Jim Carrey has hosted SNL multiple times, but what many people don’t realize is that he also auditioned for the show more than once. Of course, everyone knows by now that his outrageous, slapstick antics on In Living Color (in the early-to-mid 1990s) pushed Carrey to breakout status, which was followed by movie superstardom and, now, a TV gig on Showtime’s Kidding. Long before he took up a Mr. Roger-esque character, Carrey knew failure firsthand. His most famously failed SNL audition, which took place in the early 1980s, was actually preceded by an ominous happening upon his arrival at NBC studios.
Carrey recently explained to Vulture that it was “not probably a good sign” that someone had either taken his life or was about to do it from atop the building. He forged forth for his audition under these inauspicious circumstances:
“I got out of the car in the parking lot, and there was a person trying to work up the guts to commit suicide on the building on NBC in Burbank, and I walked into the building not knowing whether he did it. All the new crews were gathering around the building. I went, ‘That’s not probably a good sign.'”
Carrey doesn’t say whether or not he learned of the man’s fate after his stint inside the Burbank building, but he apparently feels that he was never meant to fare well in the audition. He seems okay with that, and obviously, Carrey was SNL‘s loss, and In Living Color later reaped the benefit. One wonders whether Carrey ever would have reached Ace Ventura-level commercial success if he’d been taken under Lorne Michaels’ wing, but we’ll never know. Kidding is doing alright in the cable ratings, but Carrey seems more content these days with tweeting his obscene, politically-oriented paintings. To each his own!