Christina Ricci Punched Ana Gasteyer During Her 1999 ‘Saturday Night Live’ Guest Appearance

For many pop culture fans, Christina Ricci defines the early ’90s. Her trademark role of Wednesday Addams helped to solidify her status as a young queen of Hollywood. Although she has gone on to act in a wide variety of projects, many fans love her best for her work in the spooky film series.

By the late ’90s, Ricci was a huge star and was in high demand to appear on talk shows. In 1999, Ricci was even recruited to host the iconic sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live. While fans were excited to see Ricci flex her comedy muscles, the experience was far from seamless, as SNL cast member Ana Gasteyer once admitted. 

When did Christina Ricci host ‘Saturday Night Live’?

In 1999, Ricci had a lot going on professionally. She had a high-profile role in another Tim Burton project, the horror film Sleepy Hollow. She was also becoming well-known for her ability to completely transform into a character, always surprising critics and fans with her acting choices. Ricci also surprised fans when she appeared as a guest on Saturday Night Live, joining the cast in a variety of celebrity impressions. 

Although Ricci’s hosting gig was a success as far as viewers were concerned, there was a surprising incident that took place behind the scenes—one that involved Ricci and then-cast member Ana Gasteyer. 

Why did Christina Ricci punch Ana Gasteyer on ‘SNL’?

Christina Ricci at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party
Christina Ricci at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party | Jemal Countess/Getty Images

For years, rumors swirled that Ricci had accidentally punched someone during her hosting gig on SNL. In 2014, the rumors were confirmed when writer Seth Rudestsky wrote an essay detailing his experiences with several high-profile stars who have worked in the television industry. As reported by Nicki Swift, Rudestsky claimed that Gasteyer told him that Ricci had punched her on accident during her guest-hosting gig on Saturday Night Live.

“Ana said that Christina didn’t begin like most of us,” Rudestsky said. “She started as a professional at a young age and had never performed in front of a live audience! She therefore drank two (!) bottles of champagne before the show began.”

Rudestsky noted that Ricci appeared in one skit where she was playing an out-of-control teenager, and while she was supposed to fake-punch Gasteyer, she accidentally overshot her mark during the live filming. “She had started as a child actor on camera,” Gasteyer herself said in a later interview with Jenny McCarthy, going on to say that Ricci missed the stage punch and punched her hard right in the nose.

Ultimately, while Ricci was likely mortified with what happened, both women were able to carry on and complete the sketch as though nothing had happened—and it seems as though Gasteyer has no hard feelings about the incident.

Christina Ricci rose to fame as a child star

11-year-old Christina Ricci smiling at the camera
An 11-year-old Christina Ricci who played Wednesday Adams in ‘The Addams Family’ | Ken Lennox/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

Ricci was born in California in 1980. She started acting when she was a young child, according to IMDb, with early roles in movies such as Mermaids. Her big breakout role was in 1991 when she was cast as Wednesday Addams in Tim Burton’s classic film The Addams Family. She reprised the role of Wednesday in the 1993 sequel movie, Addams Family Values

Eventually, Ricci transitioned to more adult roles, with parts in movies including Pecker and The Opposite of Sex. Although Ricci established herself as a versatile actor, fans loved the way she brought characters with a dark edge to life—and to this day, she is considered to be a Goth icon. 

RELATED: Every Actor Who Has Played Wednesday Addams Ahead of Tim Burton’s ‘Wednesday’ Series