5 Famous Comedians Rejected from SNL

by
Jessica Renae Buxbaum
Some of the biggest comedians of our time didn't make the cut for Saturday Night Live.

Arguably some of the greatest comedians were born on "Saturday Night Live" like Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy and Steve Martin, just to name a few of America’s comic legends. But surprisingly, some of today’s comedy stars were actually rejected from the hit sketch show only to make a name for themselves via a different path.

Louis C.K.

Louis CK

Considered one of today’s best stand-up comedians, Louis C.K. auditioned for the show in 1993 but failed to get cast. He recalled the moment saying, “SNL was like the last chance, the last boat leaving,” Louis said in an interview. Although he went on to write for "Late Night with Conan O’Brien" and eventually SNL’s TV Funhouse before becoming a big hit in stand-up comedy and television. And, oh yeah, hosting the show twice.

Zach Galifianakis

Zach Galifianakis

The comedian auditioned in 1999, but that only got him as far as a part-time writer for a few episodes during that season. Things worked out though for Galifianakis who has hosted the show three times in 2010, 2011 and 2013.

Steve Carell

Steve Carell

Steve Carell auditioned with his wife, Nancy Walls, in 1995. She got in, he didn’t. Despite losing out to Will Ferrell, he has since become a leading Hollywood icon with the television show, "The Office", and movie roles like "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Foxcatcher."

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert visiting Iraq soldiers

The next late night host auditioned in 1992 for SNL after Robert Smigel saw him perform at Second City when he was scouting for new talent. Colbert, however, did not get a spot on the show and went on to work on "The Dana Carvey Show."

Aubrey Plaza

Aubrey Plaza

The dry-humored hipster auditioned for SNL three years after doing an internship with the show. “I wanted to be on that show for as long as I could remember,” she told The Guardian. She failed to get a spot, but a year later wound up on the smash hit, "Parks and Recreation."

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