Saturday Night Live has been around since forever. Well, not really. It started airing in 1975 and was created and produced by Lorne Michaels. Except for 5 years (1980-1985), Michaels has been the show’s producer since the beginning until today. You don’t have to be an awesome comedy actor to host the show, but it does help if you have at least one comedic bone in your body. Not being funny won’t get you banned, but doing outrageous things and offending people will. Michaels has banned several actors and performers from his show for various reasons. Today, we’re going to take a look at those 10 people banned from SNL.
10. Milton Berle
Milton Berle was an old-school actor and kind of guy. When he hosted SNL on April 14, 1979, he took control of the entire production and caused the writers and actors plenty of stress. He was constantly upstaging, mugging for camera, doing old comedy bits and also did a sentimental performance of September Song (arranged with a standing ovation). As a result, Berle was banned from the show forever.
9. Chevy Chase
Chevy Chase is the only SNL cast member to have ever been banned (in 1997) from hosting or appearing on Saturday Night Live. Prior to his banning, he had returned to host the show eight times, but he was verbally abusive to the cast and crew. For example, in 1985 he suggested that a gay cast member act in a sketch where he was dying of AIDS. Although he was banned from hosting the show, he has appeared a few times since.
8. Adrien Brody
Adrien Brody is a nice guy, but when he hosted SNL on May 10, 2003 he made such a huge blunder that got him banned from ever hosting SNL again. He gave an improvised introduction to the musical guest, Sean Paul, wearing dreadlocks and sporting a strong Jamaican accent. Can you spell offensive?
7. Steven Seagal
One look at Steven Seagal and you can tell he’s not someone with a fine sense of humor. Steven SeAgal didn’t really do anything wrong on the show to get him banned, but he did have bad sketch ideas and was very hard to work with. Lorne Michaels declared that he was indeed the worst host ever.
6. Martin Lawrence
Martin Lawrence is funny, but he can sometimes go overboard and become quite offensive and inappropriate, although some say that’s his shtick. He was banned from ever hosting the show after on February 19, 1994 he made some comments about female genitalia. That’s it? you may ask yourselves. Well, apparently it was so bad that it almost cost many SNL employees their jobs.
5. Sinéad O’Connor
Sinéad O’Connor was banned from ever setting foot on the set of SNL after her performance as a musical guest on October 3, 1992. She sang an a cappella cover after Bob Marley’s War and changed the word racism to child abuse. That would have been all fine and dandy if, while she was singing the line about child abuse and evil, she didn’t hold up a photo of Pope John Paul II, which she then proceeded to rip up.
4. Frank Zappa
Out of all people banned from SNL, Frank Zappa was probably the most unpopular with the crew and cast. Both rehearsals and taping of the performance were unpleasant, mainly because of the fact that Zappa used to be against drugs and alcohol and the times did call for some of the above.
3. Cypress Hill
On October 2, 1993 Cypress Hill was a musical guest on SNL. If you know anything about the band it must be the fact that those guys love their Mary Jane. So, why was it such a big surprise when DJ Muggs lit up a blunt on-air? Apparently that was just the beginning: the band proceeded to trash their instruments after their second single.
2. Charles Grodin
The dad from the Beethoven franchise isn’t much a nice guy, in reality. Apparently, the comedian ad-libbed his lines, broke character (which is a deadly sin on the stage of SNL), skipped rehearsals and some say that he arrived drunk on the day of the show. All of his shenanigans got him banned forever.
1. Andy Kauffman
You either love or hate Andy Kauffman. To say that he was an eccentric entertainer is an understatement. He appeared on SNL a lot and got mixed reviews for his performances. One day, it was decided to have a poll and let the audience back home decide whether he should keep appearing on SNL or not. It was decided the he would not come back to the show. But his popularity on SNL lead him to be cast in Taxi.
Did you know that there were some people banned from SNL before you read this article? Who do you think should not have been banned? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you!