Before she became a sitcom legend, Jennifer Aniston had the opportunity to become a cast member on Saturday Night Live, but she turned down the role.
Before Jennifer Aniston became a sitcom legend, the actress turned down a role on Saturday Night Live and there was a good reason why. She wasn’t yet a household name in 1994 when she faced a choice between taking the role of Rachel Green in the brand-new Friends or taking a spot on SNL, the sketch comedy show that already had a history of success. At the time, Aniston was coming off of four unsuccessful television shows, and it would have seemed like a no-brainer to sign on to a television juggernaut.
Adam Sandler was an SNL cast member at the time and really wanted Aniston to join. He told Oprah in an interview (via USA Today), “We wanted Aniston to be on the show with us. I remember being on the ninth floor where Lorne Michaels’ office was and seeing Jen come in. I was like, ‘Oh my God, there’s Aniston. Is she about to be on our show?'” When he found out that she had turned down the offer for Friends, he was shocked. “‘She said no?’ She’s gonna do Friends? What the hell is Friends?” he recalled thinking.
Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler would go on to star together in other projects years later. However, Aniston had her reasons for not joining SNL at the time. She recently talked about her meeting with Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels (via THR).
I remember walking in, and it was [David] Spade and Sandler, and I knew those guys forever, and I was so young and dumb and I went into Lorne’s office and I was like, “I hear women are not respected on this show.” I don’t remember exactly what I said next, but it was something like, “I would prefer if it were like the days of Gilda Radner and Jane Curtin.” I mean, it was such a boys’ club back then, but who the f–k was I to be saying this to Lorne Michaels?!
How Many Times Has Jennifer Aniston Hosted SNL?
Despite her harsh, but likely true, words to Lorne Michaels, Aniston developed a good relationship with SNL over the years. “Yes, adorably that happened,” she said, “and I’ve hosted Saturday Night Live a couple of times, and I love it so much.” Just a year after Friends premiered, she made an appearance in the opening monologue on October 21, 1995, and featured in that episode’s “Spade in America” sketch. She went on to host the show twice, once on November 20, 1999, and again on January 20, 2004.
Aniston’s latest appearance on Saturday Night Live had a direct connection to Friends. The actress dropped by the December 3, 2016 Weekend Update segment as Vanessa Bayer was doing her impression of Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green. After begging Bayer to stop texting her every day, Aniston told her, “Friends was five million and five years ago, so I think we’ve just gotta move on.” Maybe…