Chris Kattan has spent the last 20 years recovering from a broken neck: an injury that he feels played a role in his elimination on Monday’s episode of Dancing with the Stars.
“I broke my neck and I had four surgeries regarding that the last 20 years basically. One in my back, one through the throat … I had to be careful for a really long time ampm,” the former Saturday Night Live star told reporters after the season premiere of the hit ABC dance competition.
At the time, Kattan said his injury was due to “a stunt thing” but he declined to share any more details.
“I can’t get into it,” he explained, but “When you have surgery, you’re out of commission for months.”
After turning down the show twice in the past, Kattan finally felt strong enough — physically — to compete this season.
“They asked me twice,” he said after the DWTS premiere. “At that time I wasn’t ready for it yet, physically. I had to be at the right level of health and spirit and all that.”
“[Now] it’s perfect timing,” he added. “I wouldn’t have been able to do this 5 or 10 years ago.”
But when it came to receiving scores from the judges, the 46-year-old actor came up a bit short.
“One of the judges said, ‘Try not to be so stiff.’ But it’s hard for me to not be stiff,” he told reporters at the time of receiving a 17 out of 40 for his first dance to “What is Love” by Haddaway with pro dancer Witney Carson, 23.
Then came week two, and again, Kattan and Carson received low scores.
“I wish that my surgery and all that was noted before, but it wasn’t, and that’s okay,” he told co-hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews after learning he was eliminated from the competition. “But I had an incredible, incredible time and FUN.”