5 Celebs Who Have Turned Down the Opportunity to Host ‘SNL’

Meet five famous people who never went live from New York
5 Celebs Who Have Turned Down the Opportunity to Host ‘SNL’

Some celebrities, like Top Gun: Maverick’s Miles Teller, dreamed of appearing on Saturday Night Live since they were kids. “I’m so honored to be here. Growing up, me and my family would watch SNL every week,” he confessed when it was his turn to host. “My sisters and I would reenact some of the sketches, and my mom would videotape them.”

But not everyone is so enamored with the show. Here are five celebrities who were presented with the opportunity to host SNL, only to turn down Lorne Michaels like a kid left holding the prom-posal sign in front of the entire senior parking lot…

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Michael Cera

2007 was a big year for Cera — roles in Superbad and Juno launched his career into supernova stage. Count SNL among those wanting to bask in the Cera magic, but the Arrested Development star wasn’t interested. “There was a point where I wanted to stop taking jobs that would make me more famous,” Cera told The Guardian. Turning down jobs included nixing a chance to host Saturday Night Live, a move that frustrated Cera’s agents. “I was kind of having a bit of a crisis. I was really not enjoying the level of heat.”

Chris Evans

“I’ve avoided hosting SNL like the plague for years now just because I’m so scared,” the Captain America star told ET Canada. “It’s terrifying to me.”

What’s so horrifying about SNL?  “I’m not a funny person,” Evans admitted. “Maybe I only feel that because I have very, very funny friends who once told me I’m not a funny person.”

Guess we’ll have to take their word for it. 

James Caan

Caan was scheduled to host the season premiere of Season Seven, the first show of the Dick Ebersol era, but had to back out at the last minute. At least he had a good reason — his sister was undergoing a bone marrow transplant. Instead, the new cast — including Joe Piscopo and Eddie Murphy — did their first collective show without a host. “It was hardly an auspicious way to start my first full season,” remembered Ebersol in his memoir From Saturday Night to Sunday Night, but “the rest of the show went fine without a host or monologue.”

Nick Nolte

Eddie Murphy’s 48 Hrs. co-star said yes to hosting, then no (the week of the show) after he partied himself into oblivion. “He supposedly went into rehab,” says writer Elliot Wald, “but he was seen preparing for rehab at Studio 54.”

In a move not seen before or since, cast member Murphy stepped in to host the show. “I know you folks tuned in to see one of the stars of 48 Hrs. host the show — and, dammit, you’re gonna see it,” he told the crowd. Murphy then rankled his castmates with his celebratory “Live, from New York, it’s the Eddie Murphy Show!”

Gary Oldman

Malcolm McDowell had a lousy time when he hosted SNL during Season Six. 

His experience was so miserable that a decade later, he supposedly talked his protege, Gary Oldman, into a last-minute cancellation of his hosting duties. To make matters worse, Oldman was replaced that week by Tom Arnold. In his monologue, Arnold joked that Oldman pulled out because “he personally hates this show.” Little did Arnold know it was McDowell who hated it.  


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