Why Owen Wilson Has Never Agreed To Host SNL

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Owen Wilson has been a well-known movie funny guy for a solid two decades now, and, usually, when you get any kind of street cred behind you for making people laugh, there's one thing you get to do that not every movie star gets a shot at: hosting Saturday Night Live. Yet, somehow, Wilson has never stepped up to the big stage at 30 Rock for a hosting gig. Now we know that there's a very good reason for that.

We've been letting Owen Wilson make us laugh since he first appeared on screen in Bottle Rocket in 1996, but if you've been hoping that the Shanghai Noon and Wedding Crashers star would soon break his very long streak of not hosting SNL, you will probably be very disappointed. Why? Well, it turns out that he's not so crazy about public speaking. Here's what Wilson told Kevin Nealon on Hiking with Kevin when he was asked if he gets nervous performing:

I do. I get really nervous with public speaking. Not acting as much; maybe on the first day, you know, you're getting to know people. But, I get really nervous if I would have to go talk to a college class or something. And, I’ve never done any of those commencement addresses or Saturday Night Live just because I get too nervous.

Awww! I love it when we find out that celebrities have fears and insecurities like the rest of us. It would be pretty natural to assume that an actor like Owen Wilson would spend his days and nights seeking out all the attention possible no matter where he is or who would be paying that attention to him. But, it turns out that acting on camera is a sweet spot for him when it comes to performing, whereas doing anything live in front of an audience gives him the whim whams.

Of course, Owen Wilson is not alone in his dislike of what amounts to public speaking. It's a fear that many people have, because it's pretty natural to not want to screw up and look like an idiot in front of a crowd of people, whether you actually know them or they're all strangers.

When Kevin Nealon, who spent nine seasons on Saturday Night Live from 1986 to 1995, suggests to his guest that the SNL experience wouldn't be so bad because they use cue cards, Wilson almost immediately turned his fear to getting up on stage and doing the opening monologue alone. So, I'm getting the sense that his distaste for public speaking is the real deal. You can watch his interview below:

Well, we might not get to watch Owen Wilson make funny all over the Saturday Night Live stage, but at least we have over two decades and counting of belly laugh-inducing movies to watch him in whenever we want. Wilson can next be seen in The French Dispatch and Marvel's Disney+ series, Loki. For more on what you can watch right now, check out our 2020 midseason guide and Netflix schedule!

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Covering The Witcher, Outlander, Virgin River, Sweet Magnolias and a slew of other streaming shows, Adrienne Jones is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend, and started in the fall of 2015. In addition to writing and editing stories on a variety of different topics, she also spends her work days trying to find new ways to write about the many romantic entanglements that fictional characters find themselves in on TV shows. She graduated from Mizzou with a degree in Photojournalism.