The Complete List Of Celebs Banned From Saturday Night Live

Diehard Saturday Night Live fans know about the Five Timers Club - a group of celebrities honored for hosting SNL five times or more. But there's also an inauspicious sister club of performers who have been banned for life for various reasons. Some of the celebrities have been banned for reasons ranging from the ridiculous (such as Steven Seagal actually thought he was funnier than the cast members themselves) to the illegal (Cypress Hill smoked exactly what you think Cypress Hill might smoke onstage) to the somewhat respectable (Rage Against the Machine hung upside down American flags on their equipment when they performed the same night as billionaire and not-so-Rage-friendly Steve Forbes.) Whether or not you think these celebrities should be banned or not is up to you (well, actually it's up to famed SNL founder and producer Lorne Michaels). Click here to check out the complete list of 15 in reverse chronological order and decide for yourself. 

1. Adrien Brody, 2003

Actor Adrien Brody at the 65th Cannes Festival in 2012.

Actor Adrien Brody at the 65th Cannes Festival in 2012. (PAN Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com)

The star of The Pianist ran afoul of Lorne Michaels by improvising on air before he introduced musical guest Sean Paul. Well, there's more to it than that. Brody didn't just ad-lib. He donned a dreadlock wig and spoke in a stereotypical Jamaican accent before turning the show over the reggae singer.  

2. Rage Against the Machine, 1996

Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine fame performs with his new band Prophets

Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine fame performs with his new band Prophets of Rage. (Sterling Munksgard / Shutterstock.com)

SNL has had some odd host/musical guest pairings over the years. But the worst has to be billionaire and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes hosting alongside anti-capitalist rockers Rage Against the Machine. So it's not surprising that the band decided to take a stand against Forbes and everything he represented by hanging American flags upside down on stage.

When they finished their set, producers told the band to leave the premises. No second song. No wave to the audience at the show's end. They were kicked out immediately.

3. Martin Lawrence, 1994

Comedian Martin Lawrence at a 2006 premiere in Hollywood.

Comedian Martin Lawrence at a 2006 premiere in Hollywood. (Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com)

The outrageous comedian wore out his welcome at SNL at the very start of his hosting gig. During his monologue, Lawrence launched into a foul digression on female hygiene. The rant was so awful that it's been scrubbed from syndication. When the episode is re-aired, NBC plays the following voice-over statement over the monologue.

"At this point in his monologue, Martin begins a commentary on what he considers the decline in standards of feminine hygiene in this country. 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. He explores this problem, citing numerous examples from his personal experience, and ends by proposing several imaginative solutions."

4. Cypress Hill, 1993

Cypress Hill photographed at a Milk Studios party in 2011.

Cypress Hill photographed at a Milk Studios party in 2011. (Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com)

The latino hip hop ensemble - and diehard cannabis advocates - got themselves permanently disinvited from the show after DJ Muggs sparked a joint on air during a 1993 episode. At the time, recreational and medical marijuana use was prohibited throughout the states, so the ban could be considered getting off easy. Bill Murray would have been proud.

5. Sinead O'Connor, 1992

Irish singer Sinead O'Connor performs at a 2000 concert in Italy.

Irish singer Sinead O'Connor performs at a 2000 concert in Italy. (Matteo Chinellato / Shutterstock.com)

The Irish singer sparked controversy by singing an a capella rendition of Bob Marley's War before tearing up a picture of Pope John-Paul II. The protest nearly caused a violent altercation on air.

"I was stunned," Lorne Micheals later said, "but not as much as the guy from the audience who was trying to charge her and destroy the show while she was singing. He had to be taken away by security."

6. Steven Seagal, 1991

Actor Steven Seagal at a 2000 premiere in Los Angeles.

Actor Steven Seagal at a 2000 premiere in Los Angeles. (Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com)

The action-star made the crew feel like they were the ones Under Siege when he hosted the show in 1991. Not only were his ideas unfunny, but he didn't get what made other sketches work. And instead of learning from the pros, he got nasty backstage.

“He just wasn’t funny and he was very critical of the cast and the writing staff," former cast member Tim Meadows later recalled. "He didn’t realize that you can’t tell somebody they’re stupid on Wednesday and expect them to continue writing for you on Saturday.”

7. The Replacements, 1986

The Replacements perform a 2013 gig at Riot Fest in Toronto.

The Replacements perform a 2013 gig at Riot Fest in Toronto. (Wikimedia)

The alternative rock band was turfed from SNL and NBC following a backstage fiasco in 1986. Between sets, the group allegedly started the post-show party a bit early. When they returned to play Kiss Me on the Bus, they dropped their instruments, bumped into each other and generally acted like a mess. They weren't allowed back on NBC until a 2014 appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon - nearly 30 years after the SNL incident. 

8. Andy Kauffman, 1983

Andy Kaufman publicity photo.

Andy Kaufman publicity photo. (Wikimedia)

Comedian Andy Kauffman has the distinction of being the only entertainer banned by SNL's audience. Kauffman had appeared as a featured player on occasion since the show began in 1975. In 1983, the show held a poll to determine whether or not to let him continue making appearances.

When all the ballots were counted, the "Dump Andy" vote beat the "Keep Andy" campaign 195,544 to 169,186. And the show kept its promise to bar him from set thereafter.

Unfortunately, there wasn't much of a chance to bring him back as Kauffman died of lung cancer a year later.

9. Robert Blake, 1982

Robert Blake's 1977 publicity photo from the television play Baretta.

Robert Blake's 1977 publicity photo from the television play Baretta. (Wikimedia)

The In Cold Blood star turned out to be a menace on set. At one point, he even abused a writer. Here's how former writer Dave Sheffield remembers the incident.

"My vote for worst host is Robert Blake. He was sitting in a room and a sketch was handed to him by Gary Kroeger, who was a writer-actor - a sketch called 'Breezy Philosopher,' a one-premise sketch about a lofty teacher who’s kind of a biker tough guy, talking about Kierkegaard. Students kept asking questions while he combed his hair, and he’d say, 'Hey, I don’t know.' Blake sat there and read that, with his glasses down his nose, then wadded it up, turned to Kroeger, and said, 'I hope you got a tough asshole, pal, ‘cause you’re going to have to wipe your ass with that one.' And he threw it and bounced it off Gary’s face."

10. Fear, 1981

Fear still at it playing Warped Tour in 2010.

Fear still at it playing Warped Tour in 2010. (Wikimedia)

John Belushi left SNL in 1979, but he stayed in contact with the show. In 1981, Belushi lobbied for the hardcore punk band Fear to play the Halloween special. He even promised to appear in a small role in the episode as an extra incentive.

In retrospect, that incentive was far outweighed by the disaster that ensued. The band brought along troupe of slamdancers that caused $200,000 worth of damage to the set.

11. Milton Berle, 1979

Milton Berle publicity photo circa 1950.

Milton Berle publicity photo circa 1950. (Wikimedia)

When the TV legend hosted SNL in 1979, he didn't mind letting everyone know he was a big deal. Let's just say things got off on the wrong foot when he began pitching a sketch by saying, "Now this might be over your heads..."

Things were even worse on air. Berle repeatedly mugged for the cameras, plugged his autobiography during the episode and had one of his hangers-on lead a standing ovation. 

12. Frank Zappa, 1978

Frank Zappa giving the finger at a concert in 1974.

Frank Zappa giving the finger at a concert in 1974. (Heinrich Klaffs / Wikimedia Commons)

The freaky rocker turned in a surprisingly mellow performance when he hosted SNL in 1978. So mellow that he lazily read his lines on air and repeatedly pointed out the cue cards to the audience. 

13. Charles Grodin, 1977

Actor Charles Grodin photographed in 2013, long before he was banned from Saturd

Actor Charles Grodin photographed in 2013, long after he was banned from Saturday Night Live. (Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com)

The Rosemary's Baby star didn't make any friends on set by skipping rehearsals and ad-libbing lines (a big no-no on SNL). But his squareness is what really rubbed one cast the wrong way. 

"He doesn't smoke dope," John Belushi said of Grodin. "He's not one of us."

14. Elvis Costello, 1977

Elvis Costello photographed at the 41st annual Grammy Awards in 1999.

Elvis Costello photographed at the 41st annual Grammy Awards in 1999. ( Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com)

The first musician banned from SNL was Elvis Costello, who irked executive producer Lorne Michaels and NBC censors by playing the wrong song during his set. Costello was supposed to play his hit Less than Zero. But a few bars into the song, he launched into Radio, Radio - his musical attack on the media.

"Cut him off! Cut him off!" the censor shouted in the control room, but the show's tech crew had faith that the surprise song probably wouldn't contain profanity, so they let him play. The stunt would result in a 12-year ban from the show.

15. Louise Lasser, 1976

Louise Lasser as Mary Hartman in 1976 promotional photo for her SNL appeareance

Louise Lasser as Mary Hartman in 1976 promotional photo for her SNL appeareance. (Wikimedia Commons)

The dishonor of being the first person banned from SNL goes to Louise Lasser - the ex-wife of Woody Allen who appeared in Bananas and other early features in Allen's filmography. In 1976, she hosted the penultimate episode of SNL's first season. Well, she sorta did.

Less than an hour before the episode went on, Lasser locked herself in her dressing room. But the show must go on, so the cast divided her roles in the episode among themselves. When Lasser finally agreed to come out, she ended up doing only one sketch with a cast member (Chevy Chase).

h/t Mental Floss, Vanity Fair, Buzzfeed, Screen Rant, Binge Watched

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