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D'Oh! David Spade Turned Down David Letterman's Late Night Gig

Why'd he say no?

Malcolm Venable

Everybody has a work-related "D'oh!" story but David Spade's might take the cake: the actor and comic said he turned down a $2 million a year to replace David Letterman more than a decade ago.

In a candid interview on FS1's The Herd with Colin CowherdThursday afternoon, Spade said that when David Letterman went from NBC to CBS in the early '90s, Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels and some other bigwigs asked him to take over at Late Night. He was not only surprised and unprepared, he said, but at the time, just trying not to get fired from SNL.

"I was hanging on at SNL ... I didn't have a hook," he said. "I was just mildly amusing. [Adam] Sandler was singing and writing songs and killing on every angle, and [Chris] Farley had big characters, and it was so hard to compete."

See David Spade's tribute to Chris Farley on Tommy Boy's 20th anniversary

Spade's surprising response to the offer: "No, that sounds like a drag." At the time, he preferred to do a sitcom and was also worried that if he failed, his career might be jeopardized. "If (hosting) bombed," he said, "then I'm really in trouble too, that early on, to have a mark like that."

He wasn't even swayed by the money, when Michaels offered him $1 million a year and then eventually upped it to $2 million. "I said 'Nah.' They went to Conan then," Spade said. Watch the full video of the interview below: