Saturday Night Live: 13 Wild Behind The Scenes Stories

Saturday Night Live: 13 Wild Behind The Scenes Stories

Saturday Night Live has been on the air for 47 years - that means this trailblazing sketch comedy show is passed middle aged. People born when SNL debuted go to bed too early to catch it live now. With an impressive run like that (and all the more impressive since every time a new episode airs, the internet is drowning in op-eds about how the show isn't great and hasn't been funny since whenever that writer was in high school), there is no shortage of behind-the-scenes drama between big names with even bigger personalities (and baggage).

It's not all negative though. Did you know that Jon Hamm sternly told an extremely pregnant and distraught Amy Poehler to get her shit together? But like in a funny way! Or how about Nic Cage really getting into his bit with Andy Samberg, doing a Nic Cage impression, on the Weekend Update segment? Here are these and more stories about the SNL backstage. 

Nic Cage really came alive during the "Get In The Cage" segment.

CRACKED ANDY SAMBERG'S FAVORITE MOMENT ON THE SHOW Andy Samberg describes Nicolas Cage's cameo during Samberg's Get In The Cage Weekend Update segment as one of the high points of his life. Samberg said, It was not even remotely like Nic Cage. It was just a lunatic person that we called Nic Cage. To his enormous credit, he recognized that and thought that was funny and came on 'SNL' and we did it as twin Nic Cages. Samberg said before they ran the bit at dress rehearsal it seemed as though Cage had not yet seen the script, but was


Eddie Murphy ate dog food on air.

CRACKED EDDIE MURPHY KEPT HIS JOB BY EATING DOG FOOD Curmudgeon Head Writer Michael O'Donoghue fired the entire cast from SNL except for Eddie Murphy due to his commitment to one bit live on air. Murphy was doing a bit on Weekend Update playing off the fact that old people were eating dog food in the news, and so Murphy ate the dog food live on air. O'Donoghue respected Murphy's commitment to the bit so he let him stay, but Murphy didn't tell O'Donoghue that it was really just hash in a can, not dog food, until after he had


The writers were efficient evacuators.

CRACKED THE WRITERS USED PEE JARS Tina Fey revealed that the Frank peeing in jars storyline from 30 Rock was actually based on the Weekend Update writers who had a jar of urine. Fey told the New Yorker, In the Weekend Update offices-which were like the smarter but meaner older brother of the regular writers' offices-there weren't any cups. There was a jar. It was a jar of p*ss with a lid on it, and, judging by its consistency, I suspect that the writers sometimes spat into it. Or that one of them was terribly ill. You could see it

New Yorker

Jon Hamm made a pregnant Amy Poehler pee.

CRACKED JON HAMM'S DARK JOKE THAT MADE AMY POEHLER STOP CRYING Amy Poehler's ob-gyn sadly passed away the day before she was supposed to give birth while she was still at 30 Rock. She was rehearsing a Mad Men sketch with Jon Hamm before she got the call and burst into tears. Poehler told Vulture, Jon Hamm held me by the shoulders and looked at me and said, 'I know this is very sad, but this is a really important show for me, so I'm going to need you to get your shit together.' This made me laugh so hard

Vulture / GearsLive 

Tine Fey was not a fan of Sarah Palin.

CRACKED TINA FEY REFUSED TO SHARE THE STAGE WITH SARAH PALIN Tina Fey refused to appear on camera with Sarah Palin when she cameoed on Saturday Night Live. Fey explained on David Tennant Does a Podcast With... that she felt a two-shot with her and Palin would come back to haunt her later in life, as she disagreed whole-heartedly with Palin's platform. To make the sketch work, producers instead kept Palin backstage with Lorne to make her guest appearance.

Looper / YouTube 

Fred Armisen's meeting with Prince didn't go as planned.

CRACKED FRED ARMISEN'S PRINCE MEETING Fred Armisen recounted the story of when he first met Prince as being at one of Prince's self-thrown afterparties after he had appeared on Saturday Night Live. Armisen recalls that the rock legend had a D.J. and a buffet filled with mac and cheese. Armisen spent much of his life idolizing the artist, as he performed an impression of him on the show and has a musical background himself so he decided to finally go meet him while he sat alone eating macaroni. Armisen said he approached Prince and said, I just want to let

Howard Stern / YouTube 

Murray VS Chase was the fight we never knew we wanted to see.

CRACKED CHEVY CHASE FIST FOUGHT BILL MURRAY Chevy Chase left Saturday Night Live just six episodes into his second season and Bill Murray was added to replace him. When Chase came back to host, tensions were high and the two actually got into a fist fight in John Belushi's dressing room just minutes before the taping actually began. Laraine Newman said, I think they both knew the one thing that they could say to one another that would hurt the most, and that's what I think incited it. It was very sad and painful and awful. The insults that sent

Best Life Online

Sarah Silverman accidentally stabbed Al Franken in the head with a pen.

CRACKED SARAH SILVERMAN STABBED AL FRANKEN Sarah Silverman said she was taking part in a rewrite session with Al Franken and some other writers, when the overwhelming urge came over her to poke a pen through Franken's frizzy hair, but instead ended up stabbing him in the temple. Silverman told Seth Meyers, I was just kind of like a million miles away looking at his hair. The whole table has really sharpened pencils, like super sharp... and in my mind, I just thought, I'm gonna like stab this through his hair. But what everyone saw, because this is what happened,

Cinema Blend / Upi 

Jenny Slate's first appearance featured an accidental f-bomb.

CRACKED JENNY SLATE DROPPED AN F-BOMB IN HER FIRST SKETCH Blue TENN AUG HGT TRAILER 00 68 847 QM 575NU1 1 15 IT MONTGOMERY OHIO G LAND OF LINEOU JSG 927 PC 102 9 LIAIL JUNI 63 MAINE 1936 00 ANE You may not remember that Jenny Slate of Marcel The Shell was a member of the Saturday Night Live cast, but that's probably because she was only there for a single season. In her first ever sketch on air with Kristen Wiig, Slate accidentally dropped the F-bomb on live T.V.. Slate says it wasn't the reason she was let go from the

Looper / TwinCities 

Will Ferrell wore one outfit for a year.

CRACKED WILL FERRELL WORE THE SAME OUTFIT BACKSTAGE FOR A YEAR Will Ferrell once appeared in a sketch that parodied Smokey And The Bandit, where he wore wrangler jeans, a trucker hat, a plaid shirt, and a vest, which he ended up wearing for the entire day so as to not change in and out of costume. Fellow writer Tom Gianis saw Ferrell wear the costume a second day in a row and begged Ferrell to wear the outfit for the rest of the year, which Ferrell ended up doing.


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