David Koechner was able to do a lot in his first and only year on SNL so when he didn’t come back for a second season, it was a surprise. (Though, it wasn’t a terribly audible surprise, since it was the mid 90s and there really wasn’t a venue such as this to complain about SNL). In a recent interview he explained what happened:
I said “no” to a couple of things on the show, which they don’t like. And it was the first year that there was late night competition. My first year was the first year that MADtv came on the scene and Howard Stern was doing a late night show. So, ratings dipped a little bit. And there was a whole new cast. It was the first time in probably 20 years that the West Coast had an ability to strong arm Lorne. And Lorne had no interest in letting me go – he wanted to keep me. But there was a guy named Don Ohlmeyer out on NBC West Coast who wasn’t a fan of mine and he wanted me off.
And what exactly did he say “no” to? He continued:
Well, they wanted one of my characters to do a talk show. And I was of the opinion that that’s what was wrong with the show. “We’ve got too many talk shows! We need to do more scenes!”
The overuse of the talk show format is one of the most popular complaints levied on SNL so it’s interesting to see it be a point of conflict on the inside. Koechner is another on the list of brilliant comedians who just didn’t work best with SNL’s structure. Still, he seems to be doing alright on the outside, especially with next year’s return of Champ Kind. Until then, watch one of his more memorable characters from SNL below: