cast member Punkie Johnson revealed on Late Night with Seth Meyers on Tuesday that Kelce, 34, was once stopped by security at an SNL afterparty — and she had to step in to help him gain entry.

Johnson, 38, recalled security telling him, "'You can’t get in, bro, you’re not on the list,'" after Kelce had "come to the show" earlier that night.

“And I’m sitting up there like, ‘Why isn’t he listing his resume?’ ‘Cause I’m on SNL, I’m like a D-list celebrity and I would’ve been like, 'I’m on SNL! I know Lorne Michaels!' But he was just sitting up there just being so innocent, like, ‘Oh my gosh, should I call someone?’”

Related: The Cast of 'Saturday Night Live': Everything to Know

<p>Punkie Johnson/ Instagram</p> SNL cast member Punkie Johnson and Travis Kelce

Punkie Johnson/ Instagram

SNL cast member Punkie Johnson and Travis Kelce

Johnson then took it upon herself to rescue the Kansas City Chiefs tight end and make security aware of just who they were denying.

“So I went over there and I was like, ‘This is a Super Bowl Champion! He is doggone the greatest tight end in the doggone NFL!’ I was saying everything he should’ve said. I was like, ‘He’s on my list, come on Travis!’”

The pair then became “forceful friends,” Johnson joked. “I was like, ‘You’re gonna take pictures with me every time you see me. I’m gonna be heavily a part of your life. We’re having children together — like you owe me for this party forever, bro.’"

<p>Will Heath/NBC via Getty</p> Travis Kelce hosting 'Saturday Night Live' on March 4, 2023

Will Heath/NBC via Getty

Travis Kelce hosting 'Saturday Night Live' on March 4, 2023

Related: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler Still Watch SNL Together — or Live-Text If They're Apart: 'We Root for Everybody'

The comedian and Kelce’s friendship has lasted since their afterparty meet-cute, and Johnson said on the Saturday Night Network podcast in October of the NFL player, “That’s my boy.”

She also commented on his latest SNL appearance, which had come just days before on the Oct. 14 episode. He and Swift had surprised viewers as he stepped in for a scene that poked fun at their relationship while Swift introduced the night’s musical guest, Ice Spice.

“They are very, very cute. And he is a gentleman,” Johnson said of the couple, before she joked, “I told Taylor, I’m like, ‘Call me if he get out of line.’"

<p>Gotham/GC Images</p> Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift arrive at an 'SNL' afterparty on October 15, 2023 in New York City.

Gotham/GC Images

Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift arrive at an 'SNL' afterparty on October 15, 2023 in New York City.

The appearance came as a shock not only to viewers, but also to the SNL cast, like Johnson. "It was a surprise to the audience and staff, no one knew they were there," a source told PEOPLE at the time.

Afterwards, they attended the afterparty together — Kelce likely didn't have any trouble getting in this time around — and were "so smiley" and "happy" together, another source said. "They were so talkative. They were really fun."

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On his podcast, New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce, the following week, the tight end said it was "spectacular" to return to the late-night comedy sketch show.

"It was electric to be back in that place," he said, before admitting he couldn't "remember" what he said in his cameo. "I blacked out. As soon as they queued to me, the entire place erupted, which was very overwhelming."

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