‘Just Shoot Me!’ Cast David Spade After ‘SNL’: Why It Was a Huge Adjustment

When Just Shoot Me! cast David Spade in the role of Dennis Finch, he had some reservations about appearing on the sitcom. The show’s creator wanted Spade but the actor was weighing his options carefully after leaving Saturday Night Live.

George Segal as Jack Gallo, David Spade as Dennis Finch, Wendie Malick as Nina Van Horn, Enrico Colantoni as Elliot DiMauro, and Laura San Giacomo as Maya Gallo on 'Just Shoot Me'
Cast of ‘Just Shoot Me!’ | Alice S. Hall/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

David Spade was reluctant to join the ‘Just Shoot Me’ cast

After appearing on Saturday Night Live from 1990 through 1996, Spade carefully considered his career options. He turned down offers for his own TV shows and, when offered a role on Just Shoot Me!, was reluctant to take the part.

The show’s creator, Steve Levitan, was eager to cast Spade when they reshot the pilot but shared it was a process to get the SNL alum on board.

“David didn’t join easily,” Levitan shared during a Just Shoot Me! reunion in 2020. “It took about four meetings. We wanted him but he wasn’t sure … he didn’t want to make the wrong choice.”

Spade explained that he was able to get a better understanding of the opportunity because he “joined a little later” than the stars of the show. “I could actually watch the show and read it… It was already funny and [had] four seasoned actors that were great and I sort of saw an opportunity to be a part of that.”

He continued, “It was fine without me, but if I jumped in then it would be just one more element to goof around … I was just sort of running in circles in the middle of it all.”

One of his co-stars, George Segal, remarked what a difference it was to bring Spade into the mix. “[The show] was not together,” he explained. “That show did not come together until David joined us. That was the spark that brought that show to life.”

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David Spade had to adjust to life after ‘SNL’

Spade was used to working with many cast members, but moving to an ensemble sitcom after SNL was definitely an adjustment. He found that the collaborative “team” environment on Just Shoot Me! was much different from his Saturday Night Live days

Spade’s co-star Wendie Malick remembered how he was slow to warm up to the Just Shoot Me! cast. “I remember it took a while for Davey to come and have lunch with us on the set,” she explained. “He was a little worried that maybe we were enemy territory. I think it came from Saturday Night Live, that was much more competitive than what we were doing.”

Spade reflected on how his experience at SNL was quite different. “I think it was partially a little scary at SNL and I knew not to step on toes there,” he shared. “And everyone was sort of in their own world, fighting for themselves.”

“And this part was everyone, I realized, wanting me to do good and I wanted them to do good,” the actor added. “It’s like a little team.”