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Lindsay Lohan Explains How Laughing At Jimmy Fallon During Famous SNL Sketch Led To One Of The Best Experiences Of Her Career

Lindsay Lohan hosts Saturday Night Live.
(Image credit: NBC)

Lindsay Lohan has had some pretty amazing experiences over the course of her career. The child actress got her big break playing Hallie and Annie in 1998’s The Parent Trap, she starred in two of the most iconic teen movies of the 2000s in Freaky Friday and Mean Girls (though Cady wasn’t the role she wanted), and she even hosted the 2004 MTV Movie Awards. It was a sketch on Saturday Night Live back in 2004, though, that she remembers as one of her favorite experiences, and apparently she has Jimmy Fallon to thank for it.

In May 2004 Lindsay Lohan went live from 30 Rockefeller Plaza for the first time, and it must have been a good experience, because she was invited back three more times — in 2005, 2006 and 2012. There was something special about that first time though, as the actress recalled to Vogue having one of the best experiences of her career during a classic “Debbie Downer” sketch. Lohan recalled: 

I just remember thinking, ‘If I just don’t look at Jimmy Fallon, then I’ll be fine.’ And all I kept doing, in the live, was looking at him. I actually got so nervous at the end, and I couldn’t stop laughing that I just burst, and I walked off, because I didn’t want to get in trouble. But then everyone started laughing.

If you’re not familiar with Debbie Downer, she was a Saturday Night Live character played by Rachel Dratch who insisted on bringing up tragic and depressing facts despite whatever social situation she was in. That night with Lindsay Lohan was actually the first time Debbie Downer appeared, and it was clearly an effective bit, since the character went on to appear on the show a number of times. It also had Lohan and Jimmy Fallon (and everyone, really) trying not to crack. Lohan explained why that’s one of her favorite memories: 

I feel like that was one of the best experiences, just altogether in everything I’ve ever done, because I’ve never had so much fun just doing something. And just when everyone becomes, like, it becomes just contagious laughter. It’s just the best. And then the audience can’t help but laugh. I think that’s the funniest on SNL, when people just break and lose it, because it’s so real.

I can totally appreciate that reasoning. Everybody was having a good time, and even though they weren’t technically supposed to break, the audience was feeling it too. As it so often happens, the actors laughing makes the sketch even funnier for the viewers. Lindsay Lohan also said that the experience made her feel like she was doing something right and made her want to do it again.

If you want to relive the classic scene — which along with Rachel Dratch, Lindsay Lohan, and Jimmy Fallon featured more comedy heavy-hitters in Amy Poehler and Fred Armisen — check out the original Debbie Downer sketch in Lohan’s SNL debut below:

You really can’t help but laugh with them! To be fair to Lindsay Lohan, though, they all broke — including Rachel Dratch. There’s no way Lohan was going to get in trouble for not being able to keep it together. That sketch wasn’t the only classic that Lohan contributed to. Her “Harry Potter: Hermione Growth Spurt” is one of SNL’s most popular rewatches.

It’s been awhile since Lindsay Lohan graced the Saturday Night Live stage, but she’s still making new career moves. She recently signed on for a new romantic Christmas comedy, Falling for Christmas, so keep up with our Netflix 2022 movie schedule to see when that premieres. 

Heidi Venable
Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.