In case you didn't know, Kevin Hart has more in common with Jim Carrey, Louis C.K., Stephen Colbert and Zach Galifianakis than just being funny and famous: Like them, he is an Saturday Night Life reject.
Hart, who appears in the upcoming comedy film Get Hard with SNL alum Will Ferrell, recalled his failed audition for the NBC sketch comedy series during a recent interview on Conan. Like many comedians and improv actors who audition for the show, he performed a celebrity impression. The problem was, executive producer Lorne Michaels and others watching him didn't seem to be familiar with the star, retired NBA player and coach-turned sports analyst Avery Johnson.
"I did an impression of a person that nobody knew," Hart told host Conan O'Brien.
He reenacted part of his audition and then did another celebrity impression—of Michaels.
"I remember Lorne Michaels looking at me and he's like, 'Mmhmm, OK,'" Hart said, tilting his head and looking confused.
"He didn't say he didn't know who that was, but I could tell he definitely didn't know," he added.
Hart, currently one of the most sought-after comedy movie actors, has spoken about being rejected from SNL before and part of his tryout, which was shown during the show's 40th anniversary special last month.
He wore an Atari raglan shirt and pretended to be a man who appears to be suffering from ankylosing spondylitis, in which several of the vertebrae of his spine have become infused. Watch the segment below (at 3:37).
Hart has, however, guest hosted SNL twice, most recently in January.
During his monologue, he also recalled his failed audition for the show, including the response to his Johnson impersonation.
"Um, I found out that white people didn't know who Avery Johnson was," he said. "I was like, well if you knew who he was, you would know how good that impression was!"
"Here's what pissed me off. When I was done [with] that impression, nobody in the room clapped, which I felt like that was racist," he joked. "I mean, it was really racist."