SNL Slip-ups Everyone Kind of Forgot

Saturday Night Live is where artists from all Hollywood industries come to show the world their comedic side. Of course, scripts and plots are prepared for them. For the most part, though, the cast and guest hosts are given free rein on what to say or do. That’s when the interesting bits start.

Artists, like many ordinary people, have their own thoughts and opinions. However, because of the nature of their jobs, they can’t freely express themselves like most of us do. If they do so, they risk getting called out or, as the young kids would say, get “canceled.” Still, some celebrities aren’t too worried about getting entangled in a controversial discussion. Some of them even made SNL their stage for that. If you keep reading this article, you’ll get to know some of those “courageous” celebrities who managed to evade the safety of their scripts. To be honest, they truly deserve credit for their boldness. If you’re not interested in those types of controversies, however, don’t worry! We’ve also listed down some technical celebrity mishaps that are as entertaining as it was embarrassing.

Rage Against the Machine


Showing respect to a country’s flag is a practice that everyone must do, especially when it’s your own nation’s banner. Some artists, however, have their own separate rules. Just take a look at Rage Against the Machine’s 1996 SNL performance.

The band was in the middle of playing one of their scheduled two songs when showrunners decided to throw them out of the Rockefeller Studios. The reason? Well, the band decided to use the United States flag as a stage prop and display it upside down. Now, if you’re knowledgeable about showing respect to national flags, you’d know that displaying any flag in an upside-down manner is a mortal sin no matter what country you go to. We have to give credit to the producers, though, for being quick and firm with their actions. Although the band’s controversial actions didn’t end there, their relationship with SNL surely did. Rage Against the Machine has been banned from the show since then.

Elvis Costello


Breaking away from any planned performance on the spot is an incredibly tricky thing to pull off. Especially during the ‘70s, when technology was scarce, everything must be planned in precise detail. That’s why when Elvis Costello performed a different song than rehearsed, and it made national news.

The singer’s team and the show producers initially agreed that he would perform his single, Less Than Zero. Costello, however, had other plans in mind. Without warning, the singer started belting out his song Radio, Radio in the middle of the show’s performance slot. Though unplanned, his little prank gave birth to SNL’s most infamous TV musical stunt, earning him a lengthy 25-year ban from the show. Don’t worry, though. The singer was ultimately invited to the show and even poked fun at the legendary incident. We don’t know about you, but Costello definitely deserves credit for his iconic stunt.

Adrien Brody


Racism isn’t cool. It never was, and it never will be. Not even when well-respected actors like Adrien Brody did it. That’s right! The Academy Award-winning actor once went on national television and made a very inappropriate racial joke that earned him a ban from SNL.

The moment in question is his 2003 SNL guest-hosting gig where he needed to introduce the Jamaican musician Sean Paul. Let’s just say the joke Brody ad-libbed sounded a bit different in his head. Instead of squeezing some peals of laughter from the audience, he only found himself banned from the show for an indefinite amount of time. How bad was the joke, you ask? Well, the actor stepped out on stage wearing faux dreadlocks and sported a fake Jamaican accent, which clearly rubbed people the wrong way. He was lucky no lawyers were called in for his racially insensitive stunt.

Martin Lawrence

Martin Lawrence in Saturday Night Live? Seems like a match made in heaven, right? Well, not quite. Hilarious as the comedian may be, his little comedic jab almost cost SNL’s writers their jobs.

If you’re curious, Lawrence made several unrefined jokes about female hygiene. As you’d expect, what followed was an onslaught of angry feedbacks from viewers and the show producers. Unfortunately, the show still had to be re-run for a couple more days, meaning that more viewers could take offense from Lawrence’s joke. To fix this, SNL’s writers added a voiceover to cover up the comedian’s insensitive joke. The degree of stress it gave the staff and crew was immeasurable. Due to this, Lawrence was never invited to show ever again. Despite this, however, the comedian-producer still managed to achieve a relatively successful career in Hollywood. Hopefully, he has already learned from this mistake and avoided any similar jokes.

Steven Seagal


So far, we’ve only told you about the celebrities who got banned from Saturday Night Live for their inappropriate jokes. Well, Steven Seagal’s case is a bit different.

The actor didn’t exactly make any controversial jokes. He just didn’t deliver any funny ones. The actor also doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to work ethics. According to some sources, SNL’s staff and crew found it incredibly difficult to work with Seagal. The actor also refused to make jokes about himself and would constantly complain about the script. In the end, SNL’s writers and producers collectively agreed to never invite him back to show. They did stick to their word. There hasn’t been any sign of Seagal since the actor’s appearance back in 1991. Even Lorne Micheals gave Seagal the credit of being the show’s most difficult celebrity guest host. We sincerely hope that the actor has grown some funny bone since appearing in the show.

Sinead O’Connor

Pulling off a highly political statement in a comedy setting like Saturday Night Live is not something many of us expect. Sinead O’Connor thought otherwise, though.

Instead of sticking to the rehearsed performance, O’Connor decided to shock the show’s producers by tearing apart a picture of the then-Catholic Pope while uttering the words “fight the real enemy.” According to sources, the singer decided to carry out such a bold act to shed some light on the issues surrounding the church’s inappropriate actions. Although her accusations proved true, they still earned her a spot among SNL’s banned celebrities. Despite becoming known for, what is now, SNL’s most controversial episode, O’Connor still went on to have a successful career and increased her credit score.The singer is no longer as active as she used to be, but there’s no doubt that she left a lasting legacy, thanks to her bold statement on SNL.

Cypress Hill


Getting invited as Saturday Night Live’s musical guest is, perhaps, one of the biggest indications that a musician is heading in the right direction. Having said that, we’d understand how a singer or musician would want to celebrate this milestone. They should, however, wait until the cameras stop rolling before pulling celebratory props. Unfortunately, Cypress Hill’s DJ did not get this memo.

Overcome by excitement, the rap group’s DJ randomly pulled out a prohibited stimulant and started lighting it while Hill was performing live. The DJ and the group probably forgot the stage they were performing in and got a little too carried away with excitement. What was supposed to be a celebratory milestone also marked the end of their SNL journey. The group never appeared on the show ever again but did expand their career and investments in the music industry. Good thing everything worked out for them despite what happened during that unfortunate night.

Andy Kaufman


Late American comedian Andy Kaufman saw the start of Saturday Night Live and became a staple figure in the show back in the ‘80s. However, his rather avant-garde humor proved too complicated for the audience, and he was eventually cut from the show.

They eventually decided to determine Kaufman’s fate on the show by conducting a phone-in poll votation from their viewers. Much to the actor’s dismay, most of the public voted to have him cut from the show’s future productions. His career didn’t end there, though. He continued earning credits from films and other productions outside of SNL. He also became a part of other TV shows like Taxi. Suffice to say, the actor enjoyed a relatively successful career despite being cut from one of Hollywood’s biggest variety shows. Kaufman stayed active in the industry from 1971 until the time of his passing in 1984.



Artists of all genres are given a certain degree of freedom when creating artworks. While artists such as singers and musicians are free to devise their own master plan for extraordinary performance, certain things should be taken into consideration. In the case of ‘90s punk rock band Fear, it was the set’s cost.

During their performance for SNL’s Halloween Special back in 1981, the band invited a group of dancers to fill the mosh space in front of them. Let’s just say the dancers went a little too overboard and trashed the entire set. There was so much damage by the end of the group’s performance that they ended up on the show’s blacklist. The damage is said to have set back the team $20,000 to $40,000. Imagine that! We guess all of us could agree that banning the band from the show was the best course of action. Although their little stunt got them banned from SNL, the group continued to carry out the same antics in their own shows.

The Replacements


When you’re a relatively new act in the music industry and get invited to a show like Saturday Night Live, you must be on your best behavior. Sad to say, however, that The Replacement tore the opportunity to shreds before they even started.

Hours before they were set to debut on the SNL stage, members of the band started chugging down alcohol and got incredibly intoxicated. That’s not all! The show’s staff and crew also reported that certain band members began spewing obscenities off-mic. The band also proceeded to challenge their time-constraint schedule by switching clothes in between songs. To make matters worse, Warner Brothers Record’s investments in them almost went to waste when SNL’s executives considered banning all the artists under their management’s roster. The two parties eventually ironed everything out and decided to impose the ban only to The Replacements.

Milton Berle


Milton Berle was already an established figure in Hollywood television, even before becoming a part of Saturday Night Live’s roster of guest talents. However, that wasn’t enough to secure his place with the show. Apparently, cast members and producers felt like the comedian was overdoing most of his segments. His staged standing ovations, in particular, didn’t sit well with most of the show’s members. In the end, Lorne Michaels decided to drop him from the show entirely. He even went as far as banning Berle’s episode from getting syndicated for over two decades. It’s unclear whether this move affected his income stream and credit score, but we can all agree that it was a big blow to his comedic career.

After appearing on the show back in 1979, Berle continued working on television. He managed to secure a couple of appearances in the ‘80s and ‘90s, including Amazing Stories and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Frank Zappa


When Frank Zappa was first invited to Saturday Night Live as a musical guest back in 1976, everyone was excited to see his untapped talent go the distance. His performance was, of course, a hit and succeeded in earning him a larger degree of fame. Two years later, he was invited back to the show, this time as a guest host.

Given the singer’s successful appearance two years earlier, everyone had high expectations for his return. Unfortunately, his time as the show’s host proved to be underwhelming, earning him a spot among SNL’s worst guest hosts ever. Even though it didn’t really affect his musical career that much, we’re guessing it must have been a big blow to his ego. Oh well, he’s not alone in this title anyway. He still went about his life and stayed active in the industry until 1993.

Robert Blake


Robert Blake doesn’t really have the most stellar of reputations. That was particularly evident when he was asked to guest host an episode of Saturday Night Live back in 1982. The actor apparently tore and rejected an unfinished script written by Gary Kroeger. As you’d probably imagine, this did not sit well with any of the show’s staff and crew, including executive producer Lorne Michaels. Blake was never invited back to the show.

Nearly two decades after his incident with the variety show, Blake was again caught in a very controversial situation when he was taken to court. The actor had to sit through countless court hearings and meetings with his lawyers before being found liable for a heinous crime in 2005. He was made to pay $30 million to the prosecuting party, leading him to file for bankruptcy. It’s a devastating end to an otherwise fruitful journey, but we guess he had it coming.

Charles Grodin


Performing on a live stage like SNL takes several hours of rehearsals and practice to ensure quality broadcast. Had Charles Godin taken this thought to heart in 1977, he wouldn’t have messed up so hard during his appearance on SNL.

Weeks before he was scheduled to appear in the variety show, Grodin failed to attend several of his plotted rehearsals. As you’d probably expect, this left the actor unprepared for the actual thing. His appearance on the show was littered with several missed cues, forgotten dialogues, and uncoordinated blockings. At one point, he even forgot that he was performing live. Given his poor work ethic and terrible performance, producers decided to never invite him back on the show. Though he never redeemed himself on SNL, he did improve his career by earning acting and hosting credits in both film and television. He maintained an active presence in the industry until he passed this May of 2021.

Fred Armisen

Fred Armisen was among SNL’s most well-known and longest-running members from 2002 to 2013. He became well-known for his parodies of several musicians in many of his sketches, which reflected his background as a musician. In addition, he parodied many famous personalities and portrayed various characters over the years. His nature of comedy, while hilarious, landed him in hot water on numerous occasions. One of which was during the 2008 show’s Weekly Update sketch.

In it, Armisen portrayed then-New York Governor David Paterson, who is legally blind and is given credit for advancing causes for people with disabilities. He portrayed Paterson in an unflattering light, ridiculing the latter’s blindness. After the sketch was aired, Paterson’s office took umbrage at the skit and criticized it since it only mocked the governor’s blindness. Armisen subsequently apologized and even invited Peterson on the show to bury the hatchet.

Pete Davidson

SNL member Pete Davidson has been well-known for his edgy jokes and a lax persona. Yet, he had ramped up his edginess to the degree that a lot of people disliked. In 2018, during the show’s Weekly Update skit, Davidson took a jab at then-congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw. For context, Crenshaw has been rendered blind on his right eye after losing his eye during his military service in Afghanistan.

In his joke, Davidson compared Crenshaw to a hitman in an adult film and seemingly brushed off his disability. While the comedian did lampoon many politicians featured on the skit, his joke on Crenshaw left a sour taste on many people’s mouths, including Crenshaw’s. The American politician immediately took to Twitter to respond to Davidson’s jokes. In addition, many Republicans took umbrage at his insensitivity. He eventually apologized for the affair and even appeared alongside Crenshaw on the show.

Andrew Dice Clay

While comedian Andrew Dice Clay has been successful in his career, he also drew a divisive opinion among many over the years. This became more apparent when he hosted SNL once back in 1990. When Lorne Michaels invited Clay to host, it became one of the show’s highest-rated episodes during that year. This was thanks to the stand-up comedian’s immense popularity at the time. However, it quickly drew a lot of backlash.

One of the most prominent voices was then-SNL member Nora Dunn who criticized the decision because of the sexist nature of Clay’s comedic skits, which eventually prompted her to leave the show in the same year. Another prominent voice was Sinead O’Connor, who boycotted the show. The degree to which many went to prevent the situation spiraling out of control was extensive, with NBC insisted on a seven-second delay to filter out profanities from Clay. Since then, Clay has not been invited to host the show.

Nora Dunn

While Nora Dunn has been successful in her career as an actress, she was once a well-beloved cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1985 to 1990. She became well-known for her various impersonations of famous celebrities at the time. In addition, she became known for her slew of recurring characters on the show, which ultimately made her a fan favorite, even after she left the show in 1990 in the middle of a heated dispute.

At the time, comedian Andrew Dice Clay was about to host the show after being picked by Lorne Michaels. While Clay was popular, his humor was branded as misogynistic by many, especially Dunn. This led to her boycotting performing any skits for Clay throughout the episode. Eventually, this prompted her to leave the show for good. Since then, Dunn has moved on from the show and made a name for herself through her various acting credits.

Ashlee Simpson

For those who were around in 2004, you might be familiar with Ashlee Simpson. After all, this was her breakout year, thanks to the release of her album Autobiography. In particular, the first song from the album, Pieces of Me, became one of Simpson’s signature songs. To promote her album, she made an investment to appear in various media across the U.S, eventually lading a musical guest appearance on Saturday Night Live back in 2004.

While her performance initially went smoothly, she fumbled when she was about to sing Autobiography. When the band was about to perform the song, the vocal track for Pieces of Me’s was inadvertently played. Given that this was done live, this prompted waves of accusations to Simpson that she lip-synched her performance there, which she admitted in later years. Today, it seemed that the incident had not derailed her career in any way.

Kanye West

Singer and rapper Kanye West has been pretty divisive among people in recent years. This became more apparent during the term of Donald Trump as U.S. President when he started to openly support him. His musical guest performance in SNL in 2018 became one of such episodes of his open support of the former president. During his performance for his second song, he wore the well-known ‘Make America Great Again’ cap.

To make things worse, West went on a pro-Trump rant after he finished singing. While his rant was not aired live, Chris Rock can be given credit for making his rant public via his Instagram. West’s antics on the show led to many people having a less than pleasing opinion of him. Even some SNL members, such as Kenan Thompson and Pete Davidson, were not pleased with West’s actions during that time.

Adam Sandler

Aside from being a well-known comedian and actor, Adam Sandler has been known for his stint as a member of SNL from 1990 to 1995. His time on the show was given credit for propelling him into mainstream success. While he was certainly beloved during his time on the show, he was fired along with Chris Farley back in 1995. Apparently, Sandler’s antics behind the set were partially attributed to his firing. Despite his close relationship with the show’s creator, Lorne Michaels, he couldn’t do anything to prevent Sandler’s departure.

The firing left a sour taste for the actor. When he became the show’s guest host for an episode back in 2019, he opened up about his firing nearly 25 years ago during his opening monologue. In it, he said that he was fired, but he made $4 billion at the box office, which made him say that he won.

Charles Rocket

Among the many casualties of SNL’s firing thanks to dropping the F-word, Charles Rocket was fired from the show just a year into his tenure as a member. When he was cast for the show’s sixth season, he was seen as a promising star. In particular, the show’s executive producer Jean Doumanian put Rocket front and center on many of the show’s sketches, including anchoring the well-known Weekly Update.

Yet, Rocket’s mouth had not been trained in the art of being reserved while life and under the watchful eye of the censors. During his sketch, which parodied the phrase Who Shot J.R.? from the show Dallas, he uttered the F-word while in character. Due to this, in addition to poor ratings and negative reception of the cast, Rocket was laid off before the show’s seventh season. Despite the setback, he gave credit for his time on the show for spurring a very successful acting career.

Donald Trump

While real estate mogul and former U.S. President Donald Trump had been the subject of much ridicule on Saturday Night Live, he made controversy himself when he became the show’s host back in 2015. At the time, he was in the middle of his campaign to run for President. While his appearance seemed normal to some, the timing of it proved to be very divisive to so many, including from within the show.

Many SNL members at the time were quick to speak up about Trump’s hosting. They said that his presence during his campaign had been tantamount to support to his presidency bid to a certain degree. This is understandable, given that the former President was a favorite source of jokes for the show’s members. Especially since Trump won the presidency, his next appearance on the show is next to nil, since he got lampooned by the show since.

Matthew Broderick, Dana Carvey, Kevin Nealon, Dennis Miller, and Jon Lovitz

Many know Matthew Broderick thanks to his role as Ferris Bueller in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. His iconic role, along with a string of success during this time, made him a prime candidate to host an episode of SNL back in 1988. His hosting became very well-known for his skit Nude Beach. Written by Conan O’Brien during his time on the show, the skit was supposed to be performed by Tom Hanks but was axed.

The skit featured four men at a nudist colony discussing their genitalia, which eventually led to them singing a song that repeated the word ‘penis’ over forty times. While live audiences loved the skit, those at home certainly did not. After the skit was aired, the show was inundated with complaints. However, the show’s producers did not act on censoring the skit, since the word ‘penis’ was recently greenlit before the skit aired. This probably explains the excessive use of the word, like how one takes too much money loans.

System of a Down

One of the members of a long list of personalities and groups banned from Saturday Night Live, heavy metal band System of a Down, found themselves banned from the show after their musical guest appearance back in 2005. The band has been well-known for their highly politically charged lyrics, in addition to being riddled with expletives. During their performance back in 2005, the band sang the song B.Y.O.B, which was a protest song against the Iraq War of 2003.

Already, the very nature of the song made it quite controversial for NBC, which airs SNL. When the band finally performed the song, the show’s censors demanded that they remove any expletives and sensitive words from their song, which they did to a degree. However, guitarist Daron Malakian ad-libbed and uttered an expletive live, which caught everyone off-guard. This caused complaints from viewers and led to the band being banned.

Shane Gillis

While many SNL members were fired out during their time on the show, comedian Shane Gillis probably holds the distinction of getting fired before he even began his time on the show. He was slated to join SNL back in 2019 after being announced to join the show. At the time, Gillis had established himself as a highly talented and promising comedian. However, just four days after the announcement, on September 16, he was dropped from the show’s lineup.

His firing before he even started stemmed from his previous jokes in his podcast, which contained racial slurs. When the jokes resurfaced, this prompted a severe backlash against Gillis from the public and some of the show’s members. This led to Lorne Michaels, through his spokesperson, announcing that Gillis would not join the show. The decision was for the best, as some might lawyer up against the show if things turned out differently.

Claudine Longet

Unique among the various controversies on this list, Claudine Longet became the center of an affair in relation to the show, despite having no appearance on SNL. For context, Longet was involved in the passing of her then-partner, Olympic skier Spider Sabich. In 1976, the show aired a sketch called The Claudine Longet Invitational, which consisted of stock footage of falling skiers overdubbed with gunshots, which alluded to how Sabich passed away. While the sketch was quite edgy, it was nonetheless found funny by many.

However, Longet, through her attorney, prompted an immediate censor of the sketch. The sketch was eventually censored through a cease-and-desist order. Lorne Michaels, the show’s creator, subsequently apologized on the following episode for offending Longet. Since then, the sketch has not been aired on the show’s reruns. Interestingly enough, the sketch is still viewable on streaming platforms such as Netflix and Hulu.

Jenny Slate

While many people today may know comedian and actress Jenny Slate for her roles on Bob’s Burgers, Parks and Recreation, and House of Lies, she once had a short stint on Saturday Night Live. She joined the show during its 35th season back in 2009, despite having a rocky start. During her first episode, Slate accidentally uttered an expletive during her very first sketch. For context, SNL has been well-known for censoring highly sensitive topics and expletives throughout its run.

While her sketch was aired live, it was removed from reruns in the years since. Her act caused controversy since she broke a cardinal rule on her first day on the show. Despite rumors that the incident caused Slate to leave after season 35, she stated on the record that it was not the case. She stated that her not clicking with the audience can be given credit for her layoff from the show.

Sam Kinison

For long-time viewers of Saturday Night Live, they might be acutely familiar with Sam Kinison, a well-renowned comedian. He was a recurring guest on the show throughout the ‘80s and even got to host once back in 1986. While he was certainly quite excellent in his craft, he was also known for pushing beyond the envelope. While he did it outside the show, such jokes had never passed the show’s notorious censors.

Yet, Kinison’s performance in October of 1986 proved to be too much for Lorne Michaels, the show’s creator. During his performance, he made two jokes involving the Crucifixion and the legalization of marijuana. Such sensitive topics were regarded as red flags and were censored when the show aired in the Western United States. However, like gas leakages, many still heard Kinison’s jokes, which prompted complaints. Since then, his particular routine has been edited out from subsequent broadcasts.

Gal Gadot Plants One on Kate McKinnon

Kate McKinnon is a staple in one of the longest satire shows on TV. The Saturday Night Live star has had her fair share of controversies but, locking lips with Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot, was one of those that made many watchers happy-er. With Gadot being the guest star, it wasn’t surprising that there will be a bit of a promotional aspect to SNL. Their skit started out with McKinnon and Aidy Bryant finding themselves in Themyscira. Diana, as portrayed by Gadot, wanted to test her feelings with him being the reluctant guinea pig. With Wonder Woman star planting a kiss on McKinnon, which went on for some time, it wasn’t surprising that the internet exploded.

There were plenty of reactions to this on-screen smooch, which probably caught their viewers off guard. However, the stars took it all in stride during the show. Gadot even went on to join the cast in parodying different programs, like Keeping Up with the Kardashians, plus she also went on to date with O.J. Simpson, who was played by Kenan Thompson. To her credit, Gadot showed her funny side to the cast and crew, and with that smooch, this is one of those episodes that will forever be etched on the internet.

Katy Perry’s Sesame Street


Katy Perry broke ground with her hit single, I Kissed a Girl, which put her name on the map of rising celebrities. From singing gospels to becoming a pop star, she showed everyone her knack for writing and singing catchy tunes with colorful videos to go with them. It is not surprising that she gets invited to appear in various programs, like in Sesame Street. However, her appearance on the children’s program caused a stir because of her outfit, which enraged many viewers, particularly adults. Though many thought that the drama that ensued after was done, Perry took it to Saturday Night Live.

Starring as a musical guest, Perry appeared in the same shirt that she wore in the previous program, though showing more cleavage than usual. Though it was Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph who carried the skit more as the Bronx Beat ladies, to their credit, they made a good point when they addressed the Sesame Street issue. Rudolph wondered what was wrong with children seeing the tops of Perry’s chest since it was something their mothers had.

Larry David


Larry David has made a name for himself as an actor and a comedian throughout his career. He is best known for his work in Seinfeld, as well as in Curb Your Enthusiasm, just to name a few. With impressive work tied to his belt, finding him in the middle of the controversy is surprising, to say the least. David was the guest star in one of Saturday Night Live’s episodes, and right off the bat, things got pretty awkward for many of their viewers. Though his opening spiel was going great, it was his wrap-up that enraged some of their audience.

David’s lines were about hitting on women in concentration camps during the Holocaust, which generated plenty of mixed reactions on various social media outlets. Twitter users had a field day with his opening, while others defended the actor. David’s reference to Jews being embroiled in controversies, such as in the case of Harvey Weinstein, also appeared in his speech. The actor must be given credit for his acceptance of the backlash, but there were those who defended his uncomfortable comedic opening spiel.

Ariana Grande


Ariana Grande is just one of the numerous stars whose time in the hit comedy show Saturday Night Live became a controversy. She made a name for herself in Nickelodeon’s show, Victorious, which gave her career in the entertainment industry a good start. She later appeared in iCarly, plus she lent her voice in the animation Winx Club. With the release of her debut album, Grande’s musical career was on the rise. This is why it is not surprising that she was invited to SNL to perform for their guests. The star stated that she wanted to experience what it was like to be in an adult controversy. Well, she did get her wish.

During her live performance, she remarked an expletive, which was later removed before being put online. Fortunately, her little slip did not affect the program’s ratings or having the show tagged by the FCC for her indecency. To her credit, Grande knew she made a mistake after saying the curse word and apologized right after.

Kristen Stewart


Twilight star Kristen Stewart made a gaffe during her hosting debut in Saturday Night Live. With TV shows trying their best to avoid saying curse words on TV or else they will be sanctioned by the FCC, Stewart dropped her F-bomb during the first five minutes of her opening speech. The actress later said that she never said the F-word while they were rehearsing for the show, which was why she was shocked when she did it live. The Personal Shopper star apologized to the cast and crew of the show after her monologue. To their credit, they did not make it difficult for the star to continue with the program.

Stewart’s dropping a major curse word on national TV is nothing new as the program has been through this several times already. The actress later joked that she might not get to host the show afterward, but she did get invited back to host a second time.

Elon Musk


Elon Musk’s appearance as the host of Saturday Night Live’s episode back in May 2021 was met with mixed reviews. The announcement that the owner of Tesla Motors and CEO of SpaceX will be spearheading the show received negative feedback from their viewers. This was because of rumors that Musk had a terrible personality, plus his background was questionable at times. He wasn’t the only celebrity guest star on the show since Miley Cyrus appeared as their musical guest as well. Some of the stars of the satire program voiced their opinion about the matter over their social media accounts.

Though the stars do not have a say on who the guests will be, to their credit, they did show their true feelings on various social media platforms. This doesn’t mean that all of the cast did not like to work with Musk since others defended the choice.

Lil Nas


Rapper Lil Nas X decided to end his pursuit of getting a degree to become a music sensation. His parents were initially angered by his decision but eventually came around to support his dream. He used his being internet savvy and various social media platforms to make a name for himself. With his hit Old Town Road propelling him to internet stardom, it wasn’t long before he was writing more hits for him and his fans, which ultimately led to him becoming a musical guest for Saturday Night Live.

During his performance of Montero, Lil Nas suffered a wardrobe malfunction while pole dancing like in his video. To his credit, he managed to complete his routine while keeping his pants intact and to avoid any sanctions to the show. After all, the show must go on, and the rapper did just that.

Richard Pryor


This infamous sketch comes from the beginnings of Saturday Night Live, and who better to deliver it than the great Richard Pryor and Chevy Chase. It’s a simple Word Association game played by an employer (Chase) and a job applicant (Pryor). Everything starts simple until the employer starts throwing racial slurs. To the applicant’s shock, he then decided to fire back. They go back and forth until the employer eventually blurts out the N-word. The comedic timing of the duo was impeccable that it completely diffused racial tensions within the audience and viewers rather than ignite them.

This sketch remains to be an iconic moment for SNL despite how controversial it may be, which we can give the late Paul Mooney credit for writing this masterpiece. In his memoir, he stated that it was one of the easiest sketches he had ever written. Whether you’re a fan of it or not, the Word Association sketch truly has its place in TV history.

David Bowie


To begin with, rock star David Bowie already had a rocky relationship with Saturday Night Live’s executive producer, Lorne Michaels. As he recalls, he was supposed to do a sketch, where he would sing an advert for a Brooklyn bakery. He was to sing a version of his song Watch That Man, which in the chorus, it would go “Try our flan” instead. Needless to say, he wasn’t a fan of the sketch, and the final straw came with one of the producers telling him how he should properly pronounce the word ‘flan’.

Credit to Bowie for doing the sketch. However, in true rock star fashion, he went into rebel mode and devised a last-minute change. He and his band were also supposed to perform their single Telling Lies, but instead, they played Scary Monsters. He knew that Michaels would have none of it because of his dark history with that song during his drug-abuse days. He immediately had Bowie and his band escorted out of the building and resulted in a three-year ban from the show.

Charlene Tilton

Charlene Tilton may not be the culprit in this particular controversial sketch, but she did okay a part in it. She performed it alongside one of Saturday Night Live’s long-forgotten cast members, Charles Rocket. The Dallas actress was the host for that episode, and the sketch saw her flirting with Rocket. A jealous sniper then shoots him in the chest, and it was a satire out of Dallas, where an unknown assailant shoots JR Ewing. The controversy came during the closing moments of the episode where Tilton asked Rocket how he felt about being shot. He improvised, and in the process, blurted out an F-bomb. It was heard on live TV, and as you may guess, the producers weren’t happy about it.

Rocket was with the cast of SNL during its ’80-’81 season. He showed great potential and was amongst the production’s prized investments. However, the gaffe proved to be intolerable and was one of the broadcast’s first F-bombs.

Mike Myers and Dana Carvey


Mike Myers and Dana Carvey are widely credited for their iconic Wayne’s World films and sketches. Against all odds, they developed their act in Saturday Night Live, and it was said that they broke an SNL curse. They performed their acts in the part of the set production where sketchers perish. However, their talent showed otherwise, and their performance easily proved to be a crowd favorite. The duo then went on to take their act to two films.

Despite all these, the duo eventually developed a rift between them. As we know, Myers is also known for his Austin Powers films, while Carvey was supposedly the first to come up with the film series’ character Dr. Evil. It was his satirical impression of SNL’s executive producer, Lorne Michaels. The iconic pinky thing that Dr. Evil is something he added, although Michaels does not do it. Even though Carvey never confronted Myers about it, he stated that he no longer considers it an issue, even went on to say that the idea behind Austin Powers was brilliant.

Alec Baldwin


The United States’ previous administration, headed by the 45th President Donald Trump, was truly full of controversies. It saw a growing divide between the Democrats and the Republicans. Some might say that center-stage out of all these would be the former President’s off-the-cuff Twitter outbursts. One of the controversies that spawned out of this was the feud between the former President and Alec Baldwin.

One of Saturday Night Live’s favorite sketches during the Trump Administration was Baldwin’s impersonation of the former President. In one of the sketches, he parodied a Presidential press conference where he declared a national emergency with his plans to construct a wall along the border of Mexico. Needless to say, Trump wasn’t happy, calling SNL a Republican hit job, and they always get away without any retribution. The comedian took this with a degree of seriousness and questioned Trump’s words, and asked if there were any threats to his safety.

Norm MacDonald

Controversial he may be, no one can deny Norm MacDonald’s immense story-telling prowess and ultra-dry sardonic wit. He was a cast member of Saturday Night Live for over four years and was heavily credited for doing the sketch segment, Weekend Update. Some speculate that he was fired because of his frequent targeting of OJ Simpson during the segment, but he later revealed that it was an executive decision by NBC’s Don Ohlmeyer. Needless to say, he wasn’t a fan of the comedian’s humor.

After a year or so later, MacDonald was asked to come back and host SNL, and as you would expect of him, he took the offer and surely did not waste any time to roast the show. He immediately addressed the issue by saying that he got fired and was explicitly told that he wasn’t funny, but how come a year later, he was invited back to host? He realized that he didn’t get any funnier, but the show has gotten really bad.

Rainn Wilson

Handling a live comedy sketch show, executive producer Lorne Michaels certainly had his fill of back-peddling from particularly controversial jokes. One of those times was with a sketch performed by Rainn Wilson, wherein the skit involved The Office actor plus some of the SNL regulars, Will Forte, Jason Sudeikis, and Bill Hader. They played a group of friends who reminisced about fond yet eerie inappropriate memories over age-old popular songs. The punchline was Hader revealing that his father had Down Syndrome.

Needless to say, the joke was in poor taste and the CEO of the National Down Syndrome Society, Jon Colman, took action. He and Pam van der Lee, who was the chair of Society’s board of directors, sent a letter to the executives of NBC. The letter stated how Down Syndrome affected over 350,000 Americans in various degrees and that the derogatory remarks in the sketch were unproductive, worthless, and childlike.

Samuel L. Jackson

There is no question that Samuel L. Jackson has been known for his use of profanities. His signature F-bombs, to some degree, has even become one of the industry’s running gags. However, all of it is part of the actor’s appeal and is one of the many reasons why fans worldwide adore and celebrate him. However, when he was invited to become a guest in SNL, you know that the sketch show would be playing with fire. After all, the televised program is subject to the rules of the FCC, where F-bombs are a big no-no.

As anyone would expect, Jackson did drop an infamous F-bomb during his sketch with SNL Kenan Thompson. Later on, the Pulp Fiction star attributes this gaffe to Kenan. He states that he was supposed to be cut off right before he completely blurts out the F-bomb, but Kenan was too slow in doing so.

Dave Chappelle

Dave Chappelle was credited for hosting the 2016 Saturday Night Live episode right after President Donald Trump won the election, and SNL decided to make it a tradition and had him right after President Joe Biden won his Presidency.

As you might expect, Chappelle did not hold back and tackled how Trump handled the Coronavirus Pandemic. He quipped that the former President calling it the ‘kung flu’ was hilarious but was something he was supposed to say and not a person in power should. The comedian then went on to say how the former President ‘guessed’ ways of curing the virus during a live presser. When he saw one of the leading virologists, who is a woman, nod in approval, he jibed that that may as well be the reason why women make half. Needless to say, his takes during that monologue may be controversial, but he did have a meaningful message. He ended by reminding Democrats to be humble in victory and that we should all be forgiving and not be hateful.

Sam Rockwell

Talk about a double-whammy of controversies during a single episode, this one might be one of the network’s nightmares coming into fruition. During the earlier part of the episode, Sam Rockwell played the role of a PBS kid’s program. The sketch outlined the actor, growing increasingly frustrated with Mikey Day and Cecily Strong, who played the children. In the process, he blurted out, “You can’t be this f-ing stupid.” It was definitely out of the script, and he immediately followed up by apologizing and saying the kids are not stupid. Credit to Rockwell and his co-stars for staying in character throughout the sketch, and in our opinion, they handled it perfectly well.

A full half-hour later the Weekend Update segment was up, hosts Michael Che and Colin Che proceeded to drop multiple s-holes. As controversial an episode it may have been, it surely made up for an unforgettable moment in SNL’s broadcast history.

Michael Che (Vaccine)

Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update has truly been one of the sketch show’s signature segments, and it certainly hasn’t stayed clear from any controversies ever since its beginnings during the ’70s when Chevy Chase was hosting it. Recently, the segment struck infamy once again when its co-host and the show’s co-head writer, Michael Che, turned his attention to Israel’s COVID vaccination program.

Che started by giving credit to Israel for vaccinating half of their population. However, he immediately quipped that he would guess it would be the Jewish half. It was his satirical criticism of the Israeli government not extending its vaccination program to Palestinian territories. The eight-second bit was met with awkward stifled laughter by the audience, and the comedian was accused of leaning into an antisemitic trope, and his use of Jewish people as the punchline is grossly inappropriate.

Michael Che (Gen Z Hospital)

One of the worst things that can happen to a comedian is bombing on stage. Some might say that it is an essential process in growing as a comedian, but you definitely can’t take away the terrible feeling when a joke misses its mark. Michael Che certainly has his fair share of bombing on stage, but this one might be extra memorable for the writer. The skit he wrote made use of African-American Vernacular English, which surprisingly received blowback from online critics.

The sketch in question starred episode’s host Elon Musk, playing a doctor at a hospital caring for the ‘beastie’ of five stereotypical Gen Z individuals, who were played by SNL cast members Kate McKinnon, Heidi Gardner, Bowen Yang, Ego Nwodim, and Mikey Day. The Gen-Z nurse was played by Melissa Villaseñor, heavily clad in hot pink. The joke revolved around the usage of terms such as no cap, bro, feels, stan, fire, and many more. Some people on the internet criticized it for appropriating AAVE.

Chloe Fineman (Justin Timberlake Apology)

Early this year, Britney Spears once again trended on the internet. It followed right after the release of the documentary entitled Framing Britney Spears. One of Saturday Night Live’s episodes featured Chloe Fineman taking a jab at the pop star’s ex-boyfriend, Justin Timberlake, for making a 20-years-late apology. The sketch involved Fineman playing as Spears in a made-up talk show. She then went on to say that she created the show, Oops, You Did It Again, so that people could come and apologize for the wrongs that they’ve done. She added that after the release of the Free Britney documentary, she was bombarded by hundreds of apologies.

Timberlake and Spears were together from 1999 to 2002, and to a certain degree, he was subject to public scrutiny when Framing Britney Spears came out. He then wrote an apology saying that he recognizes his shortcomings, and he wanted to specifically apologize to Spears and Janet Jackson for his past actions.

Kenan Thompson (Tiger Woods Stint)

Tiger Woods certainly had his fair share of controversies during the peak of his popularity. One of those moments was the rumors of him being attacked by his enraged wife with a golf club. Following this report, Saturday Night Live performed a sketch poking fun at the scandal.

The skit credits Kenan Thompson as Tiger and Blake Lively as his wife, Elin Nordegren. It was a faux news conference where Jason Sudeikis played as CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. In the process, Kenan repeatedly lands in the hospital, all the while trying to explain himself to Blake. At the conference, Kenan held up signs which read, “I’m scared” and “Help me.” He was also shown with a golf club comically wrapped around his head, and it goes without saying that some did not take the sketch in good spirits. The President of the National Coalition for Domestic Violence, Rita Smith, went on to say that there is nothing funny about Tiger’s story, especially if there was violence involved. She then added that the skit diminishes people’s support for victims of domestic violence.

Christoph Waltz

One of Christoph Waltz’s best films is Django Unchained. As such, it’s not surprising that Saturday Night Live would prepare a parody sketch of the film for the Academy Award-winner. In the sketch that SNL aptly called DJesus Unchained, wherein Waltz played Jesus. He wore a crown of thorns while a cross was strapped at his back. The skit was credited for the familiar tropes of Quintin Tarantino, and Jesus, after being resurrected, was out for revenge on the Roman Soldiers.

Needless to say, the sketch received some backlash from conservatives. A group of Christian women described it as degrading and purposefully taunting their beliefs. The group was also critical of SNL in specifically targeting their religion and that the show wouldn’t dare do the same to other religions such as Islam. It also didn’t help that the segment air during Lent, which is one of Christianity’s most important religious seasons.