Actors Who Got Rejected From SNL But Still Ended Up Becoming Famous



Jennifer Coolidge auditioned in 1995 (along with Will Ferrell, Cheri Oteri, and Chris Kattan).

She didn’t get the job, but in 1999 got the role of Stifler’s mom in American Pie, and the rest is history.


Jim Carrey auditioned in 1980, when he was 18.

He did not get the job, but um…he ended up being Jim Carrey. We don’t really need to see a gif of him in one of his famous roles, so instead here’s his audition tape:

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She didn’t get the job, butttt it’s fine. Three years later, she was cast as Ursula in Mad About You. Then, she was cast as Phoebe (Ursula’s twin sister) in Friends. The rest is herstory.

He didn’t get the job, but years later, he got the part of Kenneth the page in 30 Rock.

He didn’t get the job, but in 2014, he started starring in Silicon Valley. Then, he wrote and starred in The Big Sick, and now, he’s a Marvel superhero.

He didn’t get the job, but a few years later, got his own show, Human Giant. Then, he was on The League and appeared on dozens and dozenssss of other shows.

She didn’t get it, but in 1988, she starred in Beetlejuice, and then, after that came Thelma & Louise, A League of Their Own, and the list goes on.


Zach Galifianakis auditioned in 1999.

He didn’t get cast but was hired to guest-write for two weeks, and then was ~dismissed~. After that, he ended up doing Between Two Ferns and then The Hangover, and blah blah blah, it all worked out in the end. Here’s a very short clip of his audition:

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She did not get the job. Then, in 2015, she wrote and starred in her show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which lasted four seasons.

She didn’t get the job…but since then, she has appeared on many TV shows, hosts Nailed It!, plus four different podcasts, and has multiple Emmy nominations.

He didn’t get the job, but in 1995, created and starred in Mr. Show (with Bob Odenkirk). Then, he played Tobias Funke on Arrested Development and generally became a famous person.

She didn’t get the job, but ended up starring in multiple movies and TV shows, and won a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album for Black Mitzvah.

He didn’t get the job but went on to release several comedy albums and star in approximately 76 movies per year since.

She didn’t get the job, but the following year, she was cast on The Office, and then starred in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

He didn’t get the job, but eventually got his own show, The Kroll Show, and then starred on The League. Then came lots of other shows and movies, and Nick Kroll became the Nick Kroll we know today.


Kathy Najimy auditioned in 1984.

She didn’t get the job, but it’s cool because she went on to star in Sister Act, Hocus Pocus, Rat Race, etc. etc.

He didn’t get the job, but he ended up writing and performing on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and also has appeared on lotsss of shows.

He didn’t get it, but in 1997, he was hired to be on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and then, in 2007 got his own show, The Colbert Report. Since 2015, he’s been the host of The Late Show.

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