Gary Kroeger, 57, was a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1982-1985 (seasons 8-10).
The Iowa native joined SNL just a year after graduating from Northwestern University, and you may remember him best as I did, performing in a series of Donny and Marie Osmond parodies with fellow cast member Julia Louis-Dreyfus. You may not have seen him in SNL’s 40th anniversary show on Feb. 15, but Kroeger was there. Here he is posing with fellow cast mate Jim Belushi backstage in front of a photo of the 10th season cast. He wrote about the experience on his own blog, Gary Has Issues.
Last weekend I went to the SNL 40th reunion. I had two Willy Wonka Golden Tickets to the biggest event on earth (that weekend, at least) and I took my 15 year old son, Chris. To summarize what I will soon detail, it was the time of our lives.
This wasn’t my first Saturday Night Live reunion. I went to a 15th anniversary show and the 25th, and they were big deals, to be sure, but nothing like this one. I’ve never been given any attention on any of them and nothing I did on the show ever gets shown, but I go to see old friends and admittedly I get misty seeing the hallways which were once a crucible for my career dreams, and so I go.
I have a very clear perspective of my SNL career and I harbor no ill will toward the experience, in fact, if anything, I am critical of myself for not figuring out how to emerge from a show that is a one-way ticket to stardom.
Kroeger writes about running into all of the A-list celebrity talent in and around Studio 8-H, along with past and further past cast members, and his relationships with them.
The show…was the show. Some parts were good, some were great. Some were….why? 3 1/2 hours is a long time even if you’re getting a foot massage and I could have left after “Celebrity Jeopardy” but my son was enjoying every second. I mean, Larry David was just in front of him, Matt Lauer was to his right. Bill Murray was singing the theme from “Jaws” so what’s not to enjoy?
For me, there is one thing that’s a little difficult at these anniversary shows and that’s the fact that I want to be part of it. I want to be on that stage making this crowd laugh. There is a tinge of jealousy toward those who earned that privilege, and it is then, and only then, that I wish I’d been more aggressive back in the day.
For the last two minutes of the show, though, every cast member was asked to come to the stage for the goodnights. I hesitated…and then I ran onto the stage. I was suddenly with a swarm of the most famous people on earth. Billy Crystal was the first that I saw and he said, “Kroeger, I hear you’re running for office!”
Read the rest of Kroeger’s great, heartfelt recap on his site, Gary Has Issues.