For many comedians, Saturday Night Live is a dream job. When Rob Riggle landed a part on the cast, he had recently left behind a very different life. However, his new career almost seemed like it was over before it began. After a single season, he was back to searching for work. He says the experience was so overwhelming that it left him unsure about comedy altogether.
Who is Rob Riggle?
According to The Daily Beast, Riggle was 34 when he started his life as a comedian. But he hadn’t been trying to break into show business for very long. His years before then were focused on something much more serious. He was a Marine for 15 years.
Although Riggle flew helicopters in the military, it was when he retired and tried his hand at stand-up that he really got scared.
“I went up there and my adrenaline was going so hard,” he said. “I could feel the pulse in my neck. And I’m not being melodramatic but there was a buzz in my head and I couldn’t feel my fingertips. It was like a car wreck-type adrenaline rush.”
Despite his terror, he clearly made the right choice in pursuing comedy. He left the Marines at the end of 2002, and by 2004, he landed one of the most highly coveted jobs in comedy: a member of the cast of SNL.
Unfortunately, it didn’t last very long.
Rob Riggle was on one season on ‘SNL’
Best Life reports that Riggle was the only new member of the 15-person cast that season, and it was a lot for him to tackle.
“This is the first showbiz gig I ever got so it’s overwhelming to begin with,” he said. “It’s an unbelievable pace and pressure and I got to a point where I didn’t even know what was funny anymore by the end of the season.”
That season of SNL wasn’t as successful as most years, and he was fired by the end of the season. Riggle doesn’t have much to say about the disappointing end to his time on the famous comedy sketch show. He has hinted that behind the scenes, the set may be somewhat “dysfunctional.”
Fortunately, he managed to bounce back from the early blow to his career.
“In Hollywood, you eat what you kill.”
Riggle realized early on that working in show business required a different kind of effort.
“When I was in the Marines I used to get paid on the first and the 15th of every month and I could count on that,” he said in an interview with Page Six. “And in Hollywood, you eat what you kill. I get paid on how much I’m out there hustling and how much work I’m finding.”
After leaving SNL, he worked hard to find more work in comedy. He struggled, and he was seriously considering going back to active duty in the Marines when he landed another big job in 2006. This time, he was a correspondent for The Daily Show.
He made a name for himself and went on to get parts in big projects such as The Hangover, 22 Jump Street, and Modern Family. Most recently, he’s been hosting a game show series about miniature golf called Holey Moley.
When Riggle started a new career as a comedian, his quick success was followed by swift disappointment. However, he managed to overcome this setback. These days, it’s clear he’s figured out what’s funny again.
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