Famous Musicians That Got Banned In Saturday Night Live

Famous Musicians That Got Banned In Saturday Night Live | I Love Classic Rock Videos

Frank Zappa live in 1974 - Eagle Rock / Youtube

Saturday Night Live is synonymous with every American weekend. The show became a perfect spot for those who wished to spend their weekends at home with the comfort of a perfect couch and entertainment.

Because the show is recorded live, there are certain restrictions on what can be shown. For this reason, the show’s producers and performers need to be able to put their faith in one another and follow the guidelines. After all, the show will be labeled as violating FCC regulations and could face fines if the violations air. Enter rockstars whose mouths and reckless behavior could affect the show’s PG-friendly sketches, things won’t go hand in hand. We present to you these 8 musicians whose names were written in Saturday Night Live’s blacklist.


Frank Zappa

In 1978, Frank Zappa hosted and performed on an episode as a musical guest. Zappa was anticipated to be a memorable host because of his status as driving some of the greatest songs in the 70s. In reality, Zappa was a disappointment in concert and was rumored to be a huge jerk away from the spotlight.

The Replacements

In 1986, The Replacements were one of the most popular bands around. After playing “Bastards of Young” fairly well for an audience, the band members went backstage to get completely wasted. In particular, the performance of “Kiss Me on the Bus” was a train wreck. It was all in good fun when the performers missed their cues, sang off-key, collided with one another onstage, or even said “F**k” on live television. Both SNL and NBC cut ties with them after that.

Cypress Hill

Cypress Hill, a group known for their support of marijuana use, was scheduled to perform on Saturday Night Live in 1993. DJ Muggs said screw it when they were told “they could do anything they wanted backstage,” and he and his bandmates got high in public during their performance of “I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That.” Lorne Michaels, the show’s creator and executive producer, was not happy with their performance and removed them from further episodes. Click here to see it.

Elvis Costello

After only a few bars, Elvis Costello and the Attractions abandoned “Less Than Zero” in favor of “Radio Radio,” a song about the perils of commercial radio. Lorne Michaels, the show’s executive producer, reportedly became so angry that he flipped off Elvis Costello the entire time the singer was onstage.

Rage Against the Machine

Billionaire and then-presidential candidate Steve Forbes hosted Rage Against the Machine performed on SNL in 1996. Before their first show, the band hung a pair of inverted American flags from their amplifiers. Before the song even started, the crew had already taken them out of the way, and when the song was over, Rage was immediately removed from the program. Tim Commerford, the bassist, tore a flag to shreds and threw it at Forbes’ security detail before he and the band left. Click here to see it.

Sinead O’Connor

Sinead O’Connor, a musical guest, tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II in front of the live audience and proclaimed, “Fight the real enemy.” O’Connor was excommunicated at the same time she was fired from the show for speaking out against the Catholic Church’s abuse of children.

System of a Down

In May of 2005, System of a Down became the musical guest. During the height of the Iraq War, the band intended to perform “B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Bombs)” as a form of protest, but SNL was wary of the song due to its numerous “Where the f**k are you’s.” For the sake of censoring the NSFTV language, the show agreed to a five-second delay. No problems arose during the live performance, but guitarist Daron Malakian ultimately had the final say. When the song ends, he gives a satisfied “F**k yeah” into the microphone.


Fear took all the blame around the time they were invited to SNL courtesy of John Belushi. Apparently, the Fear brought in slam dancers and turned the stage into a mosh pit, scaring the audience. Moreover, they also spoke words that needed censor on national tv.