Jason Sudeikis Says This Star Couldn't Make His Favorite "SNL" Sketch Work
This famous face couldn't get the Ted Lasso star's favorite bit "over the goal line."
Throughout the 10 years that Ted Lasso star Jason Sudeikis spent on Saturday Night Live, as both a writer and cast member, he had the opportunity to work alongside many different celebrities. And while the writers' job is to create segments that feature the guest host and keep audiences laughing, the bit doesn't always match up perfectly with the visiting star. During a 2015 interview on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, Sudeikis opened up about one such occasion, revealing his favorite SNL sketch and the one celebrity host who couldn't make it work.
During his appearance on the Bravo talk show, Andy Cohen asked Sudeikis which SNL sketch made him laugh the most. He said that it was "Potato Chip," which was meant to be like "a Tennessee Williams play," written by former cast member Will Forte and former show writer John Solomon. But before the sketch actually debuted on air in December 2009, it was left out of the episode it was originally written for, in part because the celebrity guest just wasn't the right person for it. That host? Mega-star Taylor Swift.
In the scene, Sudeikis plays a Colonel Sanders-type figure who meets with an equally Southern NASA employee played by Forte about becoming an astronaut. (The absurdity of the set-up is part of its comedic appeal.) The meeting goes off the rails when Sudeikis' character takes a single potato chip from a bowl on his desk when the other man leaves the room. Forte's character and his assistant, played by Swift in the first try-out, end up screaming at the other man for his theft.
"We did it with Blake Lively," Sudeikis explained to Cohen. "She was fantastic. The first one we did with Taylor Swift, Swifty couldn't get it over the goal line. But then Blake Lively brought it home."
When Cohen asked Sudeikis why Swift didn't do this sketch justice, the comedian explained that it had nothing to do with her talent or acting abilities. "It's just the weird…the timing of it," Sudeikis continued. "It happens for whatever reason it happens. But she probably had a ton of other great things, and she also had to save her voice because she was singing as well. Me, Blake, and Will, we don't have to sing. So we can just act the h*** out of a scene."
In a 2016 interview with Uproxx, Solomon said that when Swift did sketch in dress rehearsal, she did a great job, but the producers still determined that they didn't need it for her live show. "The sketch went okay, but I do remember feeling this was something that didn't have to be in her show," the writer explained. "There were things on that show that were a better use of her."
To read about celebrities who did cause problems when they hosted SNL, read on. And for one host the cast found particularly distasteful, check out Maya Rudolph Says This SNL Host Made the Cast Want to Leave.
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When former SNL cast members Bill Hader and Jay Pharoah were on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen in 2018, they were asked who the worst host or musical guest on SNL was. Hader then said it was Justin Bieber, who was on the show in 2013. "He was just in a bad place. Maybe he's in a better place, but back then…It was rough," Hader said. "He seemed so exhausted, or at the end of a rope." And for a big star who turned down the chance to be on the show, check out The Real Reason Why Jennifer Aniston Rejected "SNL."
In that same interview with Cohen, Pharoah revealed that when rapper Kanye West was on SNL, he didn't make the best impression. "I saw Kanye yank somebody," Pharoah said. "That was pretty hilarious."
That reportedly wasn't the only uncomfortable thing that happened when he was on the show in 2016. Before it started, West was upset about the reflection coming from the stage lights and threatened to walk out. "If he'd walked out on the live show, it would have been a disaster," a source told Page Six. "And the whole meltdown was just because of the floor." And for more celebrity guests who caused some drama on the set, check out The Worst Late Night Guest Conan O'Brien Ever Had.
After Martin Lawrence hosted SNL in 1994, NBC reportedly received hundreds of complaints from viewers about his monologue, which included some raunchy comments about feminine hygiene. In response, NBC released a statement disavowing his performance and banning him from any network show. In 2020, however, Lawrence said during a radio interview (via The Source) that the ban no longer stands and claims that NBC even sent him a letter of apology. And for more entertainment news sent to you directly, sign up for our daily newsletter.
According to Lorne Michaels, the show's creator, there is one guest host who was far and away the worst of them all. When Nicholas Cage was performing his monologue in a 1992 episode of the show, Cage joked that the audience thought he was the biggest jerk who'd made an appearance, then Michaels stepped in and said, "No, no. That would be Steven Seagal."
In an episode of Watch What Happens Live, former SNL cast member David Spade also shared his thoughts on the action star. "He was actually tough and he was tough to work with," Spade said of Seagal. "It was hard. He did not want to play along." And for more guests who weren't easy to work with, This Is the Worst Guest Today Has Ever Had, Host Says.