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12 Celebrities Who Auditioned for "Saturday Night Live" But Declined Or Were Rejected

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | October 24, 2012 | Comments ()


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If you haven't heard yet, Louis C.K. has been announced as the host of "Saturday Night Live" for November 3rd. I actually think this is a terrible idea on Louis C.K.'s part. He's the best comedian working today, is incredibly well respected, and considered one of the funniest people in showbusiness. Why would somebody like Louis need or even want to host "SNL"? There's very little upside, as the show is seriously unlikely to live up to the talents of Louis. The show works best for hosts who want to change the public's perception of them: Dramatic actors doing comedy (Jon Hamm, Christopher Walken) or actors who want to show another side of themselves (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Justin Timberlake). More often than not, stand-up comedians do not perform well in sketch comedy (Zach Galifianakis, Dane Cook), and comedy actors rarely live up to the expectations we have for them (in 37 years, obviously, there are many exceptions -- Jim Carrey's first hosting stint, Tom Hanks' early hosting gigs, etc., but more often than not, they fall flat).

It's kind of special for Louis C.K. however, because he auditioned for the show back in 1993, but was turned down (he would later co-wrote "TV Funhouse" with Robert Smigel). Louis C.K., of course, is not the only notable celebrity that has auditioned for, but turned down or was rejected from the cast. Here are 12 other celebrities who auditioned but, for whatever reason, did not end up on the show as a cast member.


Donald Glover (2007-2008) (Considered for the role of Obama)

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Mindy Kaling (2006-2007) (Offered staff writer role, but wasn't allowed due to commitment to "The Office")

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Lisa Kudrow (1990-91) (Lost to Julia Sweeney)

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Steve Carell (1995-96) (Lost to Will Ferrell)

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Geena Davis (1984-85) (Lost to Pamela Stephenson)

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Paul Reubens (1984-85) (Lost to Billy Crystal)

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Catherine O'Hara (1980-81) (Quit before the season started)

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John Goodman (1980-81) (Lost to Joe Piscopo)

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Jim Carrey (1980-81) (Lost to Charlie Rocket)

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Rob Heubel (1994-95) (Lost to Rob Riggle)

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Jennifer Aniston (1999-2000) (Turned down the offer to do "Friends")

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Dane Cook (2002-03) (Lost to Will Forte)

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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • Inquisitive Mind

    Ew! Why'd you make me look at Dane Cook?

  • kirbyjay

    Shouldn't Dane Cook top the list of celebreties we used to like but now hate with the fire of a thousand burning suns? I can't believe I actually went to see him.

  • BeardoGomez

    rob riggle was a part of the snl cast??

  • Strand

    Dane Cook needs to lose every job.

  • I think the phrase 'lost to Joe Piscopo' has to be re-examined, especially since it's in relation to John Goodman. Yes, Goodman lost the SNL gig to Piscopo, I guess that's an indisputable fact. But history doesn't work in isolated facts - by themselves they are meaningless. History prefers a narrative; the bigger the better. So we need to expand our scope of vision here. John Goodman lost the SNL gig to Joe Piscopo. John Goodman lost the SNL gig to Joe Piscopo. Roll that around your mouth and your brain a few times, and see how quickly it begins to lose meaning. John Goodman...lost...the...SNL gig...to...Joe Piscopo. Words and names I understand, and in an order that I comprehend - but, in the end, all meaningless. John Goodman lost nothing to Joe Piscopo. It's not a real sentence; it is an oxymoron disguised as one. It's the scarcely heard micro-fart of a kitten made out of shadows, and the universe cares not a jot for it, or for Joe Piscopo. John Goodman, on the other hand, comes as close as anyone to someone that this bitter atheist could ever crown 'god.'

  • 18 Charisma

    Actually, my understanding (after hearing an interview with Paul Reubens) was that Mr. Reubens lost out to Tim Kazurinsky, not Billy Crystal.

  • dizzylucy

    John Goodman - Lost to Joe Piscopo = saddest sentence ever.
    Dane Cook - Lost to Will Forte = happiest sentence ever.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Can we imagine an alternate universe where Carell was on SNL and Ferrell on the Daily Show as a Ron Burgandyesque correspondent?

  • Sean

    Mindy Kaling actually had a (relatively unsuccessful) two week staff-writing stint on SNL.

  • Groundloop

    I want to gently nibble on Geena Davis' chin.

  • puddin

    "Lost to Charlie Rocket" might be the most depressing sentence I have ever read.

  • Debbie Downer

    Yet not nearly as depressing as reading the words, "Charles Rocket commits suicide by slitting his own throat."

  • Puddin

    Wholly crap. Just read that. Damn. You live up to your name.

  • Three_nineteen

    "Lost to Joe Piscopo" is really not a phrase I ever thought I would see.

  • Arran

    The Lisa Kudrow thing reminds me of the fun fact I only learned recently — that she was actually cast as Roz in Frasier but got dumped before they started filming. (Peri Gilpin was actually their first choice but wasn't going to do it for some reason.)

    Is this something everyone knows and I've just been ignorant for all these years?

  • kirbyjay

    Another SNL tidbit...Charles Rocket was the first cast member to say the f-word on television.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I remember reading about it recently, maybe in the Friends anniversary blah blah, because the guy who hired/fired her for Frasier was in charge of her for another project, and she was afraid she'd get canned again.

  • Sweep The Leg

    Those dates, or rather the wording, on Jennifer Aniston do not really make sense... 1999-2000 is right in the middle of Friends long run of success (10 seasons) so either she was offered SNL in 1999-2000 and could not accept for scheduling/commitment reasons (like Mindy Kaling) or she was offered SNL in 1994-95 and turned down offer "to do Friends"

  • TheOriginalMRod

    So in an alternate universe somewhere SNL is... might be... funnier?

  • ,

    FunniER?

  • bellaloma

    All I can say is,
    Thank God about Dane Cook.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    I never thought I would be so happy about anything involving Will Forte.

  • Puddin

    Oh booo! Will Forte is awesome. Shut your mouth.

  • googergieger

    I'll take things not even Dane Cook's mother has said for five hundred, Alex.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Rob Riggle was on SNL?

  • kirbyjay

    Rob Huebel was not?

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Yes, this. Not that I was ever a huge follower, but I feel like I would remember him.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Yeah, it's rare that the huge shouty men fade into the background.

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