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Posts tagged as lost roles

The Lost 'SNL' Cast Members: Part 2 (1995-Now)

"Lost Roles" is a weekly column exploring "what might have been" in movie and TV comedy as we examine close casting calls, abandoned projects, and other things that never came to be. This week, we're closing out the column after 2+ years by taking a look at a long list of comedians who almost became SNL cast members over the past 18 years. Check out last week's piece about near-miss SNL cast members from 1975 to 1995.

Most comedians dream of being on SNL – whether they're stand-ups, improvisers, or sketch actors. The show is one of the few places in comedy that has found a home for all three  main [...]

10 Actors Who Came Close to Starring in 'A Confederacy of Dunces'

Hollywood has been trying to turn John Kennedy Toole's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel A Confederacy of Dunces into a movie for 33 years ever since it was first published in 1980. Various things have held up production of the film over the years, including the deaths of four of its potential stars, a lawsuit, and a devastating hurricane. Writers and directors like Harold Ramis, John Waters, Steven Soderbergh, and Stephen Fry have all come and gone, but let's take a look now at eight actors who almost played the lead role of Ignatius J. Reilly at one point or another and what went wrong.

The Lost Projects of Adam McKay

Ranking alongside Judd Apatow and Todd Phillips as one of the biggest modern comedy filmmakers, Adam McKay has built two empires with writing/producing partner Will Ferrell – Gary Sanchez Productions and Funny Or Die – that have grown to dominate the movie, TV, and web comedy landscape. With Anchorman 2 now filming in Atlanta for a December release, 2013 could be McKay's biggest year yet. Here's a look back at all of Adam McKay's projects that never got made – including the crazy car salesman movie he and Will Ferrell wrote during their SNL days, his Brazil-esque sci-fi movie, and a Broadway musical starring Ron Burgundy:

The Lost Roles of Rick Moranis

The only cast member of seminal sketch show SCTV who wasn't a performer at the Second City theater, Rick Moranis joined the show late at the start of its third season in 1980. He quickly proved himself on the series, though, showcasing his abilities to play a diverse array of characters. From smooth-talking radio DJ Gerry Todd to cover song crooner Tom Monroe, from a member of the clean-cut '50s vocal group 5 Neat Guys to his impeccable impressions of Woody Allen and Michael McDonald, Moranis demonstrated a versatility that went underused after he went to Hollywood in the mid-'80s and became a movie star. Moranis starred in [...]

The Lost Roles of Jack Black

Lost Roles is a weekly column exploring "what might have been" in movie and TV comedy as we take a different actor, writer, or comedian each week and examine the parts they turned down, wanted but didn’t get, and the projects that fell apart altogether. This week, we focus on Jack Black, who spent years honing his chops in supporting movie roles and in the '90s alt comedy scene with the Mr. Show gang and his rock outfit Tenacious D before becoming one of the biggest movie stars in the country following his breakout role as record store clerk Barry in High Fidelity. Since then, he's starred in [...]

The Lost 'SNL' Cast Members: Part 1 (1975-1995)

"Lost Roles" is a weekly column exploring "what might have been" in movie and TV comedy as we examine close casting calls, abandoned projects, and other things that never came to be. This week, we're closing out the column after 2+ years by taking a look at bunch of comedians who almost became SNL cast members during the first 20 years of the show's history. The last "Lost Roles" column, tracking near-miss SNL cast members from 1995 to the present, will run next week.

Ever since Chevy Chase and John Belushi each starred in hit movies, Foul Play and Animal House, in the summer of '78, Saturday Night Live [...]

The Lost Roles of 'Parks and Recreation'

Parks and Recreation has one of the strongest and most eclectic comedy ensembles ever assembled, but as with most shows, the network and the producers looked at a lot of different actresses and actors before deciding on the group they wanted. When the show originally began gearing up for production in 2008, pretty much every other comedic performer in Los Angeles tried out for the show. Here's a collection of known actors who auditioned for Parks and Rec but didn't get the roles they tried out for, including one actress who went on to win an Oscar, three different guys who almost played Ron Swanson, the romantic lead [...]

The Lost Projects of Michael O'Donoghue

Lost Roles is a weekly column taking a different comedian, actor, or writer each week and exploring all of their movie and TV projects that almost happened but didn't.

This week, we turn our attention to Michael O'Donoghue, one of the major creative forces behind National Lampoon magazine and Saturday Night Live during the two comedy franchises' 1970s heydays. After leaving his job as SNL's head writer in 1978, O'Donoghue began working on a variety of movie projects, but given the sluggish nature of the film industry and the fact that O'Donoghue's work is often too daring and edgy for mainstream audiences, most of the movies he wrote never [...]

The Lost Projects of 'Sledge Hammer!' Creator Alan Spencer

Lost Roles is a weekly column exploring “what might have been” in movie and TV comedy as we take a different actor, writer, or comedian each week and examine the projects they worked on that never made it to the screen.

This week, we're taking a look at the lost works of writer Alan Spencer, creator of the '80s comedy series Sledge Hammer! and, most recently, IFC's short-lived Bullet in the Face. After befriending luminaries like Andy Kaufman and Marty Feldman by sneaking onto movie studios as a teen, Spencer became the youngest-ever creator of a network series (at the time) at age 26 when his crime comedy Sledge Hammer! got [...]

5 Failed Attempts to Turn Comedy Movies Into Animated Series

Adapting a popular comedy movie into an animated series aimed at adults rarely works out, but it's still something Hollywood has been trying after decades of failed projects. In the 80s and 90s, there was a trend towards turning movies into Saturday morning cartoons, with Ghostbusters, The Mask, and Beetlejuice, amongst countless others, serving as the basis for successful kids shows. But when it comes to adult series, these animated adaptations always fail, with cartoon versions of Spaceballs, Clerks, Friday, and most recently, Napoleon Dynamite all being quickly canceled, all in 13 episodes or less. Despite the lack of success in the field, numerous comedy writers and studios have [...]

The Lost Roles of Stephen Colbert

"Lost Roles" is a weekly column taking a different actor, comedian, or writer each week and examining all of the movies and TV shows they almost made but didn't, for one reason or another. This week, we turn our attention to beloved newsman Stephen Colbert.

Before becoming a correspondent on The Daily Show (under original host Craig Kilborn) in 1997, Stephen Colbert spent a decade as a wildly funny performer at Second City Chicago who wasn't getting the amount of career attention he deserved, being passed over for numerous big jobs. The Daily Show was Colbert's big break, but it wasn't until Jon Stewart took over as host that [...]

The Lost Roles of 'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone'

Steve Carell's magician comedy The Incredible Burt Wonderstone hits theaters tomorrow, and like most movies, it took a long time to come together. When the project was originally put into development in 2006, it was called Burt Dickenson: The Most Powerful Magician on Planet Earth, and the movie has changed shape a lot in the years since. Directors Jake Kasdan and Charles McDougall each came and went before the studio finally found 30 Rock's Don Scardino, who got the thing made. A number of actors either tried out for or passed on parts in Burt Wonderstone, from movie stars to character actors to nichey comedians. Let's take a look [...]

The Lost Roles of Seth Rogen

Lost Roles is a weekly column exploring “what might have been” in movie and TV comedy as we take a different actor, writer, or comedian each week and examine the parts they turned down, wanted but didn’t get, and the projects that fell apart altogether. This week, we turn our attention to Seth Rogen, an actor/writer/producer who got a series of early starts in his career. Rogen began doing stand-up at 12, writing movies at 13, starring in network TV shows at 17, writing professionally at 19, and becoming a movie star at 25.  Like every actor, Seth Rogen has had his share of close calls with big [...]

The Lost Roles of Peter Sellers

Lost Roles is a weekly column exploring "what might have been" in movie and TV comedy as we take a different actor, writer, or comedian each week and examine the parts they turned down, wanted but didn’t get, and the projects that fell apart altogether. This week, we turn our attention to Peter Sellers, regarded as one of the greatest comedic actors that ever was. Renowned for his chameleonic abilities, Sellers proved capable of disappearing into a wide array of characters, from bumbling French detectives to sinister German scientists. Let's take a look at some of the parts Peter Sellers almost played but didn't, including Charlie Chaplin, Willy Wonka, [...]