Catherine O’Hara Explains Why She Quit “Saturday Night Live” After One Week

Catherine O'Hara at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in March 2022
Catherine O'Hara at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in March 2022. Photo by Matt Baron/Shutterstock (12862768h)

Many beloved comedians got their big break on Saturday Night Live, and Catherine O’Hara came very close to being one of them. Decades down the road, the Emmy-winning actress explained why she decided to leave the iconic sketch comedy show after only one week.

Long before becoming a household name in the world of comedy, O’Hara was cast on the sixth season of SNL in the early 1980s. Years later, she decided to put a stop to stories about quitting because she “was supposedly scared by somebody” and revealed what really went on.

O’Hara recently discussed her shocking departure with People and revealed she decided to leave SNL due to her devotion to the Canadian sketch comedy show SCTV.

“Our producer would get a deal with a network, and we’d have a show for a season or two, and then that deal would go away. There’d be a break, then we’d do the show again. [During the break] I got asked to be on SNL and of course, I said yes. Who doesn’t want to do that?” recalled O’Hara.

SCTV was picked for another season shortly after she was cast on SNL, and O’Hara left the NBC show without filming a single episode because she wanted to rejoin her “comedy family”. The Emmy winner said this decision was “stupid” in retrospect, but added that “it all worked out the way it was supposed to.”