Saturday Night Live has a long and crazy history. Many comedians have become household names from being cast members on the show. What they have to do week after week is hard, so things don’t always go according to plan, especially when you throw celebrity hosts and bands in the mix.
Many celebrities think they can go on the show and do what they want, but that has backfired many times! Some celebrities have gotten injured during skits. Others offended viewers by saying something inappropriate or going on political tirades.
These shocking moments led to angry letters, celebrities being banned from the show, and more. So which of these moments have gone down in Saturday Night Live history? Here are the 10 most shocking things to have ever happened on Saturday Night Live.
10. Samuel L. Jackson curses
The actor was doing a skit with Kenan Thompson when he had an awkward moment on live television. Some say that they heard the actor say “f*ck” while others think he only said “fuh.” Either way, the actor was supposed to start saying the curse word only to get interrupted by Thompson. Their timing was off and instead, the actor almost says the curse word uninterrupted. When Jackson was later asked about what happened, he put all the blame on the Saturday Night Live cast member.
“I’m just saying,” he told Jimmy Kimmel, “I’m used to working with professionals that know their lines. Even the ones that are written on cue cards in front of you.”
9. John Belushi cuts Buck Henry with a samurai sword
8. Matthew Broderick’s ‘nude beach’ sketch
In the ’80s it was still unheard of to say “penis” on television. This sketch has people saying penis over 40 times so it was pretty scandalous. In the skit, there are five guys at a nude beach played by Matthew Broderick, Dana Carvey, Kevin Nealon, Dennis Miller, and Jon Lovitz. They compliment each other on their penises and more. The sketch led to 40,000 angry letters from viewers.
7. Sinead O’Connor rips up a picture of Pope John Paul II
When the singer performed on the show in 1992, she decided to give the world a message. “Fight the real enemy,” she said as she ripped up a picture of the Pope. She then went on to play Bob Marley’s “War” instead of the song she was scheduled to play. O’Connor later sent out an open letter to further explain her protest.
The Catholic church has controlled us by controlling education, through their teachings on sexuality, marriage, birth control, and abortion, and most spectacularly through the lies they taught us with their history books. My story is the story of countless millions of children whose families and nations were torn apart for money in the name of Jesus Christ.
6. Ashlee Simpson is caught lip syncing
In 2004, the singer went on Saturday Night Live to perform “Pieces of Me,” however something went wrong with her audio and rather than singing, Simpson awkwardly began dancing around the stage. The music continued to play with recorded vocals, which made it obvious to everyone that she was planning on lip syncing. “I feel so bad, my band started playing the wrong song and I had no excuse so I had to do a hoedown,” she said later on in the night. “I’m sorry.”
She later explained the whole debacle to E! “I think my drummer got like really excited and maybe a little bit nervous and he pressed the wrong button,” she explained. “I was like okay, I think I’ve done the hoedown long enough — maybe I should walk off.”
5. Cypress Hill smoked pot on stage
The rap group is forever banned from the show after lighting up on stage. In 2003 they started off their performance with an act of rebellion. “Yo, New York City,” said DJ Muggs, “they said I couldn’t light my joint, you know what I’m saying? Well, we ain’t going out like that!” He then lit up a joint on stage.
4. Elvis Costello switches songs randomly during his performance
Once again a celebrity decided not to play by the rules of Saturday Night Live and got banned for it. Elvis Costello got to perform on the show in 1977 because the Sex Pistols fell through. According to Ultimate Classic Rock, his record label wanted him to play “Less Than Zero” but he didn’t think it fit the American crowd who probably wouldn’t know that the song is about English politician, Oswald Mosley. The band starts off playing “Less Than Zero” but Costello interrupts them and switches to “Radio Radio.”
3. Adrien Brody fakes a Jamaican accent in a wig
Hosts tend to take a break from comedy when introducing the musical guest. However, the Oscar winner switched things up when it was time for him to introduce Jamaican artist, Sean Paul. Brody put on a fake accent and wore a dreadlock wig. Apparently the whole thing was weirdly ad-libbed and led to him getting banned from the show.
2. The band, Fear wrecked the stage while performing
Performances on the show tend to be low key, and the audience doesn’t usually participate. But the band Fear, switched it up and got everyone to mosh for their crazy performance. The band was invited by John Belushi who probably didn’t think the band would be a problem. However, the performance ended up causing $200,000 dollars worth of damage.
1. Martin Lawrence gets banned for a risky monologue
The comedian had a very successful sitcom and many funny movies, so it only made sense that he would one day host Saturday Night Live. However, when he finally got his shot he gave a shocking monologue that led to him getting banned from the show!
Part of his monologue focused on censors and women’s hygiene. “It’s crazy though,” the comedian said, “I gotta talk about some things that the daggone censors are followin’ me everywhere around, wish they’d get off my a** oops, damn, did I slip?” He then later went on to say ” … I’m looking for somebody and — but I’m meeting a lot of women out there, and you got some beautiful women, but you got some out there that, uh, I gotta say somethin’. Um … some of you are not washing your a** properly.” The monologue didn’t sit well with the people behind Saturday Night Live so the comedian was banned from ever returning.
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