John Goodman Recalls Bombing His SNL Audition: 'Worst Thing I've Ever Done'

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John Goodman is looking back on his disastrous Saturday Night Live audition.

While he's since gone on to become a successful actor and one of the most recognizable faces on TV, Goodman, 69, revealed on The Tonight Show that he had a tough audition for the famous sketch comedy series decades ago.

Goodman, who auditioned for the sixth season of SNL in 1980, hung his head in embarrassment before telling host Jimmy Fallon about the experience on Friday.

"It's not that I had any material to show or anything good to do. I just knew they'd hire me … 'cause I'm a nice guy," he joked.

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The actor added, "It's the worst thing I've ever done in front of people in my life. I wrote something about 15 minutes before I went over there and, oh, god, it was awful."

While SNL passed on Goodman, Joe Piscopo, Gilbert Gottfried, and Charles Rocket were added to the cast that year instead.

THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON Episode 1584 Pictured: (l-r) Actor John Goodman during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on Friday, January 14, 2022
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON Episode 1584 Pictured: (l-r) Actor John Goodman during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on Friday, January 14, 2022

Paula Lobo/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Although Goodman didn't make the cut in 1980, former cast member Fallon, 47, was quick to point out that he eventually made his SNL debut in 1989. Goodman has hosted SNL a total of 13 times.

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Fallon praised his guest as "one of the best hosts in the history of the show."

Goodman said he loves performing on SNL, calling the experiences "the favorite thing I'd do every year." His most recent turn hosting the series was in 2013, although he appeared as a guest in a 2016 episode.

"They always made me feel at home," he shared. "You're with a bunch of smart and funny people and it just feels great."

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Goodman's career took off in the years following his SNL audition. He's known for his roles in movies like The Big Lebowski, Barton Fink, Argo, and 10 Cloverfield Lane, and for his work on shows including Roseanne, The Freak Brothers, and The Conners.

Goodman currently stars as megachurch pastor Dr. Eli Gemstone on the HBO comedy series, The Righteous Gemstones.