‘Saturday Night Live’ Once Fired an Iconic Comedian Via Fax

For nearly five decades, Saturday Night Live has been home to countless comedians and actors and some of the most iconic moments in pop culture history. Many of today’s stars have gotten their start on SNL, including one popular comedian who was fired from the show in the most unique way: via fax machine.

Saturday Night Live
(L-R) Musical guest Kid Cudi, host Carey Mulligan, Marcus Mumford, and the SNL cast (behind) on “Saturday Night Live” | Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

‘Saturday Night Live’ has been the home of future stars

Saturday Night Live has launched the careers of countless stars since its debut in 1975. Some of the funniest people in entertainment have at one point been a cast member or writer on SNL, with someone going on to find success after just one season on the show.

Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Jimmy Fallon, Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, Robert Downey Jr., Joan Cusack, Ben Stiller, Jim Belushi, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Eddie Murphy, Gilda Radner, Gilbert Gottfried, and Sarah Silverman are just a few of the future stars who had a stint on SNL. Some remained regular players on the cast for years, while others only spent a season or less at Studio 8H.

Sarah Silverman
Sarah Silverman during the opening monologue on “Saturday Night Live” | Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU

Sarah Silverman was on ‘Saturday Night Live’ in the 1990s

Sarah Silverman was one of those stars whose time on SNL was brief, but they ended up making it count. Silverman was hired on the show as a writer and featured player in the show’s 19th season in 1993 and remained a part of the show until the end of the season in May.

Silverman appeared in skits including the SNL staple Weekend Update, then hosted by Weeds star Kevin Nealon. Her comedic style skewed more towards stand-up than sketch comedy, which is what drives the majority of SNL.

Silverman wasn’t brought back for the following season, making her tenure on SNL just a few months long. But she wasn’t alone in her departure: Rob Schneider, Julia Sweeney, Phil Hartman, and Melanie Hutsell had all left the show as well.

Sarah Silverman
Sarah Silverman attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California | Toni Anne Barson/WireImage

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Sarah Silverman was fired from ‘SNL’ in a unique way

Saturday Night Live is notorious for shaking up their cast in often impersonal ways. A 2016 Washington Post article detailed some of the ways cast members learned they were let go from the show, including Jenny Slate learning about her firing from the news and not from the production itself.

Silverman briefly discussed her firing from SNL in a 2005 issue of Believer magazine. The now-successful comedian learned she was fired via fax in perhaps the most ’90s way of being fired ever.

Silverman touched on her firing from SNL in a 2013 interview with Marc Lamont Hill for HuffPost. Despite her being successful years later, she contended that it didn’t come without several years of struggling to climb the Hollywood ladder.

“I wrote not a single funny sketch, so that might have something to do with it.”