John Goodman's 'SNL' Audition Was a Total Disaster

During the 1990s, John Goodman hosted Saturday Night Live so often that fans might have thought he was a member of the cast. He almost was, were it not for his terrible audition in 1980. When Goodman stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in January, the Roseanne star recalled how badly the audition went.

"It's not that I had any material to show or anything good to do, I just knew they'd hire me just because I'm a nice guy," Goodman told Fallon, another SNL alum, about his 1980 audition. "It's the worst thing I've ever done in front of people in my life. I wrote something about 15 minutes before I went over there, and oh God, it was awful."

It's probably for the best that Goodman didn't get on SNL in 1980, because that might have actually hurt his career. The 1980 season, the first without the original "Not Ready for Primetime Players," is considered one of the worst in the show's history. Lorne Michaels and the entire cast left, leaving Jean Doumanian as the producer. She was fired after 12 episodes, leaving Dick Ebersol to produce the 13th episode. The rest of the season was cut short due to a Writers Guild of America strike.

Although Goodman didn't join the cast, he remained on good terms with the SNL team. In December 1989, he hosted the show for the first time while still on Roseanne. He hosted at least once a year between 1989 and 2001. He returned to host in December 2013, and last appeared on the show when he made a cameo in Casey Affleck's December 2016 episode. Goodman has hosted 12 times in total, putting him just one behind Steve Martin's show record.

"It used to be the favorite thing I'd do every year," Goodman told Fallon in January. "They always made me feel at home. You're with a bunch of smart and funny people, and it just feels great."


Hopefully, SNL asks Goodman back because it's not like he doesn't have enough projects to promote. He stars in two ongoing shows, HBO's The Righteous Gemstones and ABC's Roseanne spinoff The Conners. New episodes of The Righteous Gemstones airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET and is available on HBO Max. The Conners airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC and is available to stream on Hulu. SNL is available to stream on NBCUniversal's Peacock and airs Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC.