Ellie Kemper Botched Lorne Michaels’ Name in Her ‘SNL’ Audition

From The Office to Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Ellie Kemper has quite a few credits on her resume. And while she may be a well-known actor today, her path to success was not without her fair share of failures. In fact, Kemper only nabbed a series regular role on The Office after she was rejected from a part on Parks and Recreation. But that would hardly be Kemper’s first or last rejection. The former queen of the Veiled Prophet Ball was also rejected from Saturday Night Live before she made it big in Hollywood.

Ellie Kemper smiles for cameras as she joins SiriusXM host Ron Bennington for special 'Unmasked' event at SiriusXM Studios
Ellie Kemper | Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for SiriusXM

For a working actor, getting to audition for Saturday Night Live is akin to winning the lottery. Considering Kemper’s interest in comedy, she was absolutely thrilled about the possibility of being cast in the hit show. However, being that it was such a massive opportunity, The Office star was also extraordinarily nervous for her audition. This nervousness is what led to her messing up the show’s creator, Lorne Michaels’, name.

Ellie Kemper called Lorne Michaels by the wrong name when she auditioned for ‘Saturday Night Live’

In an interview with NPR, Kemper got candid about the embarrassing yet memorable foible. “Listen; out of the gate here, I reveal that my heart is pounding,” she recalled about her Saturday Night Live audition. “I’m an anxious, nervous person, and I’m going to 30 Rockefeller Center to meet Lorne Michaels. Of course, I call him Michael Lornes. I mean, his last name sounds like a first name – not my fault.”

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Continuing on, Kemper revealed that she first called Michaels, Michael Lornes to a receptionist and things went downhill from there. “I said it to reception,” the actor recalled. “I said it to the receptionist.” Kemper also revealed that she said the incorrect name with a ton of bravado because she was trying to overcompensate for how nervous she was deep down. “I mean, at that moment, I think I was – it was just fake bravery, and I confidently said that I was there to see Michael Lornes.”

The former Veiled Prophet Ball Queen believes the name snafu ruined her chances of being cast

Though Kemper doesn’t have proof, she believes that her faux pas wrecked any possibility that she had of joining the cast of Saturday Night Live. “I was out,” she shared. “I didn’t stand a chance after that.” Kemper may have blown her opportunity that day, but she clearly had more than her fair share of successful auditions. To date, she has found success as not only an actor but as a comedian and a writer also. Furthermore, the actor still has a connection to the show despite botching her audition. Her husband, Michael Koman, was actually a writer for the show. Clearly, Kemper botching Michaels’ name wasn’t the nail in the coffin for her career. However, we’d bet that she hasn’t messed up his name since her audition.