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Updated on Sep 26, 2020. Posted on Sep 22, 2020

17 Of The Most Wild, Unbelievable Things That Ever Happened On "SNL"

Ashlee Simpson's little dance after she got caught lip-synching lives rent-free in my mind, tbh.

We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share the most wild, unbelievable moments in Saturday Night Live history, and y'all, they did NOT disappoint. Here are 17 of the most controversial ones:

1. When Ashlee Simpson got caught lip-synching during her performance of "Autobiography," did a very awkward dance, and ran offstage:

Simpson dancing
NBC

"Instead of 'Autobiography,' her prerecorded track of 'Pieces of Me' started playing. She didn't know what to do, so she did this awkward dance and walked offstage before the show cut to a commercial."

chelseasometimes23

You can watch it all go down below or on YouTube:

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

2. When Kristen Stewart hosted and accidentally dropped the f-bomb in her monologue:

Stewart saying "OK so, we've got a great show and I totally care that I'm here 'cause it's the coolest fucking- oop!" and McKinnon and Bryant looking shocked
NBC

You can watch the whole monologue below or skip to 4:23 to see it all go down:

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

3. When Elvis Costello stopped playing "Less Than Zero" 15 seconds into the song and performed "Radio, Radio" — a song that NBC had objected to — instead:

Costello saying "Stop! I'm sorry, but there's no reason to do this song here."
NBC

"He was then banned from appearing on SNL until he made his triumphant return playing the same song backed by the Beastie Boys years later! THAT was punk rock in its purest meaning."

Brian B.

You can watch a clip of the performance below or on YouTube:

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

4. When Kanye West went on an unexpected pro-Trump rant at the end of the episode he appeared on and was ultimately cut off:

NBC

"In 2018, he wore a MAGA hat and talked about his public support of Trump while the audience booed and cast members — including host Adam Driver — were visibly irritated in the background. While his whole speech didn't air on TV, you can get a quick refresher of what was said and shared by Chris Rock — who'd been in the show's audience that night — on Instagram here."

swifty_girl

You can watch the clip for yourself below or on YouTube and see Chris Rock's Instagram stories here:

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

5. When Charles Rocket dropped the f-bomb during a sketch, resulting in him getting fired in the middle of the season:

Rocket in character saying ""It's the first time I've ever been shot in my life. I'd like to know who the fuck did it."
NBC

"The show was already in limbo, and that mistake cost half the jobs on the show, including Rocket's. SNL would've tanked entirely were it not for Eddie Murphy."

colleend9

You can watch the snippet of this sketch below or on YouTube:

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

6. When Sinead O’Connor ripped up a picture of Pope John Paul II during her performance of Bob Marley's "War":

You can watch her whole performance of "War" below or skip to 2:50:

View this video on YouTube

NBC

7. When James Franco accidentally squirted fake blood straight into Leslie Jones' mouth during the "Gift Wrap" sketch:

Franco misaiming the fake blood and Jones looking disgusted
NBC

"Jones spent the entire skit trying not to throw up 😂."

shelleynicole

You can watch the whole sketch below or skip to 1:54:

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

8. When Martin Lawrence went off script during his monologue, sharing his personal experiences and opinion on women's hygiene and genitals:

Martin describing oral sex with a woman who has a yeast infection in which he "comes up with dough" or pastries on his lip
NBC

Because of network policy, this part of the monologue has been edited out of reruns of the episode since it originally aired in 1994. Instead, the following graphics are displayed explaining what occurred and calling it a "frank and lively presentation" that "nearly cost us all our jobs." You can view the video on the NBC website or read the transcript from the original monologue here.

The graphic explaining Martin's commentary on women not bathing enough, his personal stories, and that SNL takes no stance on the issue.

9. When Rage Against the Machine tried to perform with upside-down American flags hanging from their amps and were escorted out of the building immediately after their first song:

The goodbyes during that episode, with Rage Against the Machine noticeably absent from the frame
NBC

"The upside-down flags were meant to be a protest of the show's host that week: then–presidential candidate Steve Forbes. The crew removed the flags before the show went live, but the band was not invited back in to perform a second song or seen onstage for the goodbyes at the end of the show."

miss_meggin

You can watch their performance below:

NBC / Via Facebook: video.php

10. When Adrien Brody decided to improvise his introduction of musical guest Sean Paul by wearing dreadlocks, speaking in patois, and spewing a bunch of Jamaican stereotypes:

Brody in dreadlocks
NBC

You can watch his introduction below starting at 4:54:

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

11. When Buck Henry hosted an entire episode of SNL with a bandaged head because John Belushi accidentally cut him with a sword during a "Samurai Stockbroker" sketch:

Henry getting hit by the sword, the cut on his head, then his bandaged head later in the episode

You can enjoy the whole sketch on NBC.com or watch the moment where it all goes wrong below:

NBC

12. When Fred Armisen did an impression of then–New York Gov. David Paterson on "Weekend Update" that essentially made fun of him for being blind:

Armisen squinting and holding a graph upside down
NBC

"During the segment, Armisen squinted and was unable to do basic tasks, seemingly due to his inability to see. According to the New York Times, the governor's office issued a statement about the impression, saying 'this particular Saturday Night Live skit unfortunately chose to ridicule people with physical disabilities and imply that disabled people are incapable of having jobs with serious responsibilities.'"

Angelica Martinez

You can watch the original "Weekend Update" segment on NBC.com AND the updated 2010 impression in which Paterson himself joins Armisen onstage to comment on it:

Armisen and Paterson
NBC

13. When Fear caused a bit of a riot during their performance and were cut off mid-song with a commercial break for ~fear~ that they'd seriously damage the equipment:

The mosh pit during their performance
NBC

"Fear hosted the Halloween episode in 1981 thanks to the help of cast member John Belushi getting them in the door at 30 Rock. They performed offensive songs — including the anti–New York song 'New York’s Alright If You Like Saxophones'; had a mosh pit that destroyed the set; and continuously used vulgar language. Concerned they'd destroy the equipment in the studio, the crew cut to a commercial when they began playing 'Let's Have a War.'"

Evelina Zaragoza Medina

You can watch their whole performance below or on YouTube:

View this video on YouTube

NBC

14. When Chevy Chase and Richard Pryor did a "Word Association" job interview sketch in which both their characters said racial slurs back and forth, including Chase saying the n-word:

Pryor and Chase in the sketch
NBC

Chase and Pryor notoriously didn't care for each other IRL, either, and it shows.

angelusgirl

You can watch the sketch on NBC.com:

NBC

15. When SNL Executive Producer Dick Ebersol had the audience vote on whether or not they should keep Andy Kaufman on the show...and fans voted him out:

The phone numbers and voting totals for keep vs dump Andy, in which "dump" is winning
NBC

"Kaufman's early appearances on the first couple of seasons of SNL left people wondering what planet he was from."

Brian B.

You can watch one of the voting videos on NBC.com and get a little taste of Kaufman's unique comedy style in the video below:

View this video on YouTube

NBC

16. When Jenny Slate made a splash in her very first episode by accidentally dropping an f-bomb:

Slate looking worried
NBC

"It was rumored for a while that the slipup during the 'Biker Chick Chat' was what got her fired from the show, but Slate explained that it was because she wasn't a good fit. It's good to see she's doing a lot more for herself now."

ursulabuffay

You can watch the moment it all happens below or on YouTube:

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

17. And finally, when Cypress Hill started their performance of "We Ain't Goin' Out Like That" by smoking a joint live on air:

DJ Muggs saying, "They said I couldn't light my joint, you know what I'm sayin'? But we ain't going out like that."
NBC

"Not only did DJ Muggs smoke weed on national TV, but the band also trashed their instruments at the end of their performance. Safe to say, it wasn't a huge surprise when Lorne Michaels didn't welcome them back on the show."

Angelica Martinez

You can watch their performance below:

Facebook: video.php

Did we miss any more wild and controversial SNL moments? Let us know in the comments below!

Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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