February 6, 2015

Lorne Michaels has gotten top notch talent through the doors at Saturday Night Live but some of the people who failed to impress have gone onto big things. The 70-year-old names some of the famous people he rejected and discusses his future with the show in the new issue of The Hollywood Reporter.


Lorne explains, “Lisa Kudrow gave a brilliant audition but it was at the time when it was Jan Hooks and Nora Dunn.” The audition was in 1985 — the same year that Kathy Griffin and Julia Sweeney auditioned. He goes on to say, “Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell auditioned. There were lots of people you’d see how brilliant they were, but you knew on some level it wasn’t going to work. I wasn’t at Jim Carrey’s audition, but somebody there said, ‘I don’t think Lorne would like it.’ and they were probably wrong, but it doesn’t matter. Or maybe they were right – who knows? No one gets it all right.”

Colbert ended up working as a freelance writer for the show. He and Carell also voiced the main characters for the popular animated shorts The Ambiguously Gay Duo which ran on the show between 1996 and 2011.

Lorne also discussed the show’s future when he retires saying, “I don’t know what will happen. I’m going to keep doing it as long as I possibly can because I love it and because it’s what I do.”