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Julia Louis-Dreyfus Remembers Her Intense, ‘Brutal’ Time On SNL: ‘I Was Unbelievably Naive’


Julia Louis-Dreyfus has made a lot of great career choices in her life. Can you imagine Seinfeld with any other actress as Elaine Benes? And her second huge hit, Veep, always seemed to score big at awards ceremonies. But there’s one bump in her life that she’d probably like to forget — and that was Saturday Night Live. Being on SNL is often a great stepping stone, but the environment back then was toxic.

You may not have even realized that Julia was a castmate. She was a member for three years, starting with season eight. At the time, she was only 21 and new to show business. One of the big issues was that she joined the cast during the time when Lorne Michaels, the creator of SNL, had stepped away. Lorne left for a period of five years, and during that time, the once-popular show started failing. Biography notes that the show had gotten so bad that NBC’s chief of programming at the time, Brandon Tartikoff, begged Lorne to come back and save it. When Lorne did, Julia and a lot of the other cast members were asked to leave in favor of talent like Jon Lovitz and Nora Dunn. Phil Hartman, Dana Carvey, and Jan Hooks were added that next year.

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