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One Of Will Ferrell's Best SNL Sketches Came From His Audition

Landing a spot on "Saturday Night Live" is no small feat, and even after earning that coveted position, not every cast member crafts an all-time classic sketch. Will Ferrell managed to do it in his audition tape.

When Ferrell joined "SNL" in 1995, it was a transitional era for the sketch comedy show. Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, and Chris Farley had all left after Season 20, and Ferrell was brought in along with Cheri Oteri and Darrell Hammond. Ahead of joining the cast, Ferrell impressed Lorne Michaels with his audition, which included an early version of the "Get Off the Shed" sketch for which he would become known.

"It is a sketch I had done at The Groundlings to great success," Ferrell explained on The Dan Patrick Show. Ferrell makes small talk with invisible barbecue-goers, periodically interrupting to chastise his reckless son, who's climbing on the shed. The father becomes increasingly incensed, but he always reverts back to the cool and calm host.

"Now, I'm doing this to an empty studio," Ferrell continued. "There's no one there but a camera guy and a boom guy, and Lorne Michaels is in the shadows. [Can't hear anyone laughing] I'm in a void, just doing that and thinking, 'I hope this works.' But I became known from the auditions as the 'Get Off the Shed' guy."

Get Off the Shed became an SNL classic

Will Ferrell's shed routine worked so well that "Get Off the Shed" became his first sketch as a "Saturday Night Live" cast member in the Season 21 premiere. In the sketch, Ferrell is joined by David Koechner, Nancy Walls, and host Mariel Hemingway.

"The thing I love most about that bit," Ferrell continued in his Dan Patrick Show appearance, "is that, from a creative standpoint, why is the shed so important? And what is it? What is the shed? Is it just a little gardening shed? But he goes ballistic." With the addition of his co-stars, we get to witness an appropriately horrified reaction to Ferrell's performance.

The sketch officially put Ferrell on the map, so naturally, he continues to have affection for it. "I still love that sketch," Ferrell told The Guardian in 2015. "Partly because it was what I auditioned with." The sketch also kicked off a recurring schtick for Ferrell, in which he plays a seemingly normal man whose intense rage bubbles below the surface, liable to spill over at any moment. "Playing those types of guys who turn on a dime is really fun to do."

Ferrell may have been known as the "Get Off the Shed" guy, but it wasn't the only part of his audition to make it to the big show. He also impersonated broadcaster Harry Caray, a character he would revisit throughout his time on "SNL."