Perhaps you’ve heard of Pete Best. He was the Beatles' drummer dumped without warning and replaced with Ringo Starr just as the Fab Four was about to break out into international stardom.
As Saturday Night Live begins its 39th season tonight with six new cast members, Nick Rutherford must be feeling a lot like Best.
Imagine you and three friends have a comedy troupe. Then imagine that your friends get plucked into national television stardom while you’re left behind in obscurity. That’s exactly what happened to Rutherford, when three-fourths of the comedy quartet Good Neighbor was hired by the legendary television program and comedy fame launch pad.
Among the six new featured players are Good Neighbor alums Beck Bennet and Kyle Mooney. Dave McCary was hired as a director. As the only Good Neighbor member not chosen, Rutherford reflected on the SNL selection process in a recent podcast interview on The Poundcast.
“It was a big group, so I don't know if we f----ed up or what,” said Rutherford. “I mean, I clearly f----ed up, but [Lorne Michaels] just kind of sat and nodded and lot and would be like 'We don't know what we're gonna do as far as…' He was very guarded. He would only release a little bit of information at a time and would talk very slowly.”
When Bennet, Mooney, and McCary were hired, there still remained some hope for Rutherford. He was asked to submit a writing packet, but just a few days later— even before he could submit it— the news became clear to him: “There's no way they're gonna hire you,” he realized.
Before the rest of his troupe left for Rockafeller Center, there were plans for a Comedy Central pilot of “The Good Neighbor Show” produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. SNL’s hiring of three Good Neighbors effectively ends those plans.
“I've been burned, man.” Rutherford said in the podcast. “We had dreams and plans, and they were set in place."
Rutherford won't exactly be making all his nowhere plans for nobody. He was recently promoted as a producer at Fox ADHD.
To read more about the plight of the slighted comic, check out Splitsider. You can see the other Good Neighbor comics-- and a new crop of fresh faces-- when Saturday Night Live opens a new season tonight.