Brooks Wheelan was fired from SNL after only one season. But he wasn’t the only one to be let go so quickly. First season cast-members Noel Wells and John Milhiser were also let go. Not to mention a few other switch ups regarding the next (and 40th!) season of SNL. But that’s neither here nor there because we don’t really know what the hell is going on with that show anymore. Wheelan, on the other hand, is more than happy to fill us in on his experience regarding his firing.
“As soon as I got hired I was like, ‘Well, I’m gonna get fired,’” Wheelan told TheWrap. “I was totally mentally prepared to get fired. So when I did get fired, I was like, ‘Yeah, that adds up.’”
Wheelan was the first to tell the world about his firing, beating NBC to the punch with a tweet saying “Fired from New York, it’s Saturday Night.”
Unlike the other new castmembers on SNL who have more of a background in improv or online sketches, Wheelan mainly came from standup comedy.
“The first year of standup was just as difficult as the first year at SNL,” he said. “The first year of anything, figuring it out is hard. You just get better at something. Maybe my seventh year at SNL would have come to me as easy as standup comes to me now.”
I have to say, being a viewer of last season’s SNL, you could really tell the stand out players, such as Kate McKinnon, who was a heavyweight at impressions (Justin Bieber). Wheelan, on the other hand, seemed to enjoy the every joe approach, sometimes looking as if he wanted nothing more than to just get the hell off the stage as quickly as possible.
Wheelan (right) not thaaaaat into it.
I’m certainly not faulting the guy. Not every performer can be a Phil Hartman.
Wheelan went on to explain what it felt like to get fired from SNL:
It was an unrealistic thing that happened. I’m lucky to have worked there. Everything in life is absurd. It’s like, ‘I got fired from that show?’ It was fucking crazy I got to be on it. Anything bad that happens to me in my life I deal with by making a joke of it. It’s disarming and makes me feel better. It takes the power away from the negative thing that happened to you. That’s not just with ‘SNL‘. That’s with being broken up with, or pulled over, or arrested. You make light of it and make something good of this bad situation. I feel like I was hired because they hired so many new cast members, and I feel like I was let go because they hired too many new cast members. So I can’t really fault them. That’s part of the reason I was there and that’s part of the reason I was let go. … They do their own stuff and they clearly know what works. People are like, ‘Oh, what a bummer. You got fired from ‘Saturday Night Live‘. People get fired from jobs all the time. I got fired from a cool job.
Wheelan tries to pull off a Kid Rock impression.
Despite his occupational loss, Wheelan is moving on to continue his impression-less stand-up career starting at Los Angeles’ Largo theater tonight with guests like Judd Apatow and Jay Mohr. What they will do on stage? I have no idea, but it’s $30 a ticket so I might have to go check it out just to see.
To read the full interview, head over to The Wrap.
Or if you want to skip it, you can follow me here at @Todd_Spence instead.