Jimmy Fallon And Robert Downey Jr. Trade Stories About Their Worst SNL Sketches

robert downey jr jimmy fallon the tonight show nbc

Saturday Night Live has seen scores of cast members come and go over its 45 seasons, and we all realize that some of them have made more of an impact than others. But, no matter how big of a star a member of the cast was during their time on SNL, there's one thing that all of them have in common: sometimes they came up with sketches that just didn't turn out as funny as they'd hoped. Such is also the case for former SNL players Jimmy Fallon and Robert Downey, Jr., who had a grand time recently talking about their worst sketches.

Robert Downey, Jr. stopped by The Tonight Show recently to help promote his new film Dolittle, and Jimmy Fallon took the opportunity to get the erstwhile Iron Man to reminisce about his, admittedly short, time on Saturday Night Live, specifically what his worst sketch was. This led to Downey asking for a bit of quid pro quo when it came to terrible sketch stories, and the result was pretty astounding. Take a look!

WOW. Ok, I think we should back up just a bit, because I have a feeling some of you were probably surprised by the fact that Robert Downey, Jr. was even an SNL member back in the day, but they didn't make this up for a funny bit on The Tonight Show. Downey, at 20-years-old apparently, was a member of the cast during Season 11, which began airing in November 1985. While he revealed that he shared an office with castmate Anthony Michael Hall, he didn't mention whether or not Hall helped him write his unaired "Suitcase Boy" sketch, and I'm sure that, either way, Hall is probably just fine with that.

As evidenced by the photo that Jimmy Fallon magically had on hand to demonstrate "Suitcase Boy" to his viewers, we can see that it would have been plenty weird to watch Robert Downey, Jr. come out on stage, and essentially wear a suitcase as he rambled non sequiturs at a live audience. You can actually watch the full sketch and see how odd the whole effect was live, though I will say that Downey should certainly get some props for convincing someone at SNL that it was funny enough to be a part of the show.

Honestly, though, I think it might be safe to say that the fact that "Suitcase Boy" didn't air, and was also the only sketch he came up with that came close to getting in the broadcast, probably says a lot about why he was only around for one season. We all know Robert Downey, Jr. is funny, but Saturday Night Live funny is a different kind of humor altogether.

Jimmy Fallon, of course, was around the SNL stage quite a bit longer than Robert Downey, Jr. And, while he had a very strong run on the late night comedy that eventually led to him hosting The Tonight Show, Fallon admitted that his longer stint means he had way more sketches that were stinkers. When Downey asked for an idea of his that was so bad it was a "standout trauma," well, Fallon showed off "Plate Boy and Cup Boy." These sketch titles are...genius, right?

Luckily for us, Fallon's previously unaired sketch was edited for time, because...you know, it was horribly unfunny. So unfunny, in fact, that it's pretty clear that one of the reasons it didn't air way back when was due to the fact that you could hear the audience's stunned silence after Fallon and castmate Horatio Sanz did their best to bring the funny to "Plate Boy and Cup Boy." I mean, it didn't work, but who among us has not bombed at work in one way or another? We just don't do it in front of millions of people.

We can all be glad that these early setbacks on Saturday Night Live didn't damage the careers of Robert Downey, Jr. or Jimmy Fallon, and really, it's possible these unaired sketches of theirs actually taught them some good lessons that helped them get where they are today.

Saturday Night Live returns on January 25 at 11:30 p.m. EST. For more on what you can watch right now, check out our 2020 winter / spring premiere guide and Netflix premiere schedule.

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Yennefer's apprentice, Gilmore Girl; will Vulcan nerve pinch pretty much anyone if prompted with cheese...Yes, even Jamie Fraser.