It took Saturday Night Live's Chris Kattan nearly two decades to realize honesty really is the best policy -- even if you live life in the spotlight. Now that the former SNL star has come clean though, he'll never make that mistake again.
What's with Chris Kattan?
For a good while there people were saying some very nice things about Chris Kattan. The comic had joined Saturday Night Live in 1996, and, with Will Ferrell, Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon helped fuel a new generation of funny. And Kattan was indeed funny. Both funny ha-ha and funny peculiar. Impersonating everyone from Clay Aiken to Queen Elizabeth II and recurring as such characters as Mr. Peepers, Mango and, perhaps most notably, one half of the head-bobbing Butabi Brothers.
Then Chris Kattan started missing episodes and people really started talking. It wasn't so very nice either. The more episodes Kattan missed the less nice became the chatter. Until eventually Kattan's name became known only alongside rampant speculation.
What's with Chris Kattan? Is he on drugs? Has he lost it? Where did he go and why? Kattan's 2006 SNL departure only further fueled the rumors. A 2014 DUI arrest got the rumor mill churning into overdrive. Only this time folks were convinced he'd become either a drug addict or alcoholic or both.
Of course, Kattan had to contend with a lot of SNL precedence. The overdose deaths of John Belushi and Chris Farley. Phil Hartman's murder. Kattan's keeping mum didn't help any. In fact, his silence only made matters even worse.
So did a series of failed comebacks. Knocked off Broadway during previews. Knocked off a game show by Joe Rogan. Kicked off both Celebrity Cook-Off and Dancing with the Stars on the very first rounds.
To be fair, there were a few bright spots -- an IFC mini-series called Bollywood Hero, supporting roles in both The Middle and How I Met Your Mother. But Kattan's brightest spots seemed to be reprising roles from his days at SNL.
Christ Kattan Comes Clean
Now we know why.
Seems Chris Kattan broke his neck during a pratfall on Saturday Night Live which not only nearly paralyzed the comedian, but it also led to years of addiction struggles and sidetracked his career.
Subtitled Stories and Scars from Saturday Night Live, Kattan's new memoir gives the funnyman a chance to put all the rumors and innuendo to rest once and for all. It also gives the man a chance to bring the world up-to-date on his injury, which is still affecting him.
"Even today, I still can’t open my hand wide enough to use my fingers normally on the keyboard," he writes. "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."
By surgeries Kattan means a succession of five of the severest surgeries ever, conducted over the course of many painful years. By relationships he means Sunshine Tutt (and their months-long marriage), as well as the folks at Saturday Night Live. And by fallout he means a years-long painkiller addiction and many, many missed career opportunities.
Baby Don't Hurt Me gives everybody a chance to read all about it all -- and more. Including why Kattan chose to stay silent all these years. And why he's decided to come clean now.
“I tried to tell the truth,” Kattan said. “It feels good to just finally say everything about it. I don’t think it really hurts anybody. It’s just something I needed to say.”
Recovery Boot Camp Says
Recovery Boot Camp would like to applaud Chris Kattan for his candor and congratulate him on his new memoir. May both propel him to ever new heights. And may both help ensure he never makes the same mistake again. We know too well what fear-based silence can do to a person. That's why we advocate wholehearted honesty, in our addiction treatment program, as well as in our clients' lives. Because only wholehearted honesty can lead to full recovery. And we're all about full recovery. Hey, it's in our very name.
Here's to the Truth, Chris Kattan!