For 18 years, Chris Kattan has a secret that he wants to finally pass on: The comedian believes he broke his neck on a "skyline" of "Saturday Night Live" in 2001, an accident he almost paralyzed After years of addiction fighting, he fought off his career.
In his new treatise "Baby Does not Hurt Me: Stories and Scars from Saturday Night Live", which was provided exclusively Variety before its release on May 7, Kattan reveals the peculiarities of his injury, which he claims to have taken place in the episode of the May 12, 2001 show. In a sketch he writes that he has fallen back into a rickety chair – he landed hard on the stage and hit his head painfully.
Kattan shared the news of an old injury when he appeared on "Dancing with the Stars" in 201
In the book, Kattan complains that he still suffers the effects of this moment, which can be found as a clip on the NBC website.
Today I still can not open my hand far enough to use my fingers normally on the keyboard, "he wrote. "The impact of my injuries and subsequent surgery on my career has been immense, but more importantly, the consequences have been devastating for some of the closest relationships in my life."
In an interview this week at Varietys Offices, Kattan said he told SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels and producer Ken Aymong about the accident. Aymong, said the comedian, promised to "take care of it," and Michaels gave a doctor's recommendation. Kattan told Variety that NBC had paid for two of the five operations he had over the years.
Michaels declined a request to be interviewed for this story. A spokesman for NBC said the network had not filed a complaint and declined to comment further. Variety spoke to several insiders, including Kattan's associates in his book, who had worked closely with Kattan as part of the "SNL" production team and who would have been on the set and made known any follow-up claims. Neither of them could remember Kattan's injury, even after they had asked if anyone remembered it.
Kattan was unable to provide any evidence that the NBC knew about the injury, and Variety also attempted to contact Kattan's surgeon who failed to respond to multiple requests Time of the press conference responded. Insiders said they knew that Kattan had broken his neck on the show. It would have been a serious incident involving the legal team and human resources of the network, especially as it was done in front of the camera. But they were not – the insiders had to wonder if Kattan remembered correctly.
But Kattan goes into detail about what happened to him the night he broke his neck. He wrote that in the parody sketch "MSNBC Investigates" about a group of children playing role-playing games as "Golden Girls", Kattan should fall into his chair for a big laugh. The comedian said he questioned the security of the move and asked the prop department for another chair – but he never came.
He said he hit his head violently that night and wrote that he had been suffering pain for months and months after that – but he guessed it would go away. Nearly a year later, as it worsened, Kattan said his chiropractor had finally convinced him to have it checked. In addition, he wrote that he never really went to NBC, "SNL" or Michaels for help. Years later, when he asked lawyers to finally check the workers' compensation, he was told it was too late.
"NBC had given up my medical expenses after the second surgery," he wrote. "The" SNL "family I belonged to had stopped looking after me and soon I could not pay for everything myself. But I never really fought or demanded anything for myself. I have never thought of the possible legal consequences of what happened to me on the set and what is happening now. I had been raised to be responsible for myself. I did not want to sue anyone. I never wanted to be that person: dizzy all my life and fight a network. I wanted to hide everything and acted as if I was okay and in good shape to go public and be social. "
" The & # 39; SNL & # 39; family I belonged to had stopped looking after me and soon I was not there I can not pay for everything myself. "
Now, Kattan says Variety that he wishes he had spoken – and could have it today. "If I had known how it would all end, it would have been better for me to say something than to be calm, because I thought it would get in the way of work," he said. "It's another day and another age when people are different when hurt or harassed. It's a good time to say something. It was not so long ago, but it was more of a faux pas to say something, especially when it comes to your showbiz family.
Kattan resigned in 2003 after seven years of "SNL," but said he has since marginalized the show. The actor was not invited to perform for the 40th anniversary of the gala "SNL" special.
"I think everyone has their own complicated relationship with the show," he said Variety . "But whenever I visit, everyone opens their arms and is so cute. It's a different energy than when you were in the cast. It's healthier For some reason, you go off and you come back to visit or come back, Lorne and everyone else, they miss you very much. And you miss the show. That's one of the healthiest relationships you should have with the show when your negotiation is complete.
When "Baby do not hurt me" is published, Kattan now hopes to send the message that he is back in operation after a test dark period, with a series of five painful surgeries, a failed marriage, the His father's death, drug and painkiller dependencies and missed career opportunities coincided. And he is ready to talk about it.
"I tried to tell the truth," he said. "It feels good to finally say everything. I do not think it really hurts, it's just something I had to say.
In addition to his stories of "SNL" and the clash with celebrities like Tom Cruise, "Baby Don & # 39; t Hurt Me" tells about Kattan's An Uncommon Childhood, which is mostly spent as an only child on the mountain. Baldy with his mother and stepfather. On weekends, he visited his father, Kip King, an actor and founding member of the Groundling improvisational theater. It was King who inspired Kattan's own career.
In recent years, Kattan has added vocals, "How I Met Your Mother" and "Sharknado 5" as well as animated series such as "Bunnicula" and the movie "Hotel Transylvania 2." his neck injury continues to be limited.
"As a physical comedian, I had always been worried about waking up with a completely different body one day," he wrote. "This fear became my reality." After these forty-five seconds on the "SNL" Phase in May 2001, my body would never ever be the same. "
See full interview: