Only comedian Chris Kattan could break his neck while making fans laugh
Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Only comedian Chris Kattan could break his neck while making fans laugh

Chris Kattan has faced a multitude of questions about his neck since appearing on Celebrity Big Brother 3, several years on from the time he laughed far too much and ended up getting a serious injury.

This year’s houseguest line-up features the comedian, along with several other celebrities, including Beverly Hills Housewives star Teddi Mellencamp and TV personality Carson Kressley.

As the season gets well underway, alliances are being formed and CBS viewers are getting a taste of all the action. Among reactions, many are wondering what happened to Chris Kattan’s neck.

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Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Explained: Chris Kattan’s neck injury

Chris revealed that he broke his neck and injured his spinal chord while performing a sketch on Saturday Night Live back in 2001, when he threw himself backwards on a chair while doing a parody of the Golden Girls sitcom.

The comedian and CBB contestant, who was a cast member on the show from 1996 to 2003, told Variety that the stunt – which was supposed to involve falling backwards on his chair in return for big laughter – almost paralysed him.

He has previously detailed that at the time, he had questioned the safety of the move, and asked the props department for a different chair, which apparently never arrived.

Hitting his head hard on the floor behind, Chris began to feel pain in the weeks and months that followed but thought it would just go away. This led to several surgeries to fix the damage to his neck.

However, according to Variety, NBC and staffers have no record of the injury.

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The CBB star’s recovery

Chris had to undergo five surgeries to repair his spine as a result of the injury. Despite the neck incident happening more than 20 years ago, his stint on Dancing on Ice in 2017 saw judges criticize his ‘stiff upper body movement’.

Today, the comedian faces difficulties relating to the incident, including not being able to open his hand wide enough to use his fingers and type normally on the keyboard.

He has spent years recovering from the injury. In June 2021, when Chris had reportedly been removed from an American Airlines flight for not wearing a mask, Kattan’s attorney, Samuel Joshua Smith, told TMZ:

Mr. Kattan suffered a strong allergic reaction to supplements he has been taking to treat lingering neck pain from his injury on ‘SNL’. This reaction affected his balance and psychological state. The effects also caused him to have trouble breathing.

Does he have a medical condition?

No, other than Chris’ neck injury, he does not have a medical condition. Several CBB3 viewers have been questioning if he lives with any ailments, and were unaware that he had a neck injury.

While on DWTS, he explained that the injury and subsequent surgeries were the reasons for his lack of mobility. Fans who already knew about the star’s SNL fall have urged others to be kind on social media.



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