13 Stars You Didn't Know Were Banned from SNL

  • Milton Berle
  • Milton Berle Early TV star Milton Berle hosted SNL in April 1979. He was banished from the show after chronically overacting, mugging for the camera, and upstaging the other cast members. He also improvised some of his older comedy bits and sang a dreary rendition of "September Song.
  • Milton Berle " Perfectionist Lorne Michaels banned the show's rebroadcast until 2003 because he thought the episode discredited the show.
  • Frank Zappa
  • Frank Zappa After hosting in 1978, Mothers of Invention frontman Frank Zappa was banned from the show after telling the audience he was using cue cards and outright mugging for the cameras.
  • Frank Zappa Due to his strict anti-drug stance, the week of rehearsal leading to the live show was a tense one, since the cast and crew had relaxed attitudes toward drugs. Only John Belushi stood next to him during the goodnight sequence.
  • Cypress Hill
  • Cypress Hill Southern California hip-hop group Cypress Hill appeared on the October 2, 1993 show. Their prospects for a return appearance were scotched when DJ Muggs fired up a joint onstage to start their second number of the show.
  • Cypress Hill Toward the end of their performance of their appropriately named hit "I Ain't Goin' Out Like That," Muggs trashed the conga set.
  • Steven Seagal
  • Steven Seagal Action star Steven Seagal hosted the April 20, 1991 show. The cast and crew found him difficult to work with, and Lorne Michaels assessed him as "the worst host ever." The Seagal debacle was relived during Nicolas Cage's monologue the following year, when he told Michaels, "They probably think I'm the biggest jerk who's ever been on the show.
  • Steven Seagal " Michaels deadpanned, "No, no. That would be Steven Seagal."
  • The Replacements
  • The Replacements The musical guest on a 1986 SNL show, alt-rock band the Replacements, lived down to their reputation and were definitely not ready for prime time. During their two songs, they were so intoxicated that they repeated and forgot lyrics, stumbled around the stage and into each other, and yelled obscenities at the crowd.
  • The Replacements The obscenity is cut from the show's replay.
  • Adrien Brody
  • Adrien Brody Academy Award winner Adrien Brody was an unlikely choice for Lorne Michaels' blacklist. While hosting the May 10, 2003 show, he donned a dreadlocks wig and Rastafarian clothing.
  • Adrien Brody His improvised introduction of Jamaican reggae star Sean Paul, included a rambling, faux patois and botching Paul's name. The improv-averse Michaels was livid that Brody didn't clear the bit and banned him from future shows.
  • Robert Blake
  • Robert Blake Former child actor and star of the television show "Baretta" Robert Blake was far from the perfect host, or guest, when he showed his displeasure with the scripts. While preparing for the November 13, 1982 show, he refused to cooperate with the cast and crew.
  • Robert Blake When writer and cast member Gary Kroeger gave him several script pages, Blake wadded up the pages and threw them in Kroeger's face.
  • Charles Grodin
  • Charles Grodin Actor and comedian Charles Grodin turned in an awkward performance on October 29, 1977, his first appearance on the show. He skipped rehearsals and improvised many of his lines.
  • Charles Grodin Grodin's clumsy performance was his first and last, the impetus for Lorne Michaels' passion for preparedness.
  • Charles Grodin
  • Charles Grodin

    Some even speculate Grodin's clumsiness was attributed to the actor showing up drunk the day of the show.

  • Sinead O'Connor
  • Sinead O'Connor In 1992, Irish singer Sinead O'Connor sang Bob Marley's "War" a cappella. Without permission, she held up a photo of Pope John Paul II, ripped it up, and yelled, "Fight the real enemy!
  • Sinead O'Connor " The director cut the "Applause" sign and the audience remained silent. The next week, host Joe Pesci taped the picture up. Lorne Michaels considered O'Connor's actions a betrayal but understood her convictions.
  • Martin Lawrence
  • Martin Lawrence During this actor's monologue about female hygiene on the show, he became extremely filthy with his words which led to most of the monologue being wiped after it aired live. Instead, the show re-broadcasted a statement during this part of his monologue, saying, "At this point in his monologue, Martin begins a commentary on what he considers the decline in standards of feminine hygiene in this country.
  • Martin Lawrence Although we at Saturday Night Live take no stand on this issue one way or the other, network policy prevents us from re-broadcasting this portion of his remarks. In summary, Martin feels, or felt at the time, that the failure of many young women to bathe thoroughly is a serious problem that demands our attention.
  • Martin Lawrence He explores this problem, citing numerous examples from his personal experience, and ends by proposing several imaginative solutions." Yikes!
  • Martin Lawrence
  • Martin Lawrence

    His inappropriate ranting put him in bad graces with SNL and he has been banned from being on the show ever since.

  • Elvis Costello
  • Elvis Costello When Elvis Costello was set to perform on "SNL" in 1977, he was explicitly told to perform his new hit "Less Than Zero" instead of "Radio, Radio," his politically-charged anti-media song.
  • Elvis Costello A few seconds after playing "Less Than Zero," Costello promptly decided not to comply with the show and began performing "Radio, Radio" instead.
  • Fear
  • Fear In 1981, John Belushi invited this band to perform on "SNL" for their Halloween episode. During their performance, the band staged a massive riot which amounted to $200,000 in damages.
  • Louise Lasser
  • Louise Lasser The star of the cult soap opera parody "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman," Louise Lasser was the first performer banned from SNL. She was in the grip of a drug abuse problem and during rehearsal week, she crawled into various offices at Rockefeller Center.
  • Louise Lasser She insisted on appearing in the sketches solo or with Chevy Chase, and her live performance was a rambling mess.
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