The pressure-heavy history of Saturday Night Live is full of moments—usually self-inflicted—that are rife with the potential for harm. But nobody’s ever died (at least, as far as we know) as a direct result of the show’s mad rush to get something on the stage by the time Saturday night rolls around. According to a story The Newsroom star Jeff Daniels told on The Tonight Show last night, though, that safety record held by the barest margins during one of his hosting stints in 1995.
As related to Jimmy Fallon, a still-kind-of-pissed-off Daniels described his ordeal, in which a makeup artist accidentally used real plaster to put a Liam Neeson-mocking prosthetic onto (and over) his mouth and nose. The result is an awful, claustrophobic little tale, with Daniels breathing through a pair of straws inserted in his nose for six hours, even as an upset stomach threatens to essentially choke him in his own jambalaya-tinged stomach acids. The end-result—more than a dozen shots of novocaine, the complete removal of his eyebrows, and an emergency call by Lorne Michaels to a nearby doctor—is grueling enough that Daniels’ 20-years-later anger at the makeup technician in question is pretty hard to fault.