Saturday Night Live: 15 Uncomfortable Incidents We Forgot Happened
Sometimes Lorne made a judgment call on an act that really just should have been rejected. Either way, these 15 incidents are all in the past and the show keeps pushing forward.
Sam Kinison did some jokes he wasn’t supposed to do.
What, you can’t joke about weed and the crucifixion anymore?
When Sam Kinison hosted in 1986, he managed to get two jokes edited out of his episode for the West Coast feed.
During rehearsal, he told a joke about the crucifixion, and was asked not to tell it, but he didn’t listen. He also surprised everybody with a marijuana joke that he didn’t do at rehearsal.
The controversial Safelite AutoGlass sketch.
Why did they have to make her 17? In the script, they could have easily typed a 2 and a 0 instead of a 1 and a 7.
In 2017, a sketch had Beck Bennett as a Safelite AutoGlass repairman repeatedly break a woman’s windshield in order to hit on her 17-year-old daughter.
Many, like parents, decent human beings, and Safelite AutoGlass themselves, felt the skit had gone too far.
Conan O’Brien egged on Matthew Broderick and the boys.
Matthew Broderick appeared in a now infamous skit where he visits a nude beach. Written by then-writer Conan O’Brien, the word penis was mentioned 43 times in less than five minutes.
Apparently, Conan egged on Broderick and the cast members to see how many “penises” they could cram into the short skit.
Sponsors, NBC execs and the FCC were not impressed.
So you’re telling us that Andy Kaufman did something strange.
In 1983, Kaufman’s ‘Women’s Wrestling Champion’ bit called on female volunteers from the audience to wrestle him, which sparked an angry debate and numerous complaints.
Andy then asked the audience to vote on whether or not he should be banned from the show, and when the vote was in, “Dump Andy” beat “Keep Andy,” and Kaufman was given the boot from SNL.
One of the very first “incidents”.
In 1976, French singer/actress Claudine Longet was arrested for shooting and killing pro skier Vladimir Sabich.
SNL did a skit with stock footage of falling skiers overdubbed with gunshots, and they received a cease-and-desist from Longet's lawyer.
SNL publicly apologized, and the sketch was pulled from air.
Rage Against The Machine
Now Rage Against the Machine… No overtly political stuff tonight, okay?
We all look back and wonder what SNL was thinking when they had Rage Against the Machine as the musical guest when billionaire Presidential candidate Steve Forbes was hosting.
Rage hung up upside-down American flags up before performing (as they do), but the flags were quickly taken down, and Rage was asked to leave before even performing a second song.
Jenny Slate’s F-bomb in her first episode.
Kickin’ off the new season with a bomb. I mean bang.
Slate’s utterance of the f-word in her first-ever episode got a lot of attention because it was the very first episode of the 35th season.
To be fair, the sketch asked her to say “frickin” over and over, and the words are just so close.
Paul Shaffer dropped the first F-bomb.
Since we’re on the F-bomb topic.
Paul Shaffer, then a part of SNL's house band, appeared in a sketch during the show's 100th episode where he became the first person in the show's history to ever drop an f-bomb.
Fear strikes fear into the heart of the SNL studio.
Kickin’ the 80s off right!
Since John Belushi was a huge fan of Los Angeles punk band Fear, he agreed to make an appearance on SNL in 1981 if they could perform as the musical guests.
SNL agreed, and Fear (and the slam dancers they brought with them) did roughly $200,000 worth of damage to the studio.
Domestic abuse jokes.
In 2009, Kenan Thompson played Tiger Woods in a sketch, and each time he appeared, he was increasingly battered by his wife (played by Blake Lively).
The sketch was criticized for making light of domestic violence.The fact that the episode's musical guest was Rihanna, who'd been assaulted by partner Chris Brown earlier that year didn’t help.
Elvis Costello’s “Radio Radio” performance.
Don’t do it, Elvis. Okay Lorne… I promise I won’t do it.
In his first appearance on SNL in 1977, Lorne told him not to play “Radio Radio” because it was critical of corporate broadcasting.
Elvis Costello expressed his disappointment but agreed to play a different song (“Less Than Zero”).
A minute into that song, he stopped his band and launched into “Radio Radio. ” Lorne banned Costello… Only until 1988.
Ariana Grande slips up.
Okay, so it wasn’t an F-bomb, but the SH-bomb is close.
The song in Ariana Grande's 2016 opening monologue became a memorable one after she flubbed a line and accidentally muttered "oh sh*t” before continuing with the song.
The Replacements replaced for good.
Lorne, they’re a rock band. That’s what they do.
According to Rolling Stone (and everyone with working eyes and ears at the time), in 1986, the punk/alt rock band, The Replacements got drunk, said the f-word just off mic during their first song, switched clothes for their second, and racked up $1100 in hotel damages during their stay.
Lorne was so mad that he initially wanted to ban all artists on the Warner Bros. label, but ultimately, only The Replacements were banned.
Martin Lawrence gets weird and nasty.
He was still in Def Comedy Jam mode.
In 1994, Martin Lawrence’s bizarre monologue opened with Lorena Bobbitt cutting her husband’s penis off, then transitioned nicely into female hygiene and talking, in grotesque terms, about women’s private parts.
Protests from SNL sponsors, got him permanently banned from the show, and the monologue has since been removed from reruns of that particular episode.
Cypress Hill lit up a joint on stage.
Maybe just take one show off, fellas.
When Cypress Hill’s DJ Muggs lit a joint onstage during the group’s 1993 SNL performance, he ensured that their first appearance would be their last.
For exclusive ComedyNerd content, subscribe to our very-spiffy newsletter:
Top Image: NBC & Broadway Video