This Was the Worst Behaved "SNL" Guest, According to Bill Hader
The star has since redeemed himself, saying he's "done the work" to change his behavior.
Justin Bieber took to the stage of Saturday Night Live this past October, marking his fourth appearance as a musical guest on the popular sketch comedy show. And while fans enjoyed the star's emotional performances, perhaps the most notable thing about his visit to the SNL stage was how far he'd seemingly come since his past appearances, which earned him a less-than-stellar reputation. On top of some shaky sketch comedy performances in years past, Bieber earned the distinction of being SNL alum Bill Hader's pick for "worst behaved guest" during his eight-year tenure on the show. Read on for Hader's account of Bieber's bad behavior, and for more on famous SNL performances, See Julia Louis-Dreyfus at 21 on "SNL."
Interviewed alongside actor Jay Pharoah by Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live, Hader shared that Bieber was singularly difficult to work with on the show. "He just was in a bad place. Maybe he's in a better place, but back then he was in a very—it was rough," Hader said of the singer. "Everybody's usually on great behavior…. Bieber is the only one in my experience."
Hader went on to describe Bieber's manner as "exhausted or just at the end of a rope. I mean, he was just so huge," he added, seemingly acknowledging the pressures of Bieber's career at the time.
While Hader didn't share the particulars of his experience of working with the pop star, his friend and then-colleague, the comedian and sketch writer John Mulaney painted a fuller picture during an interview with Graham Chittenden. As he tells it, Bieber—then just 16 years old—approached Mulaney backstage and proceeded to intentionally knock a stack of papers out of his hands in front of his entourage of backup dancers. "He laughed in my face, and all his friends laughed at me," Mulaney said. "The richest, busiest child took time out of his day to embarrass a depressed man," he added, to the laughter of Chittenden's audience.
Today, things look a bit different for Bieber, who described in a Mar. 11 interview with Billboard some of the ways he feels he's changed since his early career. Bieber, now 27, explained, "I can talk about that part of my life and not feel like, 'Oh, man. I was such a bad person,' because I'm not that person anymore," he says. "I also have done the work to know why I was making those decisions. I know where that pain was coming from, that caused me to act the way I was acting," he said.
Whatever your take on the star, his past behavior on the comedy show made his recent SNL performance of the hit single "Lonely" seem that much more self-aware (check the lyrics to see for yourself). So, cheers to growing up, "doing the work," and leaving old labels behind—hopefully SNL cast members had better things to report this time around. And if you're wondering which other stars were no peach to work with, according to SNL staffers, read on for more SNL guests who have nearly been blacklisted. And for more on the iconic show, This Is the "SNL" Sketch Will Ferrell Regrets Most.
Several stars have given cringe-worthy performances on SNL and ruffled feathers backstage—but if you want to know who goes down in history as the worst guest host, you only have to ask the show's co-creator and producer, Lorne Michaels. He famously revealed who he viewed as the "biggest jerk who's ever been on the show" during a 1991 opening monologue delivered by guest host Nicolas Cage. The star in question? Steven Segal.
According to Looper, Seagal behaved like a diva during his week at SNL, but his bigger faux pas was his failure of a performance on the show.
Maya Rudolph, one of SNL's most beloved recent alums, revealed in a recent interview with Vanity Fair that cast members were unhappy to share the stage with Donald Trump in 2004. "I remember when Trump hosted for the first time for The Apprentice, and we, as a cast, were like…'I don't want to be here for this,'" Rudolph said.
Seth Meyers, who performed alongside Rudolph told Howard Stern in 2019 that Trump hosting in 2004 "was everything you would think." Meyers added, "He didn't have any sense of humor, but if things worked [with the audience], he liked them." And for more from behind the scenes at Saturday Night Live, This Famous Late Night Host Was Rejected From "SNL".
More than one SNL star has called Kanye West out for his behavior on the show, including 18-year SNL veteran Kenan Thompson. He described Kanye's appearance as "extremely uncomfortable," and shared that as credits rolled, Kanye launched an off-script diatribe in support of Donald Trump's presidency.
"We're all entitled to our opinion," Thompson told Seth Meyers, adding with a laugh, "I don't know if that's the moment necessarily to hold people hostage like that, but hey."
SNL darling Tina Fey described her least-favorite celebrity host during an interview with Howard Stern, calling out '80s It Girl Paula Abdul. "I was pregnant at the time and probably a little moody, but I remember thinking, 'She's a disaster! I gotta prop this lady up and get her on TV,'" Fey said. She went on to describe Abdul as "disastrous…in the way she generally appears to be."
Fey admitted that she later ran into Abdul on a flight and realized the feeling was mutual. "We both looked at each other like, 'Do I know that girl?'" Fey recounted. "And then we both had that moment of recognition, and she was like, 'uuuggh.' I saw it register on her face that she had had a terrible time with us." And for guests who have made themselves unwelcome, This Was the Worst Guest "The View" Ever Had, Former Host Says.