The Quick Report

You Won’t Believe How These 10 People Got Banned from SNL

Saturday Night Live has been on the air for years, and it’s seen its fair share of one-off hosts and musical guests. However, sometimes things go a little too far and the show has to ban certain guests outright. You’ll never believe how these ten people got banned from SNL!

Elvis Costello

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Elvis Costello’s banning from SNL is one of the stranger ones. While performing “Less Than Zero” as the musical guest in 1977, Costello told his band to stop playing and debuted an unreleased single, “Radio Radio.” SNL wasn’t even mad at him for the stunt: Columbia Records didn’t want him to play unreleased music on the show, which landed him in hot water. In fact, SNL invited Costello back in 1989, where he parodied his own infamous appearance by joining the Beastie Boys onstage to perform “Radio Radio.”

Steven Seagal

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Steven Seagal has a reputation as being thorny. In addition to throwing people into walls behind the scenes on his own movies, he was also apparently very rude to the writing staff when he hosted SNL. Lorne Michaels even once on-air confirmed that Seagal was the “biggest jerk” to ever host the show.

Robert Blake

By ABC Television – eBsy itemphoto frontphoto back, Public Domain,

Oddly enough, Robert Blake wasn’t banned from SNL for being charged with the murder of his second wife (for which he was acquitted). That incident happened after he hosted the show. Instead, like Seagal, he apparently got himself booted from the program by disparaging writer Gary Kroeger for his work on a sketch called “Breezy Philosopher.”

Andy Kaufman

By Bernard Gotfryd –, Public Domain,

In one of the show’s strangest banning moments, Andy Kaufman was dumped from SNL after an audience vote was called. Producer Dick Ebersol was angry with Kaufman due to a bit where he would wrestle women, so Kaufman himself came up with the idea to have people call in and vote on whether the show would keep him. The vote went against him, and he never appeared on the show again. To this day, it’s unclear if this was a mandate from the producers or one of Kaufman’s legendarily involved pranks.

Sinéad O’Connor

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In an infamous moment in 1992, singer Sinéad O’Connor ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II while singing a cover of “War” by Bob Marley. This incident infuriated many religious viewers, and O’Connor stood by her political statement. She was banned from the show altogether, and re-runs of the episode use footage of her dress rehearsal instead of the version that happened live.

Martin Lawrence

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Martin Lawrence was a huge name in the 90s, complete with his own sitcom and a coveted spot hosting SNL. During his monologue, Lawrence thanked the show for having him on and mentioned his love for SNL before segueing into a bizarre rant about feminine hygiene and John and Lorena Bobbitt. Re-runs of the episode don’t include Lawrence’s monologue and instead replace it with humorous title cards noting that the rant “nearly cost us all our jobs.”

Charles Grodin

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Charles Grodin got booted from SNL the old-fashioned way: he was bad at his job. He apparently missed rehearsals before his 1977 turn as host, and when he did show up for the live show, he ad-libbed his lines, spoke over the other cast members, and just appeared unprofessional.

Milton Berle

Milton Berle

Milton Berle was a famous comedian from the “old school” philosophy of Hollywood, which made him somewhat contradictory as a host for the “new school” SNL. When he hosted an episode in 1979, he had a habit of upstaging the regulars in favor of his own form of comedy, ruffling feathers and seeing himself booted from the program.

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Adrien Brody

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Actor Adrien Brody is known for his serious dramatic roles and acting chops, but his improvisational skills earned him no friends during his 2003 SNL episode. When he walked out to introduce Sean Paul, he was wearing fake dreadlocks and affecting a Jamaican patois. No one was entertained by this cringey spectacle, and Lorne Michaels promptly banned Brody from the program.

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Frank Zappa

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Frank Zappa is a weird dude by all accounts. His music ranges from bizarre to surreal, and his public appearances are varied and unpredictable. When he hosted SNL in 1978, he appeared bored while simply reading from cue cards. He even had the audacity to tell the audience he wasn’t “really trying.” Naturally, the producers weren’t pleased with Zappa phoning it in and banned him from the program.

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