4 Celebrities Supposedly Banned by ‘SNL’
Lorne Michaels doesn’t publish an official list of celebrities that he’s banned from Saturday Night Live, but it’s an open secret that several famous folks have been put on permanent hiatus. Who’s on the naughty list, and what did they do to deserve banishment? Here’s a rundown of the most notorious celebs to get the SNL boot…
Chase was reportedly banned from ever hosting again after his disastrous 1997 stint in which he allegedly smacked Cheri Oteri in the back of the head and asked one of the show’s female writers for a hand job. “In hindsight, I wish we’d all gotten up and walked out of the room,” says Will Ferrell in SNL oral history Live From New York. “It was just bad news.”
Despite the hosting ban, Chase has returned to cameo in several SNL episodes and anniversary specials, so it’s not much of a punishment. A hundred bucks says we see Chase at the 50th anniversary party next year.
You can’t blame this one on Michaels. In 1982, Kaufman and then-producer Dick Ebersol cooked up a funny gimmick, allowing viewers to call into a phone line to decide if Kaufman’s SNL career would live or die. The assumption was viewers would delight in voting him off but Kaufman would eventually return as his alter-ego Tony Clifton or some other weird character.
“Everything is going as planned, but then a strange thing happens — Ebersol never calls Kaufman as promised,” wrote Kaufman co-conspirator Bob Zmuda in his book Andy Kaufman: The Truth, Finally. “And any time Andy calls him, he refuses to take the call; i.e., Ebersol double-crosses Andy.”
In Ebersol’s own From Saturday Night to Sunday Night, he confirmed the plot to bring Kaufman back as “an odd, tall female extra (who) would start appearing here and there in sketches” before the big reveal. “But sadly, we’d never be able to make that happen, because later in 1983, Andy was diagnosed with cancer,” Ebersol explained. “He died tragically at the age of just 35 the following May.”
Whether the whole thing was Brody’s idea (the official story) or a plan that everyone agreed to (Brody’s version), the Oscar winner’s tanktopped introduction of musical guest Sean Paul was an SNL cringe moment for the ages.
Supposedly unbeknownst to the cast and crew, Brody donned a dreadlocked wig and affected a stereotypical Jamaican accent to introduce the reggae star: “Ya, ya, ya, ya, you know, man. We got original rude boy Sean Paul here. Respect all respect. My auntie. Respect all aspects, respect me neck, respect me knees, big up Jamaica massive! Big up Kingston Massive! We got the whole family now, ya hear! Big respect to my man Sean Paul the dance floor killer!”
To be honest, we’re embarrassed to even type that shit.
There’s no secret formula for getting the dreaded SNL ban, but going off-script in your monologue is a decent strategy. That’s what Martin Lawrence did in 1994, a performance that allegedly made Michaels change the locks at 30 Rock. Even now, the official SNL YouTube channel has posted Lawrence’s monologue with this mid-open graphic disclaimer:
What were those remarks, you say? Thankfully, our pal The Internet has come to the rescue with a transcript of the offending jokes. We can’t 100 percent confirm that this is word-for-word accurate, but you’ll get the idea: “I’m watching douche commercials on television, and I’m wondering if some of you are reading the instructions. I don’t think so. Y’know, ’cause I’m getting with some of the ladies, smelling odors, going, ‘Wait a minute — girl, smell this! This you! Smell yourself, girl. Smell yourself!’ I tell a woman in a minute, ‘Douche! Douche!’ Some women don’t like it when you tell them that, when you straightforward with them: ‘Douche!’”
“Douche” does seem the appropriate word for this performance.