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David Alan Grier Reveals Why He Turned Down ‘Saturday Night Live’ Cast Job After ‘In Living Color’

David Alan Grier has been making his fans laugh for decades on television shows and movies.

On Tuesday, May 18, Grier took a trip down memory lane on “The Last Laugh” podcast where he discusses “In Living Color” being the first “cool” show he was on. He said, “I was never on the hip show, the cool show. Never. When ‘In Living Color’ came on, it hit so hard, so immediately, I mean, the reference point for all of us was a Black ‘Saturday Night Live.’”

David Alan Grier poses at the opening night of “A Soldier’s Play” on Broadway at The American Airlines Theatre on January 21, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/WireImage)

Elaborating, he said, “When Eddie Murphy first blew up, there were rumors that Eddie wanted to do a Black ‘Saturday Night Live.’ So ‘In Living Color’ was actually that. I remember coming down in this green room we had downstairs and everybody was down there. The coolest, hippest, most famous people. So it was a real buzz, man. And after all those years of working, I was finally on this cool show, this hip show.”

It seems Grier caught the attention of the head honchos at NBC after his work on “In Living Color,” because he was later asked to join the cast of “SNL.” But Grier says he wasn’t interested after he had already hosted an episode in 1995. He explained, “For me, it was like, when you’re the host, you call all the shots. So I said, I can’t be in front of the cast and then six months later I’m behind the cast. Like, ‘Isn’t that the dude that was hosting, like, nine months ago?’”

In addition to that, the “Jumanji” actor said he wanted to try something new. “After doing ‘In Living Color,’” he said, “I wanted to do a different kind of show. So I didn’t do it, but I still go and see people on ‘SNL’ and visit and Lorne [Michaels] and those guys are so gracious.” He remembered “SNL” producer Lorne Michaels calling him into the office and saying, “David, I want you to think of ‘SNL’ like your second home. It’s a lot like our relationship that we had with Steve Martin or Tom Hanks,” after his first hosting gig for the show. Grier recalled, “Inside my brain’s exploding. And after that I never heard from Lorne.”

But Grier didn’t let that get him down. He went on to do several more movies and has even reunited with “In Living Color” alum Jamie Foxx. Grier plays Foxx’s father in their new Netflix series “Dad Stop Embarrassing Me” which is about Foxx suddenly having to raise his daughter full time after her mother passes away.

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