What An SNL Cast Member Thought Of Ashlee Simpson Walking Off The Stage

Rob Riggle is most famous for supporting roles in flicks and his work on The Daily Show, but a decade ago, he also served as a featured player on NBC’s late night sketch series Saturday Night Live. The man may have only appeared on the show for one season, but during his time he saw some wild things happen. In fact, he was backstage when Ashlee Simpson walked off the SNL set.

Apparently that crazy SNL stunt happened during one of Riggle’s first weeks on the show back in 2004 (he says second week, but IMDB says it may have been a little later). Here’s what Rob Riggle had to say about the crazy day on set.

“Also, SNL... my second show ever was the show where Ashlee Simpson walked off the stage during her second song... I was standing right next to the stage and I couldn't believe what I was seeing... I was totally shocked. I remember saying to one of the writers who was standing next to me, ‘...Does she know this is a live show?’ and he could only muster a response of "Holy shit..." There's one memory....”

It’s amazing to think that a decade has passed since Ashlee Simpson first began her music career, latching on to her famous older sister’s popularity to land a record contract. However, it’s even more amazing to think that the singer actually walked offstage when she was supposed to be performing. If you don’t remember how bad her walk-off actually was, check out the video, below.

She literally just stops singing and walks off, without seemingly understanding that Saturday Night Live is actually live television and a big deal for musical guests. It made enough of an impact that Riggle is still thinking about it, 10 years down the road. Simpson later said that she was dealing with major voice problems during rehearsal. The day of the show, she decided to lip sync. Then, during the episode, the wrong vocal track came on. She said she panicked and walked off. Reportedly, she’s the only musical guest to have ever done this in the 40-year history of Saturday Night Live. It’s no wonder people are still talking about it, but I guess she at least didn’t rip up a picture of the pope.

You can check out the rest of Rob Riggles’ AMA here.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.