Lisa Kudrow and fellow Groundlings performer Julia Sweeney both acted in a showcase before Lorne Michaels, but it was Sweeney who went on to join the cast of SNL. “The show that night got to me.” Kudrow later told LA Magazine. “I was unnerved and clearly not ready. I was disappointed that I did not get it. There’s another sign, I thought, that I’m not cut out for it. That feeling lasted for a little bit.”
Steve Carell went auditioned for SNL in 1995 with his wife Nancy Walls. Nancy went on to get a place in the cast, while Steve lost out to Will Ferrel.
Knoxville was offered the chance to perform Jackass style stunts on the show, but turned down the offer. Knoxville later went on to host the show in 2005.
Before becoming a household name on his own, Louis CK auditioned for a spot in the cast along with Jay Mohr, Laura Kightlinger, Dave Attell and Sarah Silverman but was the only one not offered either a writing spot or a place in the cast.
It’s hard to imagine that someone considered as one of the funniest people in the entertainment world was rejected by SNL. It’s alright though since Carrey went on to host the show three times after this rejection.
Right before she took on the role of Rachel in Friends, Aniston was apparently offered an audition at SNL but turned it down.
Dane Cook auditioned for a spot on SNL in 2005 but lost out to Will Forte, and things have worked out pretty well for both stars.
Mitchell auditioned alongside former co-star Kenan Thompson, however only Kenan was offered a role. The two stars are apparently not on good terms.
Griffin was in the same showcase that featured Lisa Kudrow and Julia Sweeney. The actress recalled the night in an interview with LA Magazine saying: “Lisa and I were really crushed. Julia just kicked our asses. She was perfect.”
John Goodman reportedly auditioned alongside Jim Carrey in 1980, both however were turned down.