Actors breaking character. Otherwise known as “corpsing,” we’ve all seen it on Saturday Night Live. While it’s not supposed to happen based on what the script says, it can’t be avoided on live television. Sometimes the performers just can’t help themselves. It’s certainly more common for some actors than others. Despite it potentially ruining the scene, it can actually make the skit better because we like to know that the SNL cast isn’t made up of heartless monsters who don’t chuckle when we do. Here are some of those moments that just made us laugh even more.
Most recently, novice host Ryan Gosling succumbed to a fit of laughter during Kate McKinnon’s portrayal of a hillbilly with the worst time getting abducted by aliens. The biggest culprit for character breaks was Jimmy Fallon, as this article could be made up almost entirely of his giggling. It was a joke on Family Guy, and he couldn’t even keep a straight face as Jack freakin’ Donaghy on the live episode of 30 Rock. Horatio Sanz and Bill Hader also top the list as potential corpsers, as Hader consistently broke as Stefon due to John Mulaney changing jokes at the last minute.
Chris Farley always made his co-stars break character, while Rachel Dratch could never keep it together with her Debbie Downer. Character breaks have become such a tradition that Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler even wrote a digital short about it called “That’s When You Break.”
In your opinion, what’s the best Saturday Night Live character break moment?