Angry Jim Breuer Was ‘Fighting Egos’ on ‘Saturday Night Live’
Nobody’s ever going to tell you Jim Breuer enjoyed his stay on Saturday Night Live, especially not Jim Breuer. On this week’s Fly on the Wall podcast with David Spade and Dana Carvey (recorded shortly before the tragic death of Carvey’s son, Dex), Breuer once again related how and why his SNL dreams didn’t come true.
“I loved being a part of the whole thing and I would have loved to even still be on there,” Breuer told Spade and Carvey. “I wanted to be the guy who stays on there for like eight years and then in the summertime makes killer movies. I wanted to make Lorne proud. But you know, it doesn’t always go that way.”
The problem, says Breuer, was fighting egos. The comic was tight with SNL writer Fred Wolf, but once the scribe left for greener pastures (namely, writing Spade and Chris Farley’s Black Sheep), Breuer found himself without a champion. “It was a lot more difficult after that,” Breuer says. “I think it was my third episode and I had enough with certain individuals — not cast but writers. I realized I was fighting egos, which you can't fight, and it was extremely frustrating. It made me very angry.”
What happened exactly? “I remember that night, it was the Matthew Broderick show and the person came in and said, ‘I know (your sketch) worked during the dress show but we’re not going to do that. We’re going to do the other sketch.’ I was like, ‘You motherfucker. You want your sketch on so goddamn bad.’”
“So I said, “Whose decision was that?’
“I said, ‘Well, then I'll go talk to Lorne.’
“He went, ‘No no no no no no no no no no.’”
Breuer went to Michaels anyway, telling the writer he’d “had enough of your shit.” But it turned out to be a bad decision. “It's like those memes: This is the moment when Jim knew he fucked up.” According to Breuer, the confrontation turned into a secret plot in which political factions within the show conspired to get him fired. If that was the way it was going to be, Breuer no longer wanted to be there.
This isn’t the first time Breuer has thrown around conspiracy theories without actually naming names. In 2021, he told Joe Rogan that SNL writers would tap into the show’s servers and steal his sketch ideas. “I don’t want to hash names and all that but what would happen is something like this: You’re writing a sketch and then one of the head writers would come in in the doorway and go, ‘Hey, I see you’re writing a sketch about blah blah blah because we have the main server and we check everyone’s sketches. I just want to let you know I'm writing the same thing,’” Breuer said. “He goes, ‘You can continue yours but you know I’m in the room with Lorne.”
Rogan’s response: “Whoa.”
To the best of my knowledge, Breuer is the only SNL alum to go public with stories of the show’s head writers stealing cast members’ sketches. Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, but the Jingle Smells star ranks pretty high on the list of aggrieved SNL ex-cast members. “I saw enough on both sides of the curtain,” he told Spade and Carvey. “I was like, “You know what? I’m gonna have some kids. I’m gonna walk away for a little while. I’m really not made for this style of environment.”