Chris Kattan Claims He Broke His Neck Throughout ‘Saturday Night time Dwell’ Sketch (EXCLUSIVE)


For 18 years, Chris Kattan has harbored a secret that he’s lastly able to share: The comic believes he broke his neck whereas performing a sketch on “Saturday Night time Dwell” in 2001, an accident that he says almost paralyzed him, led to years of dependancy struggles and sidetracked his profession.

In his new memoir, “Child Don’t Damage Me: Tales and Scars from Saturday Night time Dwell,” offered completely to Selection earlier than its Could 7 publication, Kattan reveals the specifics of his damage, which he’s claiming passed off through the present’s Could 12, 2001, episode. In a single sketch, he writes that he fell again in a rickety chair — touchdown laborious on the stage, painfully hitting his head.

Kattan first shared information of an previous damage whereas showing on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2017, as a way to clarify why he was so stiff whereas shifting round on stage. However he by no means alleged that it occurred on “SNL” — till now.

Within the e-book, Kattan complains that he nonetheless suffers the results of that second, which may be discovered as a clip on NBC’s web site.

“Even right now, I nonetheless can’t open my hand broad sufficient to make use of my fingers usually on the keyboard,” he wrote. “The affect that my damage and subsequent surgical procedures had on my profession was immense, however extra importantly, the fallout proved to be devastating to a number of the closest relationships in my life.”

In an interview this week at Selection’s places of work, Kattan mentioned he instructed SNL govt producer Lorne Michaels and producer Ken Aymong concerning the accident. Aymong, the comic mentioned, promised to “care for it,” and that Michaels handed alongside a physician advice. Kattan additionally instructed Selection that NBC paid for 2 of the 5 surgical procedures he had over time.

Michaels declined a request to be interviewed for this story. A spokesperson for NBC mentioned the community had no report of any declare and declined to remark additional.

Selection spoke to a number of insiders, together with staffers talked about by Kattan in his e-book, who’ve labored carefully with Kattan as a part of the “SNL” manufacturing workforce and who additionally would have been current on set and conscious of any follow-up claims. However none of them may recall Kattan’s damage, even after they made their very own inner inquiries to see if anybody else remembered it.

Kattan was unable to offer documentation that NBC was conscious of the damage, and Selection additionally tried to contact Kattan’s surgeon, who didn’t reply to a number of requests by press time. Insiders mentioned they’d have recognized had Kattan damaged his neck on the present — it could have been a severe sufficient incident that the community’s authorized workforce and human assets would have been concerned, significantly as a result of it occurred on digital camera. However they weren’t — leaving insiders to surprise if Kattan was remembering appropriately.

However Kattan goes into prolonged element about what he believes occurred the night time he broke his neck. He wrote that within the “MSNBC Investigates” parody sketch, a few group of children who function play because the “Golden Ladies,” Kattan was presupposed to fall backwards in his chair for giant laughs. The comic mentioned he questioned the protection of the transfer, and requested the props division for a distinct chair — but it surely by no means got here.

He mentioned he hit his head laborious that night time, and wrote that he started to really feel ache within the weeks and months that adopted — however he assumed it could go away. Nearly a yr later, because it worsened, Kattan mentioned his chiropractor lastly satisfied him to have it checked out. But past that, he wrote that he by no means actually went to NBC, “SNL” or Michaels for assist. Years later, when he requested attorneys to lastly look into employees’ compensation, he was instructed it was too late.

“NBC had stopped paying my medical prices after the second surgical procedure,” he wrote. “The ‘SNL’ household I used to be a part of had stopped taking good care of me, and shortly I wasn’t capable of pay for all the things myself. However I by no means actually fought for myself or demanded something. I by no means thought concerning the potential authorized ramifications of what had occurred to me on the set and what was taking place now. I had been introduced as much as be accountable for myself. I wasn’t about to sue anyone. I by no means needed to be that individual: spending my life debilitated and preventing a community. I needed to cover all the things, pretending I used to be okay and in ok form to be exit in public and be social.”

“The ‘SNL’ household I used to be a part of had stopped taking good care of me, and shortly I wasn’t capable of pay for all the things myself.”
Chris Kattan

Now, Kattan tells Selection that he needs he had spoken up — and may need right now. “Had I recognized how all the things would find yourself I’d have been higher off saying one thing about it, versus being quiet as a result of I believed it could get in the best way of labor,” he mentioned. “It’s a distinct day and age the place folks in the event that they get any damage or harassment or something, it’s a very good time to say something about it. This isn’t too way back but it surely was extra of a fake pas to say something, particularly if it has to do together with your showbiz household.”

Kattan departed “SNL” in 2003 after a seven-year run, however mentioned he has felt marginalized by the present since then. The actor wasn’t invited to carry out on the gala 40th anniversary “SNL” particular, for instance.

“I believe everybody has their very own difficult relationship with the present,” he mentioned to Selection. “However each time I am going again to go to everybody opens their arms and are so candy. It’s a distinct power than when it was when you find yourself within the forged. It’s more healthy. For some motive second you allow and also you come again to go to or come again visitor spot, Lorne and everybody, they miss you an amazing deal. And also you miss the present. That’s one of many healthiest relationships you must have with the present, when your trial is finished.”

As “Child Don’t Damage Me” is launched, Kattan is now hoping to ship the message that he’s again in fee after a darkish interval that coincided with a succession 5 painful of surgical procedures, a failed marriage, the dying of his father, drug and painkiller addictions, and missed profession alternatives. And he’s prepared to speak about it.

“I attempted to inform the reality,” he mentioned. “It feels good to only lastly say all the things about it. I don’t assume it actually hurts anyone, it’s simply one thing I wanted to say.”

Past his tales of “SNL” and run-ins with main celebrities like Tom Cruise, “Child Don’t Damage Me” recounts Kattan’s uncommon childhood, principally spent as a solitary child dwelling on Mt. Baldy together with his mom and stepfather. On weekends, he would go to his father, Kip King, an actor and founding member of the Groundlings improv theater. It was King who impressed Kattan’s personal profession.

Lately, Kattan has booked roles on “The Center,” “How I Met Your Mom,” and “Sharknado 5,” along with vocal work on animated collection like “Bunnicula” and the movie “Resort Transylvania 2.” But in addition continues to face limitations on account of his neck damage.

“As a bodily comic, I had at all times been apprehensive about waking up with an entire completely different physique in the future,” he wrote. “That worry grew to become my actuality. After these forty-five seconds on the ‘SNL’ stage in Could of 2001, my physique would by no means, ever be the identical.”

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