Jane Curtin Thinks Her Early ‘SNL’ Seasons Don’t Hold Up: ‘Not One Thing Was Funny’

She recently rewatched a compilation with her family and wasn’t impressed

Three people with tall, large, cone-shaped heads (created by prosthetics) on a stage that looks like a living room set.
Jane Curtin, Dan Aykroyd and Laraine Newman as The Coneheads. (Photo by Edie Baskin/Warner Bros./Archive Photos/Getty Images)

“Saturday Night Live” debuted in 1975 with seven cast members: Jane Curtin, Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Laraine Newman, Gilda Radner and Garrett Morris. Curtin recently revealed that she watched a compilation of her five seasons on the show and was disappointed. As she put it, “Not one thing was funny.”

Curtin told People that she was visiting her daughter and son-in-law at Christmas when they suggested watching her old clips. She said, “So we sat around the TV, and I had that sort of anticipatory, open-mouth grin that people have when they’re waiting for something to happen, that they know is going to be really great.”

Unfortunately, things didn’t go as she hoped. Curtin continued, “And … it never happened. It wasn’t funny. Not one thing was funny. There was not one utterance of a laugh or a giggle.”

The actress was quick to add that she doesn’t believe the show itself was bad, just that tastes have shifted in the decades since she left. As she put it, “I think it was just one of those, you had to be there in the moment things. That’s what happens with live TV, and with topical TV. It gets dated after a while. Remember, this was almost 50 years ago. But after we rewatched, I was like, ‘That really wasn’t a very good show. It was terrible!’”

This isn’t the first time Curtin has expressed displeasure with the sketch show.

In a 2019 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Curtin spoke about experiencing a kind of culture shock after she left a progressive improv group in Massachusetts to join the show. She said, “I go into this world where they hadn’t even discussed an Equal Rights Amendment. It wasn’t a part of their life; it didn’t affect them. So they were still continuing in that late ’50s, early ’60s kind of culture. They hadn’t evolved yet, and that’s the sad thing.”