Okay, this is pretty much the coolest thing ever. On the 1981 Halloween episode of the show, doom-punk band Fear staged a full-fledged riot on the set after being invited to play by John Belushi, who agreed to make an appearance on the show on the condition that they were the musical guest. You kind of have to watch the performance to grasp the scope of how badly they fucked up the set, but suffice it to say they did $200,000 worth of damage.
2. Steven Seagal
Steven Seagal is one of the only people to be banned from SNL for being a plain-long terrible performer. While he was also apparently a total dick to work with, it was the fact that he was the “worst host ever,” as remembered by Lorne Michaels, that got him booted for good.
3. Adrien Brody
Lorne Michaels, who notoriously hates ad-libbed material, banished Brody forever in 2003 after he improvised an introduction to musical guest Sean Paul while wearing fake dreadlocks and speaking in fake patois. It’s fascinating that a 45-second bit cost Brody so dearly, but that’s what happens when you cross Lorne Michaels.
5. Frank Zappa
Zappa was banned in 1978 after doing a disastrous job of hosting the show, which included blatantly mugging for the camera and announcing to the audience that he was reading from cue cards. Question for Lorne Michaels: How did you possibly see this choice of emcee working out well when Frank Zappa was a notorious anti-establishment freak king?
6. Martin Lawrence
Martin Lawrence was banned for being extremely, extremely filthy (by the show’s standards) in his monologue. After dissing the censors, he launched into an impassioned commentary about feminine hygiene. The original comments, though aired live, have been wiped from syndication, but here’s a transcript if you’re interested in hearing him exhort ladies to “Douche!”
7. Cypress Hill
Here are two very easy ways to get banned from SNL, as observed in 1993: First, light a joint onstage. Second, trash your instruments and the stage in general to the point of no return. Thanks for the quick lesson, Cypress Hill!
8. The Replacements
The Replacements gave a hell of a messy performance in 1986. Between the two songs they played, they missed entire verses, forgot and repeated lyrics, stumbled into each other, mangled guitar lines, and were absolutely trashed, period. Additionally, they all switched clothes between songs and screamed obscenities at the audience, and also just behaved like The Replacements behaved, which is to say not well.
9. Sinéad O’Connor
At the close of an a cappella cover of Bob Marley’s “War,” she shredded a picture of the Pope, looked into the camera, and said, “Fight the real enemy.” The audience was totally shocked and silent, and the furious media explosion afterward made her performance possibly the most infamous in the show’s history.
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