Pop Culture | 90s | 70s | 80s

10 Celebrities Banned From Saturday Night Live

We can all admit that Saturday Night Live is certainly not what it used to be. The current sketches are often dry, and the talent is nowhere near its prime. But that doesn't mean we don't tune in once in a while when a big-name celebrity hosts, just to see what might happen.

If you watched in older seasons, however, it seemed like every week there was some controversial moment that made headlines. Some of them were behind the scenes, and even got celebrities banned.

1. Steven Seagal

The action star was big in the 80s and 90s, and in 1991 he was invited to host Saturday Night Live. Unsurprisingly, the episode was awful. According to the cast and crew, Seagal had nothing but terrible ideas for sketches and was awful to everyone around him. Lorne Michaels deemed Seagal the "worst host ever."

2. Adrien Brody

When Adrien Brody was 29, he became the youngest actor ever to win the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in The Pianist. What Brody didn't win any awards for is his performance on Saturday Night Live. In 2013, Brody improvised his monologue, much to the disdain of Lorne Michaels. Brody showed up wearing fake dreadlocks in honor of the night's musical guest, Sean Paul. That went over as well as expected.

3. Elvis Costello

In 1977, Elvis Costello was banned from SNL thanks to an un-rehearsed performance. Costello was just 23 years old and was scheduled to sing his famous song, "Less Than Zero." But the musician wanted to play his new song, "Radio, Radio", which was politically charged and anti-media. Lorne Michaels said no, but as Costello's band started playing the scheduled song, the singer stopped them and started singing "Radio, Radio." Costello was un-banned in 1989, and he's even parodied his now-famous rebellion on later episodes of the show.

4. Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa appeared as a musical guest in 1976, and two years later he was invited back to host. That didn't go so well. According to the cast, Zappa didn't get along with anyone while preparing for the show. It's rumored that the cast at the time were big partiers, into drugs and alcohol, which was a large cause of the tension. Zappa was notoriously anti-drug, so that makes sense. During one of his sketches, Zappa kept turning to the camera and announcing he was reading lines off the cue cards.

5. Martin Lawrence

Martin Lawrence had to know he was going to get in some sort of trouble after his hosting gig in 1994. A rising actor with his sitcom Martin, Lawrence delivered an extremely raunchy monologue, ranting about feminine hygiene and using crude language to describe the female body. The show was aired live (obviously), so the censors weren't able to catch everything fast enough. Lawrence's episode still airs in syndication, but his inappropriate rant is edited out and replaced with black screenshots describing what he said and why it will not be re-broadcasted.

6. Cypress Hill

The rock-rap group appeared on an episode in 1993, and they somehow thought it would be a good idea to light up a joint while on stage, while on live TV, and smoke it on stage. But that's not all. Once the performance was done, the band trashed all their instruments (and the stage) while playing "I Ain't Going Out Like That."

7. Chevy Chase


Alright, so this one may not be a shocker. Chevy Chase is a notoriously rude man. Will Ferrell and Tim Meadows both confirmed that Chase was verbally abusive to cast members and would continuously pitch sketch ideas that were somehow offensive to cast members. Chase was banned from hosting the show, but he's appeared in a few sketches over the years.

8. Sinead O'Connor


In 1992, Sinead O'Connor committed one of the most infamous moments of insanity on Saturday Night Live. While singing Bob Marley's "War", she showed a photo of Pope John Paul II to the camera while singing the word evil. O'Connor was protesting the sex crimes committed by the catholic church. Then she ripped the photo in half, threw the pieces on the floor, and said "FIGHT THE REAL ENEMY." Lorne Michaels told the crew to not light the "applause" sign, so they just sat there in stunned silence. She has not been invited back.

9. Fear

The punk band Fear appeared on SNL in 1981. This was a mistake. The band played incredibly offensive songs, used foul language, and bused in dozens of dancers to perform as they played. After the performance, the band and dancers proceeded to completely riot on stage, destroying the whole thing. The estimated damage was about $200,000. No wonder they were banned.

10. Louise Lasser

Actress Louise Lasser hosted the 1976 season finale, and she more or less coined the term "hot mess." Lasser was so incoherent during her show, she was may has well have not even been there. She refused to appear in any sketches unless she was by herself, or with Chevy Chase. She was banned from the show, and has the honor of being the first person to do so. Lorne Michaels hated this episode so much, he never wants it aired as a rerun on NBC.