Adrien Brody Is Banned From ‘Saturday Night Live’ for His Weird Behavior

While fans watch Saturday Night Live for its comedy, fans often remember SNL for unplanned incidents that sometimes got their performers in trouble. One of the strangest ejections was that of Adrien Brody. 

The actor was on a hot streak in the early 2000s, and with hot streaks often come SNL invites. However, Brody had an unpredictable streak, and a bizarre introduction he did got him uninvited from the show for good. 

What was Adrien Brody famous for?

Adrien Brody attends the "Based On A True Story" screening during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival.
Adrien Brody | Matthias Nareyek/Getty Images

Brody’s acting career took off in the late 1990s, when he began making memorable appearances in movies by A-list directors, such as Summer of Sam by Spike Lee and The Thin Red Line by Terrence Malick. Other high profile projects in the early 21st century included Peter Jackson’s King Kong remake, and he starred in a string of films by Wes Anderson, including The Darjeeling Unlimited, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

The most high-profile role came via The Pianist, in which Brody played the titular character who struggles to survive the Holocaust. The widely acclaimed film, inspired by director Roman Polanski’s own experiences, won Brody the Best Actor Oscar, and he set a record doing so. At the age of 29, Brody became the youngest winner in that category. 

But Brody did more than set a record. When he won, he was so enthused, he passionately kissed presenter Halle Berry when he reached the podium. When Brody presented the Best Actress Oscar the following year, he spritzed mouthwash as a joke, but he did not repeat the kiss with Nicole Kidman, who won for The Hours.  

What happened to Adrien Brody on SNL?

Brody hosted Saturday Night Live in 2003 after he won his Oscar. The host always introduces the musical guest, who that night was Sean Pau,l a reggae performer. Brody or someone thought it would be a good idea for Brody to introduce Paul wearing fake dreadlocks and speaking in a stereotypical Jamaican accent. 

Brody ad-libbed, “Ya, ya, ya, ya, you know, man. We got original rude boy Sean Paul here. Respect all respect. My auntie. Respect all aspect, respect me neck, respect me knees, Big up Jamaica massive! Big up Kingston Massive! We got the whole family now, ya here! Big respect to my man Sean Paul the dance floor killer!”

Lorne Michaels, the creator and longtime producer of the show, wasn’t laughing, and Brody hasn’t appeared on SNL since.  Writer Nathan Rabin opined: “Brody showed us who he was in those infamous twenty or thirty seconds introducing a forgettable performance with a bit of calamitous improvisation that will, unfortunately for Brody, never be forgotten.”

Bans from ‘SNL’ are not uncommon

Brody is hardly alone in getting banned or fired from the show.

One of the earliest examples came when Dallas actress Charlene Tilton hosted and performed in a spoof of her show’s famous “Who Shot Jr” mystery. Cast member Charles Rocket played the man who got shot, and he dropped an f-bomb during the sketch. He was immediately fired. 

Musical guests have their share of trouble too. Elvis Costello got in trouble for stopping in the middle of his musical number and switching to the song “Radio Radio,” which he had been told not to play. Probably the most infamous incident with a musical guest came when Sinead O’Connor tore up a picture of the Pope, declaring “Fight the real enemy.” 

Even legendary former cast member Chevy Chase, SNL’s first breakout star, got banned when he hosted and slapped cast member Cheri Oteri on the back of the head. Chase had developed a reputation for being brash and aggressive, and that incident was a prime example of it.

All of this just goes to show that while the unpredictability of live TV can be exciting, your credibility on the show will die if you go too far off-script.