Our Dream ‘SNL’ Cast From People Who Auditioned and Didn’t Make It
History is littered with the names of comedy stars who auditioned for Saturday Night Live but didn’t get the gig. There are lots of reasons why someone might not have been cast — too young, too similar to someone already on the show, a terribly dumb decision by Lorne Michaels and company. But with the benefit of hindsight, we are assembling a dream cast of funny people who coulda, shoulda, woulda been on SNL, but didn’a.
For practical purposes, we’re limiting our group to seven — just like the original cast! — rather than the overstuffed 20-something crowds of recent years.
Unassailable. Not only has Goodman hosted SNL an amazing 13 times, he’s shown up for cameo appearances in an additional dozen shows. Consider that there are several actual cast members who have appeared on SNL less than Goodman. Plus, we owe Goodman the first spot in our what-if cast since he was beaten out in the first place by Joe Piscopo.
The writers’ strike yoinked Jennifer Coolidge’s chance to finally host SNL — she was scheduled to headline the season finale — so we trust Lorne Michaels will make it right and get her on this year. Coolidge is a professional scene-stealer in the Christopher Guest movies, the perfect comic foil in the Legally Blondes and the original MILF in the American Pie movies. She’s on the team.
A slam dunk, right? The guy would do amazing characters, kill in music parodies and generally be the coolest cast member since… ever? Glover says not getting the job early on was a good thing. “Me being on SNL would’ve killed me,” he told GQ earlier this year. But we think he could handle the gig now.
We’d hire Plaza and stick her right behind the Weekend Update desk. Her one-two punch of eye-rolling disdain and deadpan delivery could make her the most darkly hilarious Update anchor since Norm Macdonald.
Kaling was extended an invitation to take an SNL writing job, but the offer came during Season Two of The Office. She made the right decision by staying put, but now? Between The Office, The Mindy Project, Never Have I Ever and The Sex Lives of College Girls, Kaling has proved her comedy bona fides. It’s time to get Kaling in front of the camera again.
For his first episode, we’d just have Carrey do all the same stuff he did when he tried out for Saturday Night Live back in 1980. “Jim Carrey never auditioned for me personally,” said Michaels in the book Live From New York, claiming NBC brass told him to delegate. Translation: Michaels threw Al Franken under the bus for not hiring Carrey.
The SNL powers-that-be didn’t think John Mulaney had what it took to be a performer, hiring him instead for the show’s writing staff where he dreamed up Stefon with Bill Hader. But for a guy who supposedly could only write, Mulaney has acquitted himself well as one of the latest members of the show’s Five-Timers Club. We’ll consider all of those hosting appearances as a winning audition to finally join the cast full-time.