Every Host Banned From SNL
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Every Host Banned From SNL

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Mimi Kenny
Live from New York, it's every host banned from "SNL." Our countdown includes Adrien Brody, Andy Kaufman, Robert Blake, and more!
Transcript

Every Host Banned From SNL


Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’re talking about every host banned from SNL.

For this list, we’ll be looking at all of the hosts and non-cast members who have been permanently banned from Studio 8H.

Do you think these bannings were justified? Let us know in the comments!

#7: Frank Zappa


Frank Zappa was definitely eccentric, and that might seem ideal for a comedy show like “SNL.” However, there’s a difference between being spontaneous and just being difficult. The musician hosted and performed on the show in 1978, and he quickly made enemies. Don Novello, who wrote for “SNL” and made appearances as Father Guido Sarducci, said the dress rehearsal before the show went dismally. So, when it was time to air, Zappa went meta, breaking the fourth wall and referring to the cue cards he was reading off of. There wasn’t anything funny to be found in Zappa’s bizarre approach, so it’s no wonder series creator Lorne Michaels never invited him back.

#6: Robert Blake


When you think of comedic actors, you don’t think of Robert Blake. The “Baretta” star confirmed this with one of the worst “SNL” hosting stints of all time. Even before the show aired, Blake proved himself to be a total pain. As writer David Sheffield recalls, Blake responded to one sketch pitch by crumpling up the paper and throwing it in writer and cast member Gary Kroeger's face. We understood that hosts and writers might have some disagreements on what’s funny, but that doesn’t excuse the absolute cruelty exhibited by Blake. Thankfully, the cast and crew didn’t have to deal with him again.

#5: Milton Berle


Just because someone has TV hosting experience, it doesn’t mean they’re a good fit for “SNL.” When the television legend hosted in 1979, he seemed to have something of a god complex. He would allegedly defy direction and instead try to run the show himself. It might’ve been okay if Berle’s ideas were funny and interesting, but by all accounts, they were neither, and he lost his chance of ever being reinvited to the show. Some of his worst actions included telling hackneyed, offensive jokes in his monologue, changing dialogue, and putting together a standing ovation for himself without any notice. Berle was likely a hero to many of the SNL” cast and crew members, but you know what they say about meeting your heroes.

#4: Andy Kaufman


Andy Kaufman never actually hosted “SNL,” but the offbeat comedian made multiple appearances as a feature artist on the sketch program. Kaufman was banned from the show in a particularly unique way. It wasn’t Lorne Michaels or NBC who made the decision; it was the show’s audience. In 1983, viewers were polled about whether to "Dump Andy" or “Keep Andy." Ultimately, the anti-Andy brigade won, and Kaufman and his unique brand of comedy weren't invited back to the show. A year later, he passed away from lung cancer, but he's still remembered as a one-of-a-kind comedic voice.

#3: Martin Lawrence


Some comedians have an “anything goes” approach to their material. But just because something is allowed in a nightclub or on HBO doesn’t mean it’s okay for network television. When Martin Lawrence hosted in 1994, he deviated from the approved monologue and started speaking very crassly about women and their personal hygiene. West Coast audiences didn't even get to see that part of the monologue, due to how offensive it was. The backlash was immense, with numerous complaints being filed and Lawrence being banned for good. Footage of Lawrence's most incendiary comments has been kept in the vault, which is probably for the best, based on the transcripts.

#2: Adrien Brody


So far, Adrien Brody is the only Oscar winner to be reportedly banned from “SNL,” and we can see why. When introducing musical guest Sean Paul in 2003, Brody wore a dreadlock wig and began rambling in an offensive faux-Jamaican accent. This was a horrible cringe-inducing moment and seemingly ensured that Brody would never be invited back to the show. Although Brody says he was never told he was banned for good, it’s no surprise that he hasn’t hosted “SNL” again. Former head writer Tina Fey heavily implied he was the all-time worst host. Maybe if he wins another Oscar, he’ll get another chance.

#1: Steven Seagal


Steven Seagal’s hosting was legendary, but not in a good way. The action star was absolutely incapable of not taking himself seriously, and was reportedly a terror to the cast and crew. When Seagal hosted in 1991, he allegedly took over the show, believing his ideas to be better than those of the experienced performers and writers on staff. What he came up with were unfunny sketches clearly written to stroke his ego. His stiff performance style makes it questionable if Seagal even understands how comedy is supposed to work. Former cast members Tim Meadows and David Spade have commented on how unpleasant Seagal was to deal with, as has Lorne Michaels, who later referred to Seagal as the worst host ever, on-air.
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