15 Guests Who Were Banned From ‘Saturday Night Live’
Appearing on Saturday Night Live is a momentous occasion for any celebrity. For many, it’s evidence they have “made it”; occasionally, the show has helped lesser-known acts springboard to fame.
There is, of course, a flip side to these SNL success stories - guests who ruined their “live from New York” moment so badly, they were banned from the show.
Over its nearly half-century existence, Saturday Night Live has had the misfortune of banning a small collection of guests. In some cases, comedians took things too far, looking to push the envelope so much they ended up shedding the damn thing to pieces. In other cases, bands used their musical performances to make controversial statements, much to the chagrin of the show’s producers. Then there are the guests who treated the SNL cast and writers like dirt, a surefire way to guarantee you won’t be invited back.
The greatest SNL hosts bring energy, offer a distinct comedic dynamic and display a willingness to make fun of themselves. The opposite of all those things would be Steven Seagal, a man so stiff and void of comedy that producers swore he’d never be invited back.
“A lot of people think we’re there to make fun of them," former cast member David Spade explained to Rob Lowe on the Literally! podcast. "But if we’re getting you on the show to host, we all want it to work. And if you make fun of yourself — this is where it gets tricky — it will benefit you. And if you don’t, and if you fight it too much — that was [Seagal]."
Below, we’ve assembled 15 guests who have been banned from Saturday Night Live. Among their indiscretions: foul language, nudity, incitement and more.
An earlier version of this story included David Bowie. The incident never happened. UCR regrets the error.