How Mike Myers Joined ‘Saturday Night Live’ Without Auditioning
For close to 50 years, a spot in Saturday Night Live’s cast has been one of the most coveted jobs in all of comedy. So how did one of the show’s most famous alums join without even auditioning?
In 1988, Mike Myers was still a largely unknown comic. Yet, his career was on the rise thanks to early success in his native Canada, as well as some years spent honing his craft in England. He was part of Second City in Toronto when some notable names happened to catch his performance.
“Martin Short, [SNL] producer Pam Thomas, and [Kids in the Hall comedian] Dave Foley all said to Lorne [Michaels], ‘You should probably hire this guy,’ which was great,” Myers recalled to Metrograph. "I didn't audition — if I had auditioned, I don't think I would have gotten in."
In the book Live From New York, Myers further detailed how he ended up on the show.
"I got called in for an interview and I got hired from the interview, which was very lucky for me. But I wasn't quite sure I had gotten hired when I came out of the room," the comedian explained. "Dave Foley from Kids in the Hall, who's a really great friend of mine – a great guy from Toronto as well – was there when I came out of Lorne's office, and he and I started walking downtown. We tried to dissect what Lorne had said. He said, 'Would you want a job here?' And I didn't know if that was an offer, but I said, 'Yes.' So I just kept asking Dave, 'Does this mean I'm hired?' Foley and I walked from Midtown down to the Village trying to decipher if I was hired."
Mike Myers' 'Saturday Night Live' Debut
Myers, of course, had indeed been hired. His debut as a cast member came on Jan. 21, 1989 in an episode hosted by John Malkovich.
He remained part of the Saturday Night Live cast for exactly six years, departing on Jan. 21, 1995. Along the way, he created such memorable characters as Wayne Campbell (Wayne's World), Linda Richman (Coffee Talk), Dieter (Sprockets) and Pat Arnold (Bill Swerski's Superfans).
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Gallery Credit: Corey Irwin