SNL's Taran Killam Responds To Chevy Chase Slamming The Show

taran killam snl

For six seasons, actor Taran Killam was an esteemed member of the Saturday Night Live crew, only to get fired in 2016. Since then, Killam has been mostly cordial when discussing his former gig, but he did get quite a bit more frank when asked to respond to the harsh criticisms recently leveled against SNL by original cast member Chevy Chase, who basically called the show "the worst fucking humor in the world." Somewhat surprisingly, Killam didn't fully disagree with Chase, even if he wasn't totally in agreement, either. In his words:

I think everyone is entitled to their opinion. I think for comedy to stay important and relevant it needs to evolve and it needs to change over time, so I certainly understand if the comedy that he's been watching since he left is not to his liking, but I certainly don't disagree that it hasn't been as good since the first two seasons or that first one season he was on because I own that box DVD set. It's at best uneven.

After becoming largely responsible for turning Saturday Night Live into a television sensation, thanks to his deadpan deliveries and sharp writing, Chevy Chase famously became the show's first cast member to make a headline-grabbing exit, which happened in the middle of the second season. Considering Taran Killam didn't get the luxury of a choice when it came to leaving SNL, one might even think he would lean harder into agreeing with Chase about how far the sketch comedy series has supposedly fallen over time. Killam stays on the fence, though, accepting Chase's opinions while also seemingly pointing out that the comedy icon's first season was "uneven" even during its high moments.

But then again, Saturday Night Live was the gig that turned Taran Killam into a household name in the world of comedy, and the entertainment world is one where it's usually best not to bite the hand that feeds. Especially when that hand has launched so many outstanding careers in the past four decades, with Chase definitely included in that bunch. And in talking with Fox News, Killam did say that it's difficult to appreciate the complexities of putting SNL together without actually being in the thick of it.

The tricky thing about SNL is, unless you participate in it, it's really hard to explain how difficult, and complicated, and chaotic the process can be... but as soon as you're on the inside, you understand how miraculous it is that the show even gets put together and airs on time. So, I give the show all the credit in the world for trying to adapt and change... I think any show that's been on for 44 seasons now and still has people tuning in is probably doing more things right than wrong.

Don't expect to see Chevy Chase doing any guest-hosting on Saturday Night Live for Season 44, seeing as how he's still technically banned from doing so. But even though he's still made random appearances from time to time, these most recent comments probably won't earn him any gold-sealed invitations. Perhaps he and Killam could start up a show together.

Taran Killam actually had a year left on his contract with SNL whenever he and co-star Jay Pharoah were let go. Since then, the actor wrote and directed the action comedy Killing Gunther, in which he co-starred opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger. And he'll be starring in the new ABC sitcom Single Parents, which starts up this week. Saturday Night Live, meanwhile, will debut on NBC on Saturday, September 29, at 11:30 p.m. ET. Head to our fall premiere schedule to see what else will be hitting the small screen soon.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.