“Saturday Night Live” alum Chris Kattan claimed in an upcoming memoir that he broke his neck during a sketch in 2001 and that is still affecting him years later.
Variety, which obtained an early copy of “Baby Don’t Hurt Me: Stories and Scars From ‘Saturday Night Live,’” reported that Kattan, 48, alleges that he sustained the injury during the sketch that aired on May 12, 2001. The comedian wrote that he fell back in a chair and hit his head. He alleged he questioned the chair’s safety and asked for a different one but didn’t get one.
Following the alleged injury, Kattan said he felt pain and was told by his chiropractor to get it checked out. He claimed the incident “nearly paralyzed him” and led to drug and painkiller addiction struggles.
The comedian told Variety that the told “Saturday Night Live” executive producer Lorne Michaels and producer Ken Aymong about the incident. He claimed Michaels gave him the recommendation of a doctor and NBC “paid for two of the five surgeries,” he underwent, Variety reported.
An NBC spokesperson told Fox News in a statement that it "had no record of any claim and declined to comment further."
Variety reported that they spoke to a few insiders and staffers the comedian mentioned in his memoir but none could recall the injury. The comedian also failed to provide documentation that NBC “was aware of the injury,” and the media outlet contacted his surgeon who didn’t respond, Variety reported. Insiders told the media outlet that NBC would have been involved if they knew Kattan broke his neck during the live sketch comedy program.
Kattan told Variety he “wishes he had spoken up” sooner and still feels the effects of the fall today.
“Even today, I still can’t open my hand wide enough to use my fingers normally on the keyboard,” Kattan wrote in his book. “The impact that my injury and subsequent surgeries had on my career was immense, but more importantly, the fallout proved to be devastating to some of the closest relationships in my life.”
Kattan previously spoke about an old injury when he competed on “Dancing With the Stars” in 2017 but did not go into further detail. Kattan left “Saturday Night Live” in 2003 after seven years.