Rob Riggle Was Planning To Join The Military Full-Time If The Daily Show Didn't Work Out

Rob Riggle The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
(Image credit: CBS)

It is safe to say that Rob Riggle's life would have been very different right now, had he not landed on The Daily Show. Riggle joined the cast of the Comedy Central series in 2006, replacing outgoing member Rob Corddry. In a new interview, Riggle revealed what he planned to do if his audition had not gotten him the job. Taking viewers back in time to before he landed his breakthrough role, Riggle said:

I'm such a fatalist that I always assumed the acting gig was going to end... I have kids and a mortgage. I have to take care of this shit. So, I was like, 'Alright well, look. If all else fails, I'll go back on active duty.' I stayed in for a lot of that reason. I remember when I auditioned for The Daily Show, it was such a poor audition, it was down to like three of us for that spot... They were replacing Ed Helms and Rob Corddry (who) left the show. So they brought in John Oliver and me. They had just hired John. It was the last spot... I remember I thought I screwed up the audition, I thought I just pissed it away. So, I went and called my wife and we were low on cash. We were in a hurt locker. It was this or I had to go back on active duty. I called my wife and said, 'I think I pissed it away, but don't worry, we're not gonna starve. I'm gonna take care of you.' It was 2006. It was the height of the war. So, I said, 'They need people. I'll go back on active duty. We'll be OK. We'll get paid. Don't worry about it.' So, I think that fatalist mentality, I've always had a Plan B or another option. That's probably why I ended up staying in as long as I did, but if you're gonna stay in it, you gotta do it.

As life would have it, or rather, The Daily Show would, Rob Riggle ended up with his Plan A working out. It is always interesting to hear an actor share their perspective on the audition that got them their breakthrough part. Many times, they did not think they did well, as Rob Riggle described in his interview on the podcast, Pardon My Take. Riggle obviously did not perform as poorly as he felt he did, because he ended up getting the part.

Rob Riggle's military career began in 1990. He would go on to serve for 23 years. As a member of the United States Marine Corps Reserve, Riggle retired in 2013. Speaking about his time balancing his military duties with his role on The Daily Show, Riggle took listeners behind the scenes of his complicated and exhausting schedule during his early years on the show. Riggle said:

When I was on The Daily Show, I would fly on the weekend from JFK to LAX, drive down to San Diego to Miramar, go to Command and Staff College on the weekends, come back up to LAX, take the red eye back to JFK, land on Monday morning and go straight to The Daily Show with my suitcase. I did that for two years just to finish Command and Staff College. It's not easy, but if you're gonna do these things, you gotta do 'em.

That schedule sounds like it was beyond grueling, and Rob Riggle did that for two years. And, he still managed to make people crack up on The Daily Show. While Riggle admits it was not easy, his positive attitude undoubtedly made the difference between cracking under the strain of balancing military life while working on his acting career. Before joining The Daily Show, Riggle had been a cast member on Saturday Night Live for a season, starring on the sketch comedy series from 2004 to 2005.

Rob Riggle starred on The Daily Show for two years as a regular correspondent. Since departing the series, Riggle has experienced continued success in his acting career. He had a role in the sitcom Gary Unmarried and scored parts in feature films, including Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher's co-starring vehicle Killers. He has also returned for guest spots on the Comedy Central series and stopped in for a segment of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Following his retirement from the military in 2013, Riggle has maintained his acting streak with a bevy of roles on television and in movies. One of the various projects that are up next up for Rob Riggle is a role in Kevin Hart's Night School, which hits theaters September 28.

New episodes of The Daily Show return September 4 on Comedy Central. Wondering what to watch until then? Well, summer is still happening! Check out the new shows still on the horizon with CinemaBlend's summer premiere guide. For new television premiering this fall, check out CinemaBlend's guide to TV's fall premieres.

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.