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Catherine O’Hara Recalls Quitting “Saturday Night Live” After 1 Week: 'Not Cool to Take a Job, Then Leave It' (Exclusive)

After leaving 'SNL,' O'Hara — now starring in the action-comedy 'Argylle' — returned to 'SCTV,' and tells PEOPLE: "It all worked out the way it was supposed to be"

<p>Robin L Marshall/WireImage</p> Catherine O

Robin L Marshall/WireImage

Catherine O'Hara

For Catherine O’Hara, loyalty trumps a spot on Saturday Night Live.

In the new issue of PEOPLE, O’Hara recalls how she was cast on the sixth season of SNL in the early 1980s, but quit after a week. “There’s been BS stories about I was supposedly scared by somebody,” says O’Hara, 69.

Not so. Prior to SNL, she’d already been in the cast of the Canadian comedy sketch show SCTV, though it wasn’t consistent work.

“Our producer would get a deal with a network, and we’d have a show for a season or two, and then that deal would go away. There’d be a break, then we’d do the show again,” she explains.

During one break, “I got asked to be on Saturday Night Live. And of course I said yes. Who doesn’t want to do that?”

Then she got word that SCTV was picked up again, so she departed SNL without ever filming an episode. “Basically I said, ‘Oh, sorry, I gotta go be with my [comedy] family.’ ”

<p>NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty</p> Catherine O'Hara's 'Saturday Night Live' headshot

NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

Catherine O'Hara's 'Saturday Night Live' headshot

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In retrospect, O’Hara says she was “stupid” for not waiting longer to see if SCTV got picked up.

“Yeah, not cool to take a job and leave it. You know what I mean?” she says.

In the end, O’Hara’s best friend from high school, Robin Duke, took her SNL slot. “It all worked out the way it was supposed to,” says O’Hara.

SCTV ran from 1976 to 1984 and was an offshoot of Toronto’s famed Second City comedy troupe, where the late comedian Gilda Radner got her start. O’Hara costars on SCTV included John Candy, Martin Short, Rick Moranis, Joe Flaherty, Andrea Martin and Eugene Levy. She and Levy would go on to collaborate several more times in Christopher Guest’s movies including Best in Show.

<p>Courtesy Everett</p> Rick Moranis, Andrea Martin, Dave Thomas, John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara in 'SCTV'

Courtesy Everett

Rick Moranis, Andrea Martin, Dave Thomas, John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara in 'SCTV'

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They also costarred together on the 2015-2020 Pop comedy series Schitt’s Creek, playing Johnny and Moira Rose, a wealthy couple who lose everything and are forced to reside in the run-down motel of the small town they own, their only asset.

Levy co-created the Emmy-winning series with his son, Daniel Levy, who played the Roses’ high-maintenance son David.

“I'll be forever grateful to Eugene and Daniel for giving me that opportunity to develop the role with them and to collaborate,” says O’Hara.

Pop TV From left: Annie Murphy, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara and Dan Levy on 'Schitt's Creek'
Pop TV From left: Annie Murphy, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara and Dan Levy on 'Schitt's Creek'

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“It's such a gift to work with people with whom you can collaborate. And they wrote such great scripts, and it was just so fun and so lovely,” she adds.

For more on Catherine O'Hara, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here

Though it originally aired on the network Pop, Netflix eventually streamed the show, which O’Hara credits with helping the show become a beloved hit.

“We really lucked out,” she says.

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Read the original article on People.