Jennifer Aniston Explains Why She Turned Down an Opportunity to Be on ‘SNL’

Many famous performers we now know and love got their start on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. For up-and-coming actors, comedians, and improvisers, getting cast on the popular show is an amazing opportunity to work with talented people, get your face and name out into the world, and make a decent salary. Yet when Friends star Jennifer Aniston got a chance at the job, she walked away.

As a young actress, SNL creator Lorne Michaels offered Aniston the opportunity to appear on the weekly sketch-comedy series, but she told Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show that it just wasn’t right for her.

Aniston didn’t see herself as a comedic actress

In an interview on The Howard Stern Show, Aniston explained why she turned down the job. “I didn’t think I would like that environment,” she said.

Even though Jennifer Aniston went on to play Rachel on the mega-hit sitcom Friends, at the time she didn’t see herself as a comedic actress.

Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston  |  Jason Merritt/Getty Images

When former acting teachers told her she was funny, and should consider comedy, Aniston explained, “I wasn’t upset, I was just thrown.”

Aniston agreed with Stern that she was a serious actress, going on to joke, “I didn’t think, you know, Chekov was funny.”

Even though she didn’t have another opportunity lined up, Aniston knew SNL wasn’t the place for her. “Friends wasn’t around at that point … it was just about to happen.”

Aniston describes ‘SNL’ at that time as a ‘boys’ club’

Aniston also explained she didn’t feel like she would be a good fit for SNL, telling Stern that when she went to meet with Lorne Michaels, she saw friends of hers, Adam Sandler and David Spade. She later remarked to Michaels in her meeting that the show “was such a boys’ club.”

Aniston admitted to Stern she even got a little feminist with Michaels: “I was like, ‘I think the women need to be treated better here.'”

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Aniston blames her young age for her comments to Michaels

Aniston now pokes fun at herself for telling the SNL creator and showrunner what to do.

“I went to talk with him, I was such a young twit,” she explained. “You’re just not the brightest when you’re in your early 20s.”

Aniston went on to explain: “I didn’t lecture, I was just saying what I would hope if I was to do this, what I would hope it to be.”

Jennifer Aniston has made a lasting mark in movies and television

Clearly, Jennifer Aniston didn’t miss out on fame by turning down the Saturday Night Live gig. After the wild success of Friends, Aniston has starred in popular movies such as We’re the Millers, Horrible Bosses, and the award-winning Cake.

Since turning the job down, Aniston hasn’t shied away from SNL completely, even getting the opportunity to host Saturday Night Live herself.

Now, Aniston is returning to television screens in The Morning Show, an Apple TV+ dramedy that also stars Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carrell. Having more than proven she’s an actress with both comedy and drama chops, we can’t wait to see what Jennifer Aniston does next with her career.