Saturday Night Live is one of network TV's longest-running shows, having been on the air for over 45 years. It was created by Lorne Michaels and premiered in 1975. The show's basic format revolves around comedic sketches, which often parody contemporary politics and social issues. The permanent cast members change every few seasons, and each episode is hosted by a celebrity. Several of the greatest comedians of the past century got their first break on the SNL stage. However, a lot goes down backstage that the audience never hears of. If you are looking for learn more about the performers who got the opportunity to say, "Live from New York, this is Saturday Night!" then you should keep on reading.
Candice Bergen Was the First Female Host
Comedy was not a welcoming environment for women in the 1970s, nor is it entirely today, for that matter. However, women were included early on as potential hosts for the show. The first one was Candice Bergen, who appeared twice during SNL's first year on air, making her also the first one to return. She was already a successful model and actor at the time, which gave the show more popularity.
Out of the twenty-three members of the Five-Timers Club, the guests who have hosted five or more times, only five are women. Bergen is one of them.
Victoria Jackson Handed Bibles to Her Cast Mates
The expectation is that everyone who works in comedy is more left-leaning because they usually aim against right-wing politicians with their sketches, but it is not true for all cases. Take Virginia Jackson, for example, who was a cast member from 1986-1992 and staunch right-wing conservative. One of her habits was leaving Bible audio cassettes in her cast member’s mail slots in an attempt to convert them.
Many of her co-workers did not appreciate her antics, no matter how well-intentioned she might have been. At least she was able to do her job without prejudice.
Comedian Martin Lawrence Is Banned From Ever Appearing on the Show
Did you know some stars are permanently banned from hosting Saturday Night Live? Comedian, actor, and writer Martin Lawrence is one of them. He was invited on to the show in 1994, and his monologue was all about how women have poor hygiene. The routine got over 200 complaints and even caused issues with the sponsors. Everyone was so offended that he was prohibited from appearing on the show ever again.
The stand-up comedian and actor defended his actions and stated that he knew "what it takes to make a person laugh" and that he would say what he wanted to say.
The First Woman to Be Head Writer Was Tina Fey
Tina Fey is a brilliant comedian, actress, and writer, and she is one of SNL's most memorable cast members. Her impersonation of politician Sarah Palin became very popular, and her stint hosting the weekend updates was incredibly successful. Most importantly, she made history in 1999 when she became the first female head writer. The shower even won an Emmy thanks to her work.
She later created one of the most successful comedy series ever: 30 Rock. Some scenes from the show were based on her experiences working on Saturday Night Live as a writer.
An SNL Cast Member Was Murdered by His Wife
Entertainers often have sordid life stories. Several comedians who had worked on SNL, such as Jim Belushi, had severe issues with substance abuse. Nevertheless, Phil Hartman was not one of them. He was by all accounts a regular guy nicknamed "Glue" by his co-workers because he always held the team together. That did not save him from being tragically murdered by his drug-addict wife when he was 49.
He had married Brynn Omdahl in 1987, but her drug and alcohol dependency strained the relationship. The day she fatally shot Hartman, she had Zoloft, alcohol, and cocaine in her system.
The Muppets Were Once Part of the Show
During the first season of Lorne Michael's late-night show, a group of Muppets, created by Jim Henson, were regular performers. Henson created new creatures specifically to star in SNL at the behest of his manager, who also managed Michael. It sounded like a good idea on paper but was a disaster. The comedians and the puppeteers did not get along, so the Muppets were never fully integrated into the sketches.
That is why they only lasted a single season. Some of Henson's most popular characters, like Kermit and Big Bird, made several guest appearances in later episodes.
Those Who Played Host More Than Five Times Are Part of the Five-Timers Club
We already mentioned the existence of an informal club called the Five-Timers Club, which includes all those who have hosted the show five times or more. Let us begin by stating that hosting is not an easy job. You must manage to remember your lines, be funny, and get along well with the regular cast members. Not many celebrities have the complex skills to succeed in the comedy world.
Getting Lorne Michaels to call you up not once but five times is quite the achievement. The club's members include John Goodman, Tom Hanks, and Drew Barrymore, among others.
The Cast Has to Write Their Own Material
Getting hired to work at Saturday Night Live takes quite a bit of talent and experience. Only the greatest up-and-coming comedians can get a slot in a show like this. The cast proves their skill every episode since they are supposed to write their jokes and punchlines. They also have to learn to deal with the frustration of their sketches not making it to air.
After all, that was the reason why Larry David temporarily quit in the 1980s, and he is one of the most lauded comedians of all time. SNL demands nothing but the best.
John Mulaney Wanted to Make Bill Hader Break Character
Bill Hader's years playing Stefan the hairdresser gave us some of the show's most memorable episodes. Every Weekend Update aired between 2005 and 2013 features colorful character, which is some of the funniest bits of TV you will ever see. His performance of Stefan was so flawless that castmate John Mulaney made it his mission to make Hader laugh and get distracted so he would break character.
He did that by changing jokes at the last minute. If you ever see Stefan cover his face with his hands, it is probably because Hader is trying not to laugh.
John Belushi Thought Women Did Not Belong in Comedy
There is no doubt that SNL, and comedy in general, was a boy's club. For many years, women were considered incapable of being funny, and were picked on for being "easily offended." By the time the show aired, there were already a few successful female comedians, but some men still hung on to their misogynistic views. One of those was John Belushi, who was disgustingly rude to all the females among the staff.
He frequently refused to participate in sketches written by women, and his co-star Jane Curtin once said that he felt it was "his duty" to sabotage any sketches or bits written by ladies.
Jon Hamm Snapped Amy Poehler Back to Reality After She Got Bad News
Jon Hamm is mainly known for playing Don Draper in the hit series Mad Men. In 2008, when the show was at its peak popularity levels, Hamm was invited to host Saturday Night Live. Being a comedian at heart, the man was understandably excited to be there, but just as he was about to perform a sketch alongside Amy Poehler, she received news that devastated her. Her OBGYN had passed away.
Poehler was heavily pregnant at the time, so the news hit her hard. Hamm told her he understood but that she was going to need her to pull herself back together.
Sarah Silverman Stabbed Someone's Hair
Sarah Silverman has always been a controversial performer. One of her most talked-about stunts happened during the 1993-1994 season of SNL when she was a cast member. In an interview with Seth Meyers, she stated that she had not intended to stab writer Al Franken in the head, but she only wanted to put a pencil through his hair. Unfortunately, she ended up poking him in the temple.
Obviously, she was not asked to come back the following season. However, she still maintains that she just wanted to stab his fluffy hair and never meant him any harm.
Andy Sandberg Suddenly Quit Because of Stress
Out of the most recent generations of SNL cast members, Andy Sandberg became one of the most successful. He was on the show from 2005 to 2012 and found great popularity with his Lonely Island sketches, alongside band members Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. Nevertheless, there came the point when it all became too much for Sandberg, who ended up quitting without even telling his co-workers that he was leaving.
Later, he explained that he had felt too drained physically and emotionally to keep working on the show. He then went on to star in the hit comedy Brooklyn 9-9.
Sinéad O’Connor Offended Many by Ripping up a Picture of Pope John Paul II
Irish singer Sinéad O'Connor is known for her public and contentious protesting. This has gotten her in hot water several times, including during her appearance as the musical guest on SNL. In what became one of the show's most infamous incidents, she finished her performance of Bob Marley's "War" by ripping up a picture of Pope John Paul II as a protest against child abuse in the church.
To make matters worse, the host that night had been Tim Robbins, who is a devout catholic. The stunt earned her a permanent ban and criticism from stars such as Madonna.
Only Two SNL Episodes Were Pulled From the Air in All of Its History
Being a live show, you would imagine that the potential for disaster is relatively high. Nevertheless, both cast members and hosts are professionals and are usually receptive to the limitations the network and sponsors put on them. That does not mean that there are no exceptions, but in all of SNL's long history, only two episodes were pulled from the air. One with Louise Lasser and another with Milton Berle.
Berle told racist jokes, called everyone offensive names, and organized a standing ovation for himself. Louise Lasser rambled through her entire monologue and later claimed that her manager had the episode pulled.
Adrien Brody Was Banned for Recreating a Racist Stereotype
At first glance, you would not think that Adrien Brody looked like a controversial figure, but you would be wrong. The actor may look quiet and calm, but in reality, he has landed himself in hot water before. Everyone remembers the kiss he planted on Halle Berry when he went to pick up the Academy Award for his performance in The Pianist, but did you know that he was also banned from SNL?
The prohibition came after he stepped on stage wearing a dreadlock wig. He then proceeded to introduce the night's musical guest, Jamaican rapper Sean Paul, with a stereotypical Jamaican accent.
Eddie Murphy Did Not Appreciate David Spade Joking About His Stalling Career
During Lorne Michales' absence in the 1980s, the show struggled. The only positive thing from that era was that production hired Eddie Murphy. Many fellow comedians admit that he was the main reason why SNL survived during those years. He left in 1984 to pursue a movie career and became a global superstar. Unfortunately, saving the show did not make him exempt from becoming the butt of the joke.
In the 1990s, Murphy's career began to stall. Then cast member David Spade made jokes about it and Murphy was outraged. Because of that, he did not return for years.
Andrew Dice Clay Caused an Uproar When He Was Booked as a Host
There has been a fair share of controversial hosts on Saturday Night Live. Comedian Andrew Dice Clay or "The Diceman," was one of the worst. He had made racist and misogynistic comments, and a lot of the audience didn't seem to like him. When news broke that he would host SNL in 1990, it caused quite an uproar, and cast member Nora Dunne alongside musical guest Sinéad O'Connor announced that they would not perform.
Sadly, their cast mates did not support them and went ahead with the show anyway. The network insisted the episode will be broadcast with a delay to catch any potential blunders.
None of the Cast Members Could Stand Steven Seagal
When Lorne Michales is asked which was the show's worst host ever, he always replies, "Steven Seagal." The martial artist and actor rose to fame in the late 1980s and early 1990s by starring in action movies. In 1991, he was invited to guest host SNL, and he was so nasty that the entire cast and crew hated filming with him. The man even pitched a sketch about assaulting women.
Episodes later, when Nicholas Cage joked about being "the biggest jerk who's ever been on the show.” Lorne Michaels called out, “No, No, That would be Steven Seagal.”
Chris Kattan Broke His Neck While Filming a Sketch
Chris Kattan was a cast member from 1996 to 2003 alongside Will Ferrell, with whom he had previously formed the sketch group "The Groundlings." He created several memorable characters like Mr. Peepers, Mango, Azrael Abyss, and Kyle DeMarco from The DeMarco Brothers. In 2017, he competed in Dancing with the Stars and revealed that he had left SNL because of an injury that limited the mobility of his neck.
Later, in his memoir, he went into more detail. He claimed he had broken his neck by throwing himself backward off a chair while filming a sketch that aired in 2001.
Conan O'Brien Did Not Think People Would Like the Wayne's World Sketches
Before being a successful show host, Conan O'Brien was a writer on SNL. He worked for the show from 1988 to 1991, during the same period when Michael Myers was there. Initially, when the idea of Wayne's World was pitched to him, he did not believe it would succeed. The sketch became so popular that they made an entire movie based on those characters and their stories.
We cannot imagine that Conan was too proud of having dunked on what later became one of the funniest routines the show ever produced. However, we are not comedians, so what do we know?
One Show Takes an Entire Week to Make
It takes quite a bit of effort to make a live show. Skilled performers might make everything seem as though it is effortless, but it takes a serious amount of planning and hard work. Each episode of SNL takes about a week to make. On Mondays, writers and cast members meet to pitch jokes, toss ideas around, and eventually choose only about eight out of forty or fifty.
Writers finish everything on Tuesdays. Then, on Wednesdays, everyone gathers together for a read-through. The sets are built on Thursdays, and Fridays are dedicated to rehearsals and rewrites.
There Is a Reason Why They Skip the Last Word When They Announce the Show's Name
Do you ever wonder why they shout "Live from New York, it's Saturday night!" at the end of the opening monologue or sketch? There does not seem to be a good reason for them leaving out the "live." The show is named Saturday Night Live, after all. They skip the last word because when the show first premiered, there was a series called Saturday Night Live on ABC.
To avoid potential copyright issues, the cast decided to skip the last part so it would not sound the same. As the years went by, it became a tradition.
Emma Stone Met Her Future Husband While Guest Hosting SNL
Emma Stone is a very talented actress who has appeared in comedy and drama movies. In 2016, she was invited to guest host SNL, and she met her future husband, Dave McCary. He served as a segment director on the show from 2013 to 2019. Several accounts mention that sparks flew when they met, but they kept the relationship secret. They welcomed a daughter in 2021.
The SNL studio is not just a set for comedic sketches and monologues, but it is also a set for love stories. It is nice to see these two people find happiness thanks to the show.
Jason Sudeikis Blindsided Everyone When He Announced That He Was Leaving
The late-night show's cast constantly changes and renews itself every few years. However, when Jason Sudeikis abruptly decided to leave in 2013, after seven years, it got people wondering why. To make matters worse, he did not even make a farewell appearance. Instead, he announced his surprise departure on an episode of Late Show With David Letterman. His decision entirely blindsided even the crew.
That same year, big names such as Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, and Seth Meyers had also departed a few months earlier, which might have influenced his decision.
The Cast Has to Pay for Their Own Food During Afterparties
Saturday Night Live became a launching pad for the careers of many of TV's greatest comedians. For an aspiring performer, landing a spot on the permanent cast is a one-of-a-kind opportunity, but it does not immediately make you a millionaire. After all, it implies having to live in New York, which can be quite an expensive city. Furthermore, you are expected to cover food and drinks for yourself sometimes.
Well, at least when it comes to the afterparties. During filming hours there is most likely a catering table with snacks and drinks, but after the cameras stop rolling, the freebies end.
Will Ferrell Wore the Same Outfit for an Entire Season Because of a Bet
If someone ever asked you to describe a funny guy, you would probably think about Will Ferrell. The former SNL cast member found significant success acting in movies after leaving the show. Nevertheless, some of his most memorable moments happened live at the NBC studios. For example, he once wore the same costume for an entire season. Show writer Tom Gianas challenged him to do it, and Ferrell accepted the dare.
The outfit was designed as part of a "Smokey and the Bandit" parody and included jeans, a plaid shirt, a puffy vest, and a trucker hat. He wore it from November to May.
John Mulaney Fumbled His First Camera Appearance
In 2008, John Mulaney joined the SNL staff as a writer. A year later, he got to debut on camera as a clapboard operator on one of the sketches. At first, it seemed as if his performance would go on without any issues. Ironically, when he finished his line, he went over to where co-star Bobby Moynihan was, and they began to high-five excitedly over and over again.
He got so excited that he missed his cue to go back into the scene and his co-stars were left waiting in silence. Fortunately, the rest of the sketch went great.
Cast Members Bet Money on Whether Paris Hilton Would Show Interest in Anyone
During the early aughts, Paris Hilton became a household name when she starred in the reality TV show The Simple Life alongside Nicole Richie. They were both portrayed as the epitome of dumb, rich blondes. Hilton had a reputation for being extremely self-absorbed, so when she guest hosted SNL, the cast members decided to bet on whether she would ask any of the questions. She lived up to her reputation.
Seth Meyers offered a thousand bucks to the first person she showed interest in. Maya Rudolph came the closest since Hilton asked if she was Italian, but nobody won.
The Night Before Her Audition, Cheri Oteri Got Food Poisoning
Cheri Oteri started out at SNL alongside the famous duo Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan, but she almost did not make it to the audition. That is because she got a terrible bout of food poisoning. She had gone out to dinner with Ferrell and Kattan the night before, and something had not sat well in her stomach. The next day, she arrived at the studio looking like a zombie.
She looked and felt so bad that the makeup artist asked her what had happened. If we had been there, we would have wondered if Ferrell had perhaps sabotaged her.
Aidy Bryant Caught Kate McKinnon Smashing Some Walls in With a Hammer
Working long hours six days a week is bound to be stressful. Acting sketches out live can also put you under a lot of pressure. That is why it is no surprise that the members of the SNL cast have their own ways of blowing off some steam. Kate McKinnon enjoyed smashing the headquarters' walls with a hammer. At least that is what co-star Aidy Bryant caught her doing one day.
McKinnon had heard that the walls were being torn down and had decided to take advantage of the situation. Unfortunately, Bryant later told her that they were only being repainted.
Will Ferrell Almost Threw Fake Dollar Bills Onto Lorne Michaels' Desk
Before being called back, Will Ferrell was supposed to have a meeting with Lorne Michaels. So, he decided to play him a practical joke. He filled up a suitcase with fake dollar bills and brought it along. Ferrell told the New York Times that his idea was to throw $25,000 on Lorne Michael's desk and say something along the lines of, “Take the money and put me on the show.”
When he arrived, Ferrell realized that the meeting's atmosphere was far more serious than he had anticipated, so he scrapped the plan and sat through the meeting like an adult.
A Woman From the Audience Declined Jim Carrey's Proposal and Ruined the Sketch
No matter how often you rehearse a sketch, there is always the risk that it will not go as planned. This even happens to season performers like Jim Carrey, who got shot down by an audience member during his monologue. The scene included a proposal scene, and all the women had said yes during practice. However, when the moment came to do it live, the lady he asked said no.
He was temporarily stumped but recovered quite quickly. All the practice runs always ended with the woman accompanying him, so it must have been a shock to hear the audience member decline.
Adam Sandler Never Got Over Having Been Fired Out of Nowhere
Most people might know him from the many blockbuster films he participated in, but Adam Sandler started on SNL. He was hired in 1990 and stayed on for five seasons until he was suddenly fired along with fellow cast member Chris Farley. NBC executives did not care for Sandler, and since the show's ratings were falling, they wanted to refresh the cast and bring in some new talent.
After his abrupt exit, he went on to make over four billion dollars at the box office. Sandler returned as host in 2019, and he sang an ironic jingle called "I Was Fired."
The Man Behind the Iconic Voice Featured in the Opening Credits Was Don Pardo
One of the most iconic lines from the show was not uttered by a comedian. Radio and TV announcer Don Pardo was the one who voiced the line "It's Saturday Night Live!" during the show's opening credits. He worked for NBC for seventy years and tried to retire twice: in 2004 and 2009. He was asked to stay both times until he passed away in 2014.
Everyone who worked at NBC was fond of him, and SNL aired a tribute in his honor after he died. It goes to show that every staff member is important.
The Highest Paid Cast Member Ever Was Will Ferrell
Seniority is vital when it comes time to negotiate how much each cast member gets paid. Other elements to take into account include inflation and star power. Initially, in 1975, everyone was paid $750 per episode. By season two, it rose to $2,000 and kept increasing. In the 1990s, new cast members started off earning $5,000 each episode with a bonus if one of their sketches made it on air.
In 2001, Will Ferrell made history by becoming the highest-paid cast member in the show’s history. He earned $350,000 in one season. We think that he was worth the splurge.
There Have Been Many Tragic Losses for the SNL Team
Gilda Radner was part of the original cast when Saturday Night Live began to air. She specialized in parodic impressions of TV personalities, such as newscasters, and was one of the funniest women in the business. She was also married to comedian Gene Wilder, which is beside the point. Her brilliant career was cut short when she got sick from ovarian cancer, which devastated her co-workers.
She was one of many losses the SNL team has suffered throughout the decades. Danitra Vance and Tom Davis also passed away from cancer, while John Belushi and Chris Farley died because of addiction.
Larry David Quit but Changed His Mind Immediately
Larry David is another brilliant writer that got his start with Lorne Michaels. His time working on SNL later inspired him to write Seinfeld, which is widely considered one of the best sitcoms of all time. However, at one point, he got frustrated because his sketches were never chosen to do on-air, so he quit in a rage. He instantly regretted it and tried to get his job back.
He quit on a Friday and spent the whole weekend rethinking his choices. He decided to pretend that his outburst had never happened and showed up to work on Monday. It worked.
Chris Farley Tried to Kick His Addiction, but He Could Not
It is ironic how many funny men and women hide such severe conditions as addiction or depression. Among the cast of SNL, there have been a couple of cases where people ultimately lost their lives to drug and alcohol issues. Chris Farley died at 33 from an overdose, and the most heart-breaking part is that he had checked himself into rehab seventeen times to get clean.
He even tried to do it the week he passed away and spent one night in a facility. Unfortunately, he never managed to shake his dependence. His loss was a great one.
Lorne Michaels Was Offered Four Seats by the Yankees Owner and He Took Them
You may not be aware that the show owns four seats at Yankee Stadium, located behind home plate. The then owner of the team offered them up to Lorne Michaels back in 1975. He accepted, and SNL has been paying the annual fees required to keep them. From time to time, those who go to a game get to see Michaels or cast members watching the Yankees play.
They are truly prime location seats, and once in a while, spectators can also catch a glimpse of a celebrity that may have been invited to the game by someone on the show.
NBC Did Not Enjoy Former Cast Members Leaving the Show and Making Millions
When some big names left SNL, the show that had given them their first break and went on to make millions at the box office, the network was understandably peeved. NBC executives felt they should have gotten a share of these comedy superstars' profits, so they came up with changes in the contracts of all future cast members. However, the new conditions attracted criticism because the network effectively owned people's careers.
Current cast members have to take at least one offer to do a sitcom from NBC. They can reject the first two that come their way but must accept the third.
Very Few Performers Have the Necessary Skills to Pass the SNL Auditions
Did you know that many people that found success in other shows did not pass the auditions to become part of the SNL cast? Competition is tough, and the live nature of it all means it requires certain specific skills beyond being funny. Those who join the cast must have excellent improvisational skills, be good writers, and have good impersonation skills. That is a pretty broad skill set to have.
Some famous names that did not make the cut were Lisa Kudrow, Aubrey Plaza, Stephen Colbert, Kevin Hart, and Jim Carrey. Yes, Jim Carrey: one of the best impersonators ever.
Chevy Chase Was Always a Homophobic and Misogynist
Chevy Chase was part of the original cast, and he took home three Emmys for his writing and performance work on the show. Nevertheless, his reprehensible views about the LGBTQ community and women spelled his downfall. The fact that his inappropriate jokes made it on-air is already problematic, but the worst part is that not even his cast mates escaped from his homophobic attacks. He was eventually banned from coming back.
In an episode that aired when the HIV epidemic was at its peak, Chevy Chase included a homophobic joke about gay cast member Terry Sweeney. Lorne Michaels made him apologize immediately.
Norm MacDonald Got Into a Fight With an Intern
Some of the show's most beloved cast members joined during the 1990s, and among them is Norm MacDonald. When he died in 2021, he was greatly mourned by the general populace and by comedians from around the world. That being said, the man had a fiery temper. One day, during his stint on SNL, he was playing football with an intern, Wyatt Cenac, and when Cenac accidentally kicked him, MacDonald lost it.
Cenac recounted the experience during an interview with Stephen Colbert. He said that MacDonald grabbed him and threw him across the room, a move that was not a regular feature of the game.
Jay Mohr Caved Under Pressure and Plagiarized Someone Else's Stand-Up Routine
As we have mentioned earlier, those few who get the chance to work on SNL must have a varied set of skills, such as an ability to improvise and experience writing for comedy. Even the most capable performers are bound to feel pressured when they are expected to deliver quality content every week. The stress became too much for comedian Jay Mohr to handle.
He was under so much stress that he suffered chronic panic attacks. That is probably why he got caught plagiarizing an entire stand-up routine that had originally been created by Rick Shapiro.
The SNL Stage Is Actually Suspended in the Air
This fact is not about the cast but the stage where the show is taped. Saturday Night Live is filmed in Studio 8H on floors 8 and 9 of the Comcast Building, known as 30 Rockefeller Plaza, an iconic feature of New York City. It was initially built as a radio soundstage for the NBC Symphony Orchestra to record, which is why it hangs above the floor.
Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini did not want the nearby subway's vibrations to affect the sound's quality. He requested the stage to be hung with suspension wires so the train's rattling would not reach it.
Chevy Chase Was so Nasty and Rude That He Was Banned
Chevy Chase's homophobic and misogynistic views got him fired from the show after the first season and Bill Murray replaced him. Years later, Chase was allowed to return as guest host for one episode. However, he proved that he had not changed at all. He was nasty to everyone on set and refused to work with cast member Jane Curtin. Despite this, he was asked back in 1997.
His antics got even worse then. During the taping, he slapped Cheri Oteri, harassed a female writer, and screamed at everyone. That got him banned from returning for life.
Norm MacDonald Had an Issue With Fellow Cast-Mate Chris Kattan
A person's sexuality should not be open to speculation or insulting comments from co-workers. Norm MacDonald did not seem to have gotten the memo, given how obsessed he was with whether fellow cast member Chris Kattan was gay or not. He was quoted several times making offensive comments about him being gay and disparaging Kattan for not being funny. The worst part is that MacDonald's criticism came seemingly out of nowhere.
He was even quoted saying about Kattan: “I don’t know, but to me, he seems gay… He claims he’s not, but I’ve never seen, like, a guy who’s not gay seem so gay."
Tina Fey Wanted Nothing to Do With Sarah Palin
SNL has had many amazing politician impersonations. The most recent ones are Alec Baldwin's popular Trump spoof and Jim Carrey's Joe Biden. However, Tina Fey's Sarah Palin is still considered one of the best politicians impersonations to come out of the show. Nevertheless, playing a congresswoman or senator on-screen does not mean you share their views or values, and Fey did not see eye-to-eye with Palin.
When showrunners presented Fey with the idea of doing a "sneaker upper," alongside Palin, which is when the real person sneaks up and joins a performer on stage, Fey vehemently refused.
Long-Time Cast Member Darrell Hammond Had Many Demons
It is cruelly ironic that many funniest people struggle with depression and other mental health issues. Darrell Hammond was on SNL from 1995 to 2009 and later even took over Don Pardo's presenting job after he passed away in 2014. Unfortunately, while he was on the show, he used to frequently self-harm backstage. He was once even taken to a psychiatric ward straight from 30 Rock.
Hammond later revealed in his memoir that much of his issues stemmed from the abuse he had suffered as a child at the hands of his mother. He was diagnosed with PTSD.
Tina Fey Was Amazed to Find That the Male Writers Peed in Bottles
Did you know that many situations or events Tina Fey witnessed while working at SNL inspired her comedy 30 Rock? In the sixth episode of the fourth season, Fey's character, Liz Lemon, is disgusted to find that one of her staff writers pees in a bottle. Although this might sound made-up, it was based on an actual fact. The male writers frequently relieved themselves in jars.
Fey went on to elaborate on the subject, saying that “judging by its consistency, I suspect that the writers sometimes spat into it. Or that one of them was terribly ill.”
Larry David Heckled Michael McKean While He Was Live on Stage
Larry David was one of those men who did not get along with anyone during his tenure as a writer on SNL. In his defense, it was more because he was a self-absorbed grump and not because he made offensive comments. That said, mocking a co-worker while he was on stage giving a monologue did not earn him any friends. The person he had issues with was Michael McKean.
During the taping of an episode, David was backstage while Michael McKean was speaking. He apparently did not think highly of his comedy skills because he started shouting disparaging comments at him.
Elisabeth Moss Did Not Enjoy Being Married to Fred Armisen
Not many people know that Elisabeth Moss, of Mad Men and The Handmaid's Tale fame, was once married to the hilariously weird Fred Armisen. Sadly, things did not end well between them, and she does have fond memories from that time. The comedian met Moss on SNL in 2008. The pair later got married but only stayed together for eight months. She described those months as "extremely traumatic and awful and horrible."
Moss went on to explain that “He’s so great at doing impersonations. But the greatest impersonation he does is that of a normal person.” It seems like Armisen is not an easy person to be with.
Justin Bieber Is Considered to Be One of the Worst Hosts Ever
When Justin Bieber was invited to host an episode, he already had a massive fanbase and had become one of the biggest pop stars of all time, and although his talents are numerous, they did not seem to include being funny. SNL alums Bill Hader and Jay Pharoah were speaking with Andy Cohen, and he asked who had been the show’s worst host. They both replied, “Yeah, it was Bieber.”
On a previous occasion, Hader had already stated that he had not really enjoyed working with Bieber. It seems that he had lived up to the negative rumors that were circulating about him.
The Story of How SNL Was Created Includes Jimmy Carson
The story about how Saturday Night Live came to be is a curious one and not widely circulated. Back in the 1970s, beloved TV show host Jimmy Carson asked NBC to have his show re-runs pulled and used during weekdays so he could have some extra time off. That left an open slot for a show to air on Saturday night, and Dick Ebersol was charged with developing one that would fit.
He brought Lorne Michaels on as a producer, who put together a 90-minute sketch comedy show that eventually became the beloved SNL that is still running 47 years later.