This Was the Worst "SNL" Host Ever, Original Cast Member Says

Jane Curtin named the celebrity who most annoyed her when he hosted the show.

Saturday Night Live has 20 cast members on the show this season, but when it first premiered 46 years ago, the group was much smaller. The original SNL crew was made up of just seven comedians, including Jane Curtin. She was on the show for five years, from 1975 to 1980, and became known for both co-anchoring Weekend Update and creating characters like Prymaat of the Coneheads. She also interacted with many celebrity hosts, one of whom she publicly called out for his bad attitude years down the line. To see which SNL guest host Jane Curtin liked the least, read on, and for more behind-the-scenes gossip about the show, check out Kenan Thompson Says This SNL Guest Made the Cast "Extremely Uncomfortable."

Curtin said that this star didn't take the show seriously.

Jane Curtin on "Watch What Happens Live" in 2018
Embassy Row, Sony Pictures Televion

When Curtin was on Watch What Happens Live in October of 2018, a caller asked her who the worst guest was during her time on SNL. Curtin took a second to think about this question and noted to host Andy Cohen that "there were so many" awful ones. She eventually identified one by name and said that he hadn't understood the structure of the show.

"I had a hard time with Walter Matthau," Curtin said. "He came in thinking that it was, 'Hey, come on, let's play.' Not knowing that this show…was down to the minute, down to the second."

For more show drama, This Was the Worst Behaved SNL Guest, According to Bill Hader.

Matthau was "disrespecting" the cast, Curtin thought.

Walter Matthau in The Front Page
Herbert Dorfman/Corbis via Getty Images

Matthau, who passed away in 2000, hosted the show the same year his movies California Suite and House Calls came out. It was only SNL's fourth season, but Curtin clearly took their process seriously. That made the Oscar winner's attitude an aggravating issue.

"Everything had to be precise," Curtin continued on WWHL. "And he was going 'Oh, come, let's play,'…And it was disrespecting our space. And it really pissed me off."

Curtin then reiterated to Cohen that there were "a couple of other" SNL hosts who she didn't care for, but didn't name any more names.

For another SNL host who wasn't well-received, check out Maya Rudolph Says This SNL Host Made the Cast Want to Leave.

Curtin dealt with sexism within the core cast as well.

Jane Curtin at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversations: Career Retrospective in 2018
Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

In the same interview, Cohen asked Curtin about her "most sexist" experience on SNL. The actor clarified that those problems only stemmed from some of the people working on the show, not all.

"There were a few people that just out-and-out believed that women should not have been there," the Kate and Allie star explained. "And they believed that women were not innately funny. So those were the experiences that I had that were sexist. The rest of the group was fabulous."

Cohen asked Curtin if John Belushi, who died 1982, was one of the cast members with a sexist attitude, and she said yes.

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And she barely spoke to creator Lorne Michaels.

Jane Curtin at the "Jeopardy!" Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational in 2010
Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Curtin shared with the WWHL audience that during the third season of SNL, Belushi was "misbehaving terribly," but didn't give any specifics as to how. (Curtin told Oprah Winfrey in 2011 that Belushi would tell the women of SNL that they were "not fundamentally funny," per Vulture.) When she brought this up with the show's creator and executive producer, Lorne Michaels, Curtin remembered him saying, "What can I do?"

"So I stopped talking to him because there was no point in communicating," the SNL star said. "If he wanted me to do something, he would tell Gilda [Radner], and Gilda would ask me to do it, and I'd say, 'Sure'…So that was our relationship, because there was nothing there."

Cohen asked whether she and Michaels interacted at all at the show's 40th Anniversary Party in 2015, and Curtin said that she thanked him.

"So Lorne was generous enough to do that for us, and I appreciate it tremendously," she continued. "It meant so much to everybody that was there. It was great!"

For a guest who wasn't easy to work with, check out Tina Fey Says This Celebrity Guest Was a "Disaster" on SNL.

Amber Raiken
Amber Raiken is an Editorial Assistant at Best Life. Read more
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