Just because someone knows how to crack up a joke, doesn’t mean he’s equipped with the potential to take up comedy as a professional career. But sometimes it becomes almost impossible for the person to see the error of their ways until they try it out and see for themself, which is exactly what happened in Robert Downey Jr.’s case.
As witty and unintentionally humorous Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark is in MCU films, the actor doesn’t believe he could make a full-fledged career out of comedy sketches or skits. But he only gained this insight after already going down that road out of impulsive excitement at the prospect of appearing on SNL. In his defense though, he was still merely in his ’20s when he’d first taken over the opportunity to hop onto the popular live comedy show, only to realize it wasn’t meant for him.
The First and Last Time Robert Downey Jr. Appeared on SNL
Lorne Michaels had first introduced Robert Downy Jr. to the bright and tactful world of sketch and variety comedy when the latter had only achieved small-screen success at the naive age of 20. But only when the Iron Man star stepped onto the stage did he grasp the full reality behind performing comedy sketches on live television.
While he did join the 1985-86 SNL cast for one season, Downey Jr. never came back for another after accepting the fact that the skilled art of improv comedy simply wasn’t his strong suit. In an old interview with The Off-Camera Show’s Sam Jones, the Sherlock Holmes actor recalled his experience as someone who once performed on the NBC show.
“I learnt so much in that year about what I wasn’t. I was not somebody who was going to come up with a catchphrase. I was not somebody who was going to do impressions. I was somebody who was very ill-suited for rapid fire sketch comedy. I was not of that ilk of The Groundlings or any…I’d never been part of any improv group. So, I was kind of like, ‘Wow! This seems really hard, like a lot of work.'”
However, while the MCU star wasn’t adept at performing comic skits during that time and wasn’t called back for a second season of SNL, he was still able to learn plenty and grow quite a lot as an individual thanks to that experience.
Robert Downey Jr. Learned A Lot From His SNL Experience
Downey Jr.’s experience as a Saturday Night Live performer, albeit difficult, was still a memorable one as the Avengers: Endgame actor himself remarked. Not only did it put things in a much clearer perspective for him but his short time at the comedy show also ended up being an “amazing” one.
“But, I would still say, to this day, that there’s not a more exciting 90 minutes that you can have, whether you are any good or not. It’s just amazing.”
“So, in the 90-minute moment you get such validation, not because you’re the stand-up guy, not because they’re not gonna say later ‘You were the worst cast member they ever had,’ which is another lie, but because it’s such a difficult thing to try to pull off and it’s so miraculous that for, you know, 40 or whatever, 44 years it is now, they’ve kept pulling it off. But you get a lot of cred just for being able to even participate in that level of real time stress and excitement.”
Now we know where Tony Stark gets his sarcastic sense of humor from. Downey Jr.’s time at SNL definitely had a hand in that.
Source: The Off-Camera Show via YouTube