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Macaulay Culkin Apparently Didn't Use Cue Cards When He Hosted Saturday Night Live

Mike Myers Macaulay Culkin Saturday Night Live NBC

1991 was a good year for Macaulay Culkin professionally. The actor was one year removed from the iconic film Home Alone and was the first child actor to score a million dollar contract for his role in My Girl. A week before My Girl's premiere, Culkin hosted Saturday Night Live and the cast was willing to go to any lengths to make sure the actor's father wasn't upset with the production. According to Culkin, that included abandoning the cue cards for sketches, which his father thought affected the performance:

My father was such a crazy person about it. I had to do the whole episode without cue cards. Yeah, so also that meant every other person in the cast couldn't have cue cards either, in any scene that I was in. No cue cards whatsoever. Because he didn't like it when people glanced off [and looked at] cue cards kind of thing.

Surprisingly, Lorne Michaels and the Saturday Night Live cast obliged and memorized their bits alongside Macaulay Culkin. Culkin told Marc Maron on WTF With Marc Maron that's actually a more difficult task than one might assume, as writers are constantly changing lines in the sketches right down to the wire. With things changing that quickly it can be hard to keep track of what exactly needed to be said each scene without a cue card. Culkin struggled a bit at times without cue cards, but in all honesty, anyone watching clips from his appearance now wouldn't think anything was out of the ordinary without knowing this information prior.

As for Macaulay Culkin's father Kit Culkin's reasoning behind the bizarre request, Culkin said his father believed "professionals should know their lines." Culkin didn't really feel like his father was wrong at the time for requesting that, but in all fairness, most children would side with their parents in a discussion between adults. The request ended up making Culkin somewhat infamous on the series as a friend of his who works on Saturday Night Live confirmed no other actor had ever asked for that prior to or after Culkin's appearance on the show.

Macaulay Culkin's somewhat bizarre story led to a sadder one in which he alleged his father was both emotionally and physically abusive during that time and throughout his young career. Years after his Saturday Night Live appearance, Culkin took his parents to court and successfully removed them as his legal guardians so that they could no longer access his earnings he made in Hollywood. A year ago Culkin's father made headlines when he publicly stated that he would not reconcile with his child and that he didn't "consider him a son anymore." Needless to say, if Culkin ever returns to Saturday Night Live, his dad won't be there.

Saturday Night Live airs new episodes on Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC. For a look at some shows set to premiere or return to television throughout 2018, be sure to visit our midseason premiere guide. For more viewing options, be sure to check out our 2018 Netflix premiere guide.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.