Saturday Night Live has been entertaining audiences since its premiere on NBC on October 11, 1975. The sketch comedy show is best known for its celebrity guest host and the musical performances. Despite the show’s great success, things do not always run smoothly. There have been many instances of celebrity hosts trying to take production into their own hands or just not being able to work well with the SNL cast and crew. Musical guests have also been problematic at times, as some have shown that they cannot take direction well and would rather do things their own way. Whatever the situation, executive producer, Lorne Michaels has had to make some tough calls on who can and cannot appear on Saturday Night Live, not only for the show’s sake, but for the network, as any flubs on-air could cost the network a fortune. Here are previous hosts and musical guests who’ve been banned from Saturday Night Live.
15. The Replacements
Alternative rock band, The Replacements appeared as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live on January 18, 1986. The first performance went well, however it was their second performance that got them banned from the hit television show. Right before the performance of their song, “Kiss Me on the Bus” the members of the band got heavily intoxicated, making it very clear to the audience that they were drunk. As a result, they were never invited back on the show.
14. Louise Lasser
Actress, Louise Lasser was the first SNL host to be banned from the show. She appeared on the show as guest celebrity host on July 24, 1976. Lasser appeared disoriented and refused to appear in sketches that did not include Chevy Chase. Lasser’s incoherent behavior during filming of the show did not go over well with producer, Lorne Michaels, which resulted in her banishment.
13. Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello appeared as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live on December 17, 1977. Costello was at the start of his career and was scheduled to perform his song, “Less Than Zero” however, halfway through his performance Costello stopped the song and began to perform “Radio Radio” which was about corporate controlled broadcasting. After the performance Costello was banned from SNL for 12 years. Producer, Lorne Michaels and Costello laugh about the incident now.
12. Adrien Brody
Academy award winner, Adrien Brody hosted Saturday Night Live on May 10, 2003. Little did the actor know that his performance on the show would be his last. Producer, Lorne Michaels did not appreciate Brody’s improvised performance when the actor came out to introduce musical guest, Sean Paul. During the introduction the actor wore fake dreadlocks and displayed a terrible Jamaican accent, his performance can still be seen today on re-run episodes.
11. Frank Zappa
Musician, Frank Zappa hosted Saturday Night Live on October 21, 1978. Zappa did not mesh well with the SNL cast and crew. Many believe that Zappa’s strong anti-drug views did not blend well with the lax views of the cast. It also didn’t help that throughout the episode Zappa is noting to the audience that he is reading off cue cards. The musician was never invited back to host again.
10. Milton Berle
When comedian, Milton Berle hosted Saturday Night Live on April 14, 1979, things didn’t go very well. Berle created nothing but stress on set by trying to take control of production, improvising with old comedy bits and even going as far as pre-arranging himself a standing ovation at the end of the show. Needless to say, these antics didn’t go over well with producer, Lorne Michaels and Berle was banned from ever hosting SNL again.
9. Charles Grodin
Actor, Charles Grodin didn’t not take his hosting duties very seriously when he hosted Saturday Night Live on October 29, 1977. Grodin missed several rehearsals, improvised his lines and broke his character in one of the skits, which is a major “don’t” on SNL. There were even rumors that Grodin showed up drunk on the day of the show. It’s safe to assume why he was never asked to host again.
8. Andy Kaufman
Actor and comedian, Andy Kaufman appeared often on SNL during Lorne Michaels’ first tenure as executive producer. However, an odd situation occurred in 1983 when Dick Ebersol took over as executive producer and arranged to have the audience decide if they wanted Kaufman to ever be able to return to the show. Two 900 numbers were provided for viewers to vote and in the end viewers voted for Kaufman to be kicked off of the show. The actor had pleaded to be able to come back and yet he was still never invited to return.
7. Rage Against the Machine
Alternative metal band, Rage Against the Machine performed on SNL April 13, 1996. They were the scheduled musical guest while billionaire Steve Forbes hosted the show. However, this didn’t go over smoothly with the politically vocal band. Right before their performance they hung two upside down American flags from the amplifiers causing stagehands to run on set to pull them down just seconds before the band performed their song “Bulls on Parade.” After their performance the band was asked to immediately leave.
6. Robert Blake
Actor, Robert Blake took on hosting duties for Saturday Night Live on November 13, 1982. The actor did not help things run smoothly as he was highly uncooperative and he was very discontent with the scripts that he would receive during the week. Blake became so upset with the material that he was given that he took one of the scripts handed to him, crumpled it up and threw it in one of the writer’s face. Needless to say he was never invited back to host again.
5. Cypress Hill
Hip hop group, Cypress Hill appeared as musical guests on Saturday Night Live on October 2, 1993. However, the group didn’t abide by the rules well when one of the members decided he would light up his joint on stage after producers repeatedly told him that he could not do that. The group went on to trash their instruments after their second performance which is ultimately the reasoning that producers give as to why the group has been banned from ever performing on SNL again.
4. Martin Lawrence
Actor and comedian, Martin Lawrence created quite the stir when he hosted Saturday Night Live on February 19, 1994. His opening monologue became a distasteful one as he went into discussing female genitalia. The comments made were so inappropriate that re-runs of the episode now contain a simple graphic that describes what Lawrence had said and how the comments almost cost some SNL employees their jobs.
3. Chevy Chase
Chevy Chase is one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live and he holds the title of being the only cast member banned from hosting the late night show. Chase has hosted the show eight times, however when he hosted the February 15, 1997 episode, it would be his last. The actor was already known to be difficult to work with, but he took it to another level when he slapped cast member Cheri Oteri in the back of the head. Chase insisted it was a joke, but no one else saw it as that. Producer, Lorne Michaels banned Chase then from ever hosting again. However, he has made several appearances on the show since his banishment.
2. Sinead O’Connor
Singer, Sinead O’Connor appeared on Saturday Night Live as the musical guest on October 3, 1992. For her first performance, the singer performed “Am I not Your Girl?” and for her second performance she chose to perform Bob Marley‘s controversial song, “War.” The song itself was not why O’Connor is now banned from the show, as it was what she did at the end of the song that shocked viewers and SNL producers. The singer held up a photograph of Pope John Paul II and ripped it into pieces. Producers were stunned and there are rumors that NBC was fined $2.5 million dollars over the whole ordeal.
1. Steven Seagal
Actor, Steven Seagal hosted Saturday Night Live on April 20, 1991. He has been given the title of “worst host ever” by executive producer, Lorne Michaels himself. While Seagal hosted the show he was known by the cast and crew for being highly difficult to work with and he had terrible sketch ideas. Michaels announced on-air that Seagal was the worst host ever when actor, Nicolas Cage is troubled that he may be the worst host to ever appear on SNL, but apparently Seagal already had that title covered.