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Rush Limbaugh says 'Saturday Night Live' invited him to play Santa in the '90s

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Julie Smith/AP file

NBC raked in an awesomely-sized audience for Sunday’s Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary special. Unfortunately, Rush Limbaugh was neither one of the show’s many, many, many guests or its many, many viewers.

During his Monday radio show, Limbaugh admitted that he didn’t tune it to the special—and also that he was once approached to play a bit part on a ’90s-era Christmas special, a move he seemed not to regret.

“They wanted me on that show one time, and boy, I must tell you: I almost did it, and had I done it, it would have been one of the biggest career mistakes I’ve ever made,” Limbaugh said.

As if that weren’t definitive enough, the 64-year-old gave a further account of the incident. According to Limbaugh, SNL maestro Lorne Michael personally called him up and expressed a desire for Limbaugh to play Santa Claus—but not to guest host. The conservative talk show host claimed this was ultimately a setup to make him a “punching bag or whatever” for Al Franken, a former SNL performer and writer—and current Democratic senator from Minnesota.

Michaels and Franken have yet to chime in on this 20-something-year-old history, but given Franken’s stick-poking nature and the title of his 1996 book, the events Limbaugh presented don’t seem farfetched.

Fans tuning into his program were disappointed to learn that no commentary would be provided for Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon back together again, or Sir Paul McCartney singing backup for Taylor Swift at the afterparty.