The Worst "SNL" Guests Ever, According to the Cast
These hosts and musical guests did not impress the regulars when they took the stage at Studio 8H.
The show has its critics, but as Saturday Night Live approaches the finale of its 46th season, there's no arguing that it's not a comedy institution. Hundreds of celebrity hosts and musical guests have been welcomed into Studio 8H over the years, to spend the week working with the permanent cast. And, as you might expect, not all of those visitors were especially pleasant to be around. Some of them were so difficult that they prompted the regulars to throw a little shade. To find out who didn't make a great impression, read on for the eight worst SNL guests ever, according to the cast.
Rapper Kanye West has been a musical guest on the late night show six times. However, it was West's most recent appearance that prompted the most backlash. During a 2018 show, West brought the cast back on stage after the show went off the air, not for a third song, but to speak at length about his support of Donald Trump and dislike of "the media" and "liberals."
While guesting on Late Night with Seth Meyers a few weeks later, longtime SNL cast member Kenan Thompson said that he opted to stay backstage during that controversial rant and that West was essentially holding the cast members "hostage" during it. In a later interview with HOT 97, he recalled that the moment got "extremely uncomfortable extremely fast" for his co-stars.
Justin Bieber is a three-time musical guest and one time host, but not everyone at 30 Rock is a fan. Former cast member Bill Hader said on Watch What Happens Live in 2018 that the "Peaches" singer was the "worst-behaved guest" in his eight years on the show. The actor didn't specify which appearance he was talking about, but he did say that Bieber seemed "exhausted or just at the end of a rope."
In 2017, former SNL writer John Mulaney said that he had a strange encounter with Bieber during the singer's first appearance on the show. Mulaney said that he was walking backstage with a stack of papers when the musical guest intentionally knocked those papers out of his hands and laughed in his face.
"The richest, most busiest child in the world took time out of his day to embarrass a depressed man," Mulaney added.
Back in 2004, when Donald Trump was still hosting The Apprentice, he was also a host on SNL, which former cast member Maya Rudolph wasn't pleased about. Speaking to Vanity Fair this past February, Rudolph claimed that none of the stars liked him. "We, as a cast, were like, 'F***. This sucks. I don't want to be here for this,'" she said.
Seth Meyers, who was a cast member and writer on SNL from 2001 to 2014, told Howard Stern in 2019 that Trump "didn't have any sense of humor" on the show. He also said that Trump was solely focused on how the audience was responding to him during his performance.
The former president hosted for the second time amid during his campaign in 2015, a decision that led to protests against the show.
Pop star and American Idol judge Paula Abdul made a cameo appearance on SNL for an Idol-themed sketch. Tina Fey, who was still on the show at the time, later called Abdul a "disaster." In a 2007 Playboy interview (via the New York Post), Fey said that Abdul was supposed to play herself in the sketch, but she insisted against it. Amy Poehler ended up doing the impression.
Fey noted that she was on the same flight as Abdul a year later, and neither was happy to see the other. "I saw it register on her face that she had a terrible time with us," the former cast member explained.
Paris Hilton's first and only time hosting SNL was in February 2005, and she was another host Fey didn't enjoy working with. During a 2006 interview with Stern, Fey blasted Hilton for "[taking] herself so seriously." She also said that the host refused to do a sketch that made fun of her personal life. (Hilton has since opened up about how unfairly she believes the media treated her when she was first in the spotlight, which sheds some more light on why she likely vetoed that sketch.)
In 2018, on Late Night, Rudolph recalled that Hilton wouldn't "engage in any personal conversation" with the cast. It was such a sticking point that Meyers made a bet with his co-stars that if she asked anyone in the cast a personal question, he'd give them $100. However, she never did it, so no one won the money.
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Under Siege star Steven Seagal, who appeared on SNL in April 1991, really annoyed show creator Lorne Michaels. When he hosted the next year, Nicolas Cage said in his monologue that the audience probably thought he was "the biggest jerk who's ever been on the show." At that moment, Michaels cut in and said, "No, no. That would be Steven Seagal."
Former cast member David Spade wasn't a fan of Seagal's appearance either. He said on WWHL that the action star was not only "tough to work with," but that he also didn't "want to play along" with the sketches.
Singer Sinéad O'Connor's November 1992 SNL appearance (her second) has gone down in history. For her second song, she sang an a cappella cover of Bob Marley's "War" to protest the Catholic Church covering up the abuse of children by clergy, a claim not widely investigated until years later. She also tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II and said, "Fight the real enemy," which infuriated many viewers and drastically impacted her career.
In a 2018 interview with SPIN, Michaels claimed that the cast thought the show was "the wrong place" for O'Connor's statement. "It was difficult to do two comedy sketches after it, and also it was dishonest because she didn't tell us she was going to do it," the creator explained.
Actor Walter Matthau, who passed away in 2000, hosted SNL in 1978, during the show's fourth season. However, according to original cast member Jane Curtin, the Odd Couple star didn't take his hosting responsibilities seriously.
"He came in thinking that it was, 'Hey, come on, let's play,'" Curtin said on WWHL in 2018. "Not knowing that this show…was down to the minute, down to the second." She indicated that there were several hosts she didn't like, but that Matthau was "the worst."