As a longtime fan of the show, I've noticed that even some of the best actors can make the worst Saturday Night Live hosts. After all, the show has a very specific format that some artists-comedic and musical alike-don't fit into well. Add that to the fact that it is performed live in front of a studio audience and that so many of the actors participate in writing (something that doesn't happen much in movies), and you have a show that is unique enough to throw even some of the best performers for a loop. To that end, here are some of the worst Saturday Night Live hosts of all time, as judged by both viewers and staff. They range from the boring to the overly rude to the completely disrespectful and unpredictable. In some cases, you have to wonder why they were asked to host in the first place; SNL knew what the person would do when they got there and asked them to host anyway. The same goes for the musical guests, although there were a few intentional shockers.
According to pajiba.com, Steven Seagal has been called one of the worst Saturday Night Live hosts because of his attitude and completely inappropriate sketch ideas. To give you an idea of why the writers hated working with him, he thought it would be funny to do a sketch about a rape counselor who keeps trying to sleep with his clients! WTH??? The rest of the cast and crew didn't work with him well either. It was obvious that he thought he was better than everyone else and didn't want to be there, which makes you wonder why he accepted the invitation to begin with.
You know you've made a bad hosting decision when a member of the cast is willing to quit because of it. In 1990, that's exactly what happened. Cast member Nora Dunn told producers that if Clay-who was known for his crude and blatantly misogynistic act-was allowed to host, she'd walk. He was, so she did. I can't say I blamed her; there is no soap powerful enough to wash off the stink I'd have after listening to him all day. Gross.
The type of comedy that made Def Jam and his self-titled sitcom successful simply didn't translate well to SNL. While it's true that the writing can be a bit, um, colorful at times, his talk of how women can make oral sex more appealing to their partners (think Ramen Noodle flavors) was apparently too much.
Andy Kaufman was voted off the show-I mean, literally voted off. In response to several complaints they'd received, the producers put up a 900 number for fans to vote on whether or not Kaufman-who was a semi-regular at the time-should be allowed to come back to the show. They did, and he wasn't.
...because he didn't play well with others, even after having been a regular member of the cast. In fact, according to pajiba.com and many other entertainment websites, he was a bear to work with in general. They've had him back to do Weekend Update, but his problems getting along with the rest of the cast when he hosted got him put on a "host blacklist" in 1997.
On a 1993 episode hosted by Shannen Doherty, this group ran afoul of SNL's drug-use policy when the lead singer lit a joint on stage during one of their songs. That really shouldn't have been surprising, given what most of their songs are about.
Ah, who could forget Sinead O'Connor? She appeared as a musical guest in late 1992 and, during her second set, she performed an a cappella version of “War” by Bob Marley. She changed some lyrics to refer to child sex abuse rather than racism and, when she got to the word “evil,” ripped up a picture of then-Pope John Paul II and threw the pieces at the camera. As shocking as this was, it was made even worse by the fact that nobody-not the audience, not the producers, nobody-knew this was going to happen. While the SNL crew were scrambling around trying to figure out how to salvage the segment, the phone switchboards at NBC and the FCC lit up like a Christmas tree with calls. There was legally nothing the FCC could do, but NBC recovered by having Joe Pesci-the next host-tape the Pope's picture back together and rip up one of O'Connor instead. Needless to say, she hasn't been back.
I hope you've had as much fun reading this article as I've had writing it! If you want to read more, visit pajiba.com and snl.wikia.com. How about you? Who do you think are the best and worst hosts of Saturday Night Live? Have I left any out? Are there some you would disagree with? Discuss!
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