Skip to content

This Is the Worst "SNL" Host of All Time, Cast Says

You'll never guess why this past SNL host is banned from studio 8H.

The montage of hugs at the end of each Saturday Night Live episode makes you feel like everything behind the scenes is peachy. While the cast and their guest hosts do generally seem to get along, there have been some exceptions. One SNL host stands out among the rest as the worst of all-time: Steven Seagal. Amid many pretty problematic guests in studio 8H, Seagal takes the cake for worst SNL host ever, according to the cast and crew. To learn about why Seagal is banned forever, read on, and for another regrettable guest, This Is the Worst Guest Today Has Ever Had, Host Says.

Seagal's behavior on SNL back in 1991 was bad enough to have him banned from ever being welcomed back again. The host wasn't responsible for causing a ruckus, a fire, or a media storm—he was just extremely unfunny and inflexible. According to Looper, although Seagal did act like a bit of a diva during his week at SNL, that was apparently more forgivable than his failure of a performance on the show.

Co-creator and producer Lorne Michaels confirmed his contempt for Seagal during a 1992 episode hosted by Nicolas Cage. During Cage's opening monologue, he said the audience members probably think he's "the biggest jerk who's ever been on the show," to which Lorne responded, "No, no. That would be Steven Seagal."

Steven Seagal

Michaels isn't the only SNL staffer to display disdain for Seagal. While playing "Plead the Fifth" on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen in 2015, former SNL cast member David Spade admitted that Seagal was "tough to work with." Spade said it was hard because Seagal was not willing to play along, which is the whole basis for the show.

On Aug. 5, while on Rob Lowe's new podcast, Literally!, Spade said the root of Seagal's struggle was his unwillingness to let loose, make fun of himself, and trust the writers and comedians.

Another cast member during Seagal's hosting, Tim Meadows, discussed the infamous show in the book Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live as Told by Its Stars, Writers, and Guests. "The biggest problem with Steven Seagal," Meadows said, "was that he would complain about jokes that he didn't get, so it was like—you can't explain something to somebody in German if they don't speak German. He just wasn't funny, and he was very critical of the cast and writing staff. He didn't realize that you can't tell somebody they're stupid on Wednesday and expect them to continue writing for you on Saturday."

Looper calls the Seagal episode "the biggest train wreck in SNL's storied history." They claim that NBC has tried to the best of their ability to ensure that no clips of the episode can be found—the whole episode was even omitted from the season when it was released to Netflix.

If you're wondering what other celebrities have been banned from the long-running variety show, keep reading. And for more bad behavior from the stars, check out An Airport Employee Rating Celebrities Based on How Rude They Are.

Martin Lawrence

Martin Lawrence in 2006

Early on in his career, comedian Martin Lawrence hosted SNL but never got the chance to do so again. During his 1994 hosting gig, Lawrence unleashed a disturbing rant during his monologue about women's personal hygiene. Lawrence told the female viewers, "You got to wash properly," along with some more offensive instructions.

However, during a Jan. 2020 interview on The Breakfast Show, Lawrence claimed he was not banned from SNL, just "banned from NBC at the time for a minute." He added, "But then they realized the way it went down wasn't what they thought, and then they sent me an apology letter."

Louise Lasser

black and white photo of louise lasser
Historic Collection / Alamy Stock Photo

Louise Lasser was reportedly the first person to be banned from SNL. According to Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live, the actor was banned because she "rambled incoherently" during meetings, "refused to do pieces that had been written for her," and locked herself in her dressing room 20 minutes before the show began. And for some bold celebrity statements, here are 11 Celebrities Who Claim They've Seen UFOs.

Adrien Brody

adrien brody on red carpet

Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody is no longer welcome on the SNL stage. While Brody was hosting the show in May 2003, Brody donned a deadlock wig and a sweatband featuring the Jamaican flag on his wrist while introducing the show's musical guestSean Paul. Brody really got in trouble when he started ad-libbing in an ambiguously Jamaican accent, which many found to be racist. And for more stars who have been called out, check out these Celebrities Who Were Fired After Being Accused of Racism.


lee ving performing with punk band fear on stage
ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo

Punk band Fear insulted the audience and trashed the set during their performance as musical guests in 1981, earning them a lifetime ban from SNL. The damages to the set and equipment added up to about $200,000. During a 2015 interview, lead singer Lee Ving said that, following the performance, he was told, "They'll never be shown on Saturday Night Live again." And for more fun content delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Sinead O'Connor

sinead o'connor

Irish singer-songwriter Sinead O'Connor infamously tore a photo of Pope John Paul II during her rendition of Bob Marley's "War" when she was the musical guest on SNL in 1992. This was as much of a surprise to the SNL staff as it was to the audience, so it earned her a lifetime ban.

"I thought they wouldn't let me if I asked them," O'Connor said in an interview with The Day After. Following the performance, O'Connor recalled, "There was a deathly silence for about half an hour … The doors were all closed [and] they were all screaming at my manager." And for more celebrities who have spoken out about mental health struggles, check out these Celebrities That Have Spoken About Their Depression.

Filed Under