Pre-Friends Jennifer Aniston Turned Down SNL Gig?! Yes Way!

Superstar tells Oprah Winfrey that Lorne Michaels offered her a starring player role on the late-night institution, but she passed to appear in iconic NBC sitcom

By Gina Serpe Feb 03, 2011 3:27 PMTags

Live from New York, it's…Jennifer Aniston?!

Believe it or not, everyone's favorite Friend could have been Tina Fey before the world knew who Tina Fey even was, with Aniston explaining yesterday to BFF Oprah Winfrey that she actually turned down a spot as a star player on Saturday Night Live when she was first starting out.

The revelation itself came at the urging of a fairly connected source—SNL superstar and Aniston's Just Go With It costar Adam Sandler—who witnessed the rebuff firsthand…

"We wanted Aniston to be on the show with us," he told Oprah of his early SNL days. "And I remember being on the ninth floor, where Lorne Michaels' office was, and seeing Jen come in. I was like, 'Oh my God, there's Aniston. Is she about to be on our show? Wow, I'm gonna be working with Aniston?' "

Well, yeah. Just about 20 years later. Sandler went on to say that after Aniston and the late-night honcho met up, he was dismayed to see his longtime pal walk right back out of the offices.

"'She said no? She's gonna do that Friends? What the hell is Friends?' " he recollected.

"They were like, 'You're so stupid. You're so stupid,' " Aniston said.

Not content to let that anecdote slip by unverified, Winfrey pressed her movie star pal on whether or not a job offer was ever extended.

"Did Lorne Michaels offer that to you?" she asked.

"Yeah," Aniston said. "I was…you know, I had this show Friends coming up, and I thought…yeah…They thought I was making a huge mistake."

Well, you now what they say about hindsight.

"But it worked out for you," Oprah understated.

"Yeah, it did all right," Aniston said.

"People liked that one, yeah," Sandler added.

We'll say. Although taking the SNL gig would have saved her the apparent horror of having to live all these years with the Rachel. Though on the down side, she probably wouldn't have pulled down $1 million an episode. So, it probably balanced out in the end.