Mark Hamill believes he hasn't hosted Saturday Night Live because he hosted a competitor program one time in 1980.
Saturday Night Live has a long history of famous guest hosts, from comedians such as Pete Davidson to billionaires like Elon Musk. But Mark Hamill, the Star Wars star famous for playing Luke Skywalker, has never appeared on the show. According to an interview that Hamill had with Esquire, there’s a reason for that: Producer Lorne Michaels doesn’t like him.
While Mark Hamill doesn’t have any solid proof that Lorne Michaels has beef with him, he did offer a reason why the longtime SNL producer might not like him. In 1980, ABC launched a short-lived live comedy show called Fridays, which was meant to compete with Saturday Night Live. Mark Hamill appeared as a guest host on the competing show, which might have soured Michaels’ opinion of him.
Just because Mark Hamill hasn’t hosted Saturday Night Live doesn’t mean he hasn’t appeared on the show. In 1997, he appeared in a Will Ferrel sketch where he was offered up for sale along with other Star Wars memorabilia on the Home Shopping Network. He was eventually purchased by Harrison Ford (impersonated by one of SNL’s comedians).
Besides that brief appearance by Mark Hamill, the only other member of the original Star Wars cast to appear on the show was Carrie Fisher, the actress who played Princess Leia. Fisher hosted a November 1978 episode of the show. The show included the ghost of Obi-Wan Kenobi instructing Fisher to make a terrible joke during her opening monologue and a skit involving Princess Leia at a beach party.
Mark Hamill spoke fondly about the late Carrie Fisher during his interview, saying that she was always a very funny person, and he liked that he was also able to make her laugh. Fisher died in December 2016 from sleep apnea. Hamill gave a speech at her funeral and recently spoke at her posthumous Hollywood Walk of Fame Star Ceremony.
Mark Hamill made it clear in the interview that he’s more than willing to host the show, but he’s never received an offer from the producers. Hamill explained that, unlike many TV shows, NBC’s long-running sketch comedy show doesn’t book talent based on agents’ requests. Rather, the show itself picks who it wants to appear on the program.
While he might never get a chance to host Saturday Night Live, Mark Hamill has had an opportunity to appear on a wide variety of iconic shows. He has appeared on The Simpsons, The Muppet Show, The Big Bang Theory, and Mystery Science Theater 3000.
While Hamill never quite had the star power of fellow Star Wars alum Harrison Ford, he has still had a storied career. He has portrayed The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, The Trickster in the 1993 and 2014 versions of The Flash live-action TV show, and Christopher ‘Maverick’ Blair in the Wing Commander series of video games.
When asked if there was anything more he wished to do during his acting career, Hamill had a surprising answer: “No.” While he still plans on acting, he’s satisfied with everything he’s done so far.