Jennifer Aniston Reveals the Real Reason She Rejected "SNL"
Jennifer Aniston explains why she turned Saturday Night Live down in the early 1990s..
Before Jennifer Aniston was cast in her breakout role as Rachel Green on Friends, there was one major opportunity she had that most stars would've jumped at, but she turned it down. Aniston was offered a role on Saturday Night Live in the early '90s, but she later revealed that she decided to turn down the famed sketch comedy show for a very specific and serious reason. Read on to find out why Jennifer Aniston rejected SNL, and for more on her less-than-stellar career moments, check out The Worst Jennifer Aniston Movie of All Time, According to Critics.
During an interview on The Howard Stern Show in 2019, Aniston discussed an offer she received from Lorne Michaels, co-creator and producer of SNL, to be a part of the cast. When Michaels asked Aniston to be on the show because of how funny he thought she was, she was a little thrown. "Well, you were thrown because you said, 'Wait a second, I'm a f***ing serious actress. I'm not a comedian'… It was insulting to you," host Howard Stern said. "Yeah, a little bit," Aniston responded.
Despite the fact that sketch comedy wasn't Aniston's niche at the time, the major reason why she didn't join the cast of SNL was because of the workplace itself. "I didn't think I'd like that environment," Aniston said, adding that she expressed her concerns to Michaels. "I think that women need to be treated better here…cause it was such a boys club," Aniston recalled saying to Michaels. However, she also noted how being young influenced her brazenness. "You're just not the brightest when you're in your early 20s," she told Stern.
Stern then asked Aniston if she'd lectured Michaels. "I didn't lecture," she responded. "I was just saying what I would hope, if I was to do this… what I would hope it would be." Stern then asked her if Michaels gave her a "who do you think you are" type of look, and Aniston nodded.
But Jennifer Aniston isn't the only celebrity who turned down the chance to star on SNL. For more famous faces who opted out of the nearly 50-year-old comedy show, read on. And for more bad SNL memories, This Is the Worst "SNL" Host of All Time, Cast Says.
While Mindy Kaling was starring on The Office's second season, she auditioned for her dream role as a cast member on SNL. "I auditioned and afterwards I heard that Lorne wanted to offer me a job as a writer there, but not as a performer," Kaling said on The Last Laugh: A Daily Podcast in 2019 (via The Daily Beast).
Kaling revealed that Greg Daniels, executive producer of The Office, had agreed to let her out of her contract if she got hired as a cast member on SNL. But since she was offered a writing gig instead, Daniels said no to letting Kaling out of her contract, since that wasn't the deal they made. "I think the course of my career would have gone really differently had I left The Office and done that instead," Kaling said. And for more entertainment news sent to you directly, sign up for our newsletter.
When Schitt's Creek star Catherine O'Hara got a call to be on SNL in the early 1980s, she happily leapt at the chance. But it didn't last long and O'Hara quickly left the series, a decision she later revealed she was not proud of in a 2006 interview with The New Yorker. O'Hara explained that she agreed to SNL because she thought her Canadian show at the time, Second City Television (SCTV), wasn't going to get another season.
However, the head of SCTV, Andrew Alexander, called and told her otherwise. "He had a deal with NBC, same network," O'Hara recalled. "Then I had to go to the producer and say, 'I'm sorry, my family needs me. My [comedy] family is calling.'" And for more on stars who weren't welcome to the show, find out why This Famous Late Night Host Was Rejected From "SNL."
Bonnie Hunt knew that when she was offered a gig on SNL in the early days of her career, it wasn't for her. In a 2008 interview with The Los Angeles Times, Hunt shared that she asked Michaels during their discussions, "If there's an end of a scene that doesn't feel like it's working, can you improvise?" Instantly, Michaels responded with, "Absolutely not." Similar to the reason Jennifer Aniston turned down SNL, Hunt also mentioned in the interview that "it didn't seem like women's careers were really launched on that show." And for one woman who went on to succeed after the series, See Julia Louis-Dreyfus at 21 on "SNL."
Before Johnny Knoxville's MTV show rose to prominence in the early 2000s, SNL noticed his sense of humor. In a 2006 AV Club interview with Knoxville and Jack*** director Jeff Tremaine, it was revealed that when SNL saw a tape of the show, they gave Knoxville an opportunity to join the cast. "They made an offer," Tremaine said. "And it almost killed the deal." Knoxville then jumped in, explaining that he took a chance on working with his friends instead, and he didn't seem to have any regrets. And speaking of regrets, find out why This Is the "SNL" Sketch Will Ferrell Regrets Most.