In his new memoir, Chris Kattan claims that after his neck injury, his "body would never, ever be the same,” according to Variety
Saturday Night Live alumnus Chris Kattan has opened up about a serious, life-changing injury that he claims he sustained on the variety show almost 18 years ago to the date.
In his upcoming memoir Baby Don’t Hurt Me: Stories and Scars from Saturday Night Live, set for release on Tuesday, May 7, the comedian, 48, writes about a sketch that aired on May 12, 2001, which required him to fall back in a chair, according to Variety, which obtained the book in advance.
While Kattan reportedly claims he voiced his concerns about the chair’s safety and asked the props department to provide a new one, he alleges he was never given one.
Ultimately, the sketch began, he fell back on the chair and landed hard on the stage, reportedly severely injuring his head to the point of near-paralysis.
After months of dealing with the growing pain of his alleged injury, Kattan was eventually convinced by his chiropractor to get it checked out further by a doctor.
Kattan recently claimed in an interview with Variety that he informed SNL‘s executive producer Lorne Michaels and producer Ken Aymong about the injury and that Michaels made a doctor recommendation.
However, Variety also reports that Kattan was unable to provide documentation that NBC was aware of the injury, and that after speaking with several staffers and sources close to the variety show’s production team, none could recall Kattan’s injury, even after making further inquiries to others who might have remembered it.
The comedian also claims that while NBC paid for his first two surgeries, the following three surgeries he had to pay for himself.
A Saturday Night Live rep did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
“NBC had stopped paying my medical costs after the second surgery,” he writes in his upcoming memoir, according to the outlet. “The SNL family I was part of had stopped taking care of me, and soon I wasn’t able to pay for everything myself. But I never really fought for myself or demanded anything. I never thought about the potential legal ramifications of what had happened to me on the set and what was happening now.
“I had been brought up to be responsible for myself,” he continues. “I wasn’t about to sue anybody. I never wanted to be that person: spending my life debilitated and fighting a network. I wanted to hide everything, pretending I was okay and in good enough shape to be go out in public and be social.”
Kattan claims in the years following his injury and his subsequent five surgeries, he suffered career struggles. His injury also led to battles with drug and painkiller addictions, he claims, according to Variety.
Kattan claims he’s still affected by the fall nearly two decades later.
“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.”
“As a physical comedian, I had always been worried about waking up with a whole different body one day,” he writes, Variety reports. “That fear became my reality. After those forty-five seconds on the SNL stage in May of 2001, my body would never, ever be the same.”
Kattan previously detailed his injury on Dancing with the Stars in 2017, but didn’t bring up that it had occurred on SNL; he claimed at the time it was the result of a “stunt thing” and that he couldn’t “get into it.”
“I broke my neck and I had four surgeries regarding that the last 20 years basically,” he told reporters at the time. “One in my back, one through the throat … I had to be careful for a really long time.”
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