Mark Hamill Thinks Lorne Michaels Is Holding An 'SNL' Grudge
It’s some kind of cosmic injustice that Luke freaking Skywalker has never hosted Saturday Night Live. Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson), Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman), and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) all got their chance. Even Luke’s sister Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) got to sport her space-buns hairdo on the 30 Rock stage.
Hamill is pretty sure that Lorne does harbor an intergalactic grudge. What could the world’s most successful comedy producer have against Hamill, a beloved goofball who remains eager for his shot to yell “Live from New York”?
"Well, let me tell you about SNL," Hammill says in an interview with Esquire. "Carrie (Fisher) did it back in the day with the original cast. I was over the moon because it was my favorite show, Carrie was great on it, and it made me really want to do it. But it's not one of those things where your agent calls and says, 'Hey, book my client.' They pretty much pick who they want and you go from there.”
With two more Star Wars sequels just around the corner after Fisher’s hosting shot, it seems natural that Hamill would have gotten his turn--except he may have made a fatal comedy mistake. “I was asked to host Fridays, which was ABC's answer to SNL,” Hamill confesses. “And I think—I'm not sure, again, I'm just speculating—but I have a feeling that that might have been a factor in not being thought favorably of by Lorne Michaels."
Ah, Fridays! The upstart rebels who dared challenge Lorne Michael’s late-night Empire! Of course Michaels would want to quash any hint of insurgency, even if it meant Hamill’s late-night comedy career would be sacrificed.
But then again, maybe not. Larry David was a full-fledged cast member of Fridays, but he went on to write for SNL as well as host the show twice. Same goes for Andy Kaufman, who got into a fake fight with Michael Richards on Fridays in 1981, then came back to SNL in 1982 (albeit under Dick Ebersol). Heck, there’s one more Fridays hosting alum who was asked to appear on a Lorne-produced SNL episode -- Mark Hamill, who showed up in this Will Ferrell sketch in 1997.
So if we’ve ruled out a grudge, why not sign up Hamill for a hosting gig in Season 49? "It's one of those things where if they asked me, you'd have to do it,” Hamill says. “You accept the challenge. But the fact that they don't ask me is fine, because I'm perfectly happy to be in the audience and not have the pressure of being on live television like that."