Disney is working on a live-action movie version of its animated classic “The Lion King,” and it already has an all-star cast that includes Beyonce, Donald Glover, Seth Rogan and Chiwetel Ejiofor. But there inevitably are other actors who auditioned but didn’t make the cut.
“SNL” imagined what some of those passed-over auditions might look like. The sketch included goofy, bad auditions from the likes of singers, actors and hip-hop stars, including Lin-Manuel Miranda, LL Cool J, Eminem and more.
You can watch the sketch in the video above.
Miranda popped up first, played by Cecily Strong, who broke out a rap for his Simba audition.
“Hakuna Matata in my medula oblongata. I only got one shot-a and they killed my fatha,” Miranda rapped, before starting to cry.
Beck Bennett showed up next to play a deadpan Nick Offerman as one the hyenas, adding after his line, “And then I laugh. Ha.”
Kit Harington, played by Alex Moffat, also tried out for the role of Simba, but couldn’t get “Game of Thrones” out of his head.
“Oh I just can’t wait to be King in the North!” Harington shouted. “Oh, I’m sorry. I just comes out. If it please ya, I’d like to try the monkey.”
Other auditions included Kenan Thompson as LL Cool J, who spent most of his audition getting ready to drop his line as Pumba. When he was finally ready, Thompson’s LL Cool J botched it, pronouncing the character’s catch phrase as “Hakuna Patuto.”
Oprah, played by Leslie Jones, went out for the role of Rafiki, the wise monkey character voiced in the animated version by Robert Guillaume. She acted out Rafiki’s most famous scene, in which he stands on a cliffside and holds up the baby Simba for the rest of the animal kingdom to see. “It’s Simba!” Jones shouted in typical Oprah fashion.
Other auditions included a highly energetic Mary J. Blige for Pumba, played by host Tiffany Haddish, and a pacing, standoffish Eminem, played by Pete Davidson.