There is rumored to be a list of banned SNL guests (and there are some interesting names on it)

It turns out SNL apparently has a list of stars who are banned from returning to the NBC show.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Pictured: "Saturday Night Live" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBCUniversal)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Pictured: "Saturday Night Live" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBCUniversal) /

Saturday Night Live has been on the air for nearly five decades now, so it seems only fitting to know that the show has a blacklist of sorts that features the names of several celebrities who are said to be banned from the show. That’s right, there is indeed a list of guests who are said to have been banned from returning again to the NBC late-night sketch comedy series

While some names on the list aren’t exactly surprising, there are others that even I was surprised to learn about – though apparently being banned doesn’t always mean being banned for life. 

Just who has ended up on the bad side of SNL creator Lorne Michaels by taking things a bit too far leading to their banning from Studio 8H? Let’s take a look at some of the stars rumored to have been banned from SNL over the years and the context behind their banishment. 

Shane Gillis
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Shane Gillis

Let’s start things off with a rare individual who somehow managed to make it off the banned list (much to our own dismay): Shane Gillis. Gillis was fired from the cast back in 2019 after clips surfaced online from his podcast Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast in which Gillis made several racist remarks and used several racial slurs in addition to belittling comments about women and LGBTQ+ individuals. 

After news of the comments began circulating, Gillis was dropped from the SNL cast and found himself on the banned list. In a shocking turn, the ban was seemingly lifted in 2024 when he was asked back to host the show.

Martin Lawrence
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Martin Lawrence

Martin Lawrence might be one of the most iconic comedians in the industry, but he’s also one of the few comedians on SNL’s banned guests list! 

During an appearance on the show back in 1994 as host, Lawrence used his opening monologue to do a stand-up set centering around feminine hygiene which was removed from the episode and led to Lawrence being banned from the series. 30 years later, he’s yet to return to SNL and it seems unlikely we’ll see him back on the show again. 

Chevy Chase
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Chevy Chase

While Chevy Chase was one of the original members of the SNL cast, his behavior while on the show reportedly led to his banning from the series. Chase is said to have had a negative repudiation on the show and was difficult to work with but it was a hosting stint in 1997 that led to his banning after he displayed allegedly abusive behavior toward the cast and a physical altercation with comedian and SNL star Cheri Oteri.

Vladimir Putin, Steven Seagal
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Steven Seagal

Steven Seagal definitely did not make any friends at SNL when he hosted the show back in 1991. According to several members of the cast, Seagal was incredibly difficult to work with and was incredibly rude and critical of the writers and crew. He was so difficult to work with during his hosting stint that Seagal was banned from the show and Lorne Micheals even took a shot at him directly in a later episode via host Nicolas Cage’s monologue when Cage joked that he was the “biggest jerk who’s ever been on the show,” and Michaels himself responded, “No, no. That would be Steven Seagal.”

System of a Down

During an appearance in 2005 as a musical guest on the show, System of Down guitarist Daron Malakian pulled one of TV’s biggest no-no’s when he screamed “F*ck yeah!” into the mic during the band’s performance which made it through to the initial live broadcast. As the show has strict rules about explicit language, System of a Down ended up being banned from the show.

Adrien Brody
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Adrien Brody

One Oscar-winner fans shouldn’t expect back on SNL ever again is actor ​​Adrien Brody, who found himself on the banned guests list after an incident during his hosting stint back in 2003. In the episode, Brody decided to go off-script with a bit of improv that saw him introducing the night’s musical guest Sean Paul while wearing fake dreadlocks and speaking in a stereotypical Jamaican accent. The moment was not approved by the show’s creative team and Lorne Michaels was not at all a fan of Brody’s actions, banning him from the show.

Tom Morello
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Rage Against the Machine

Rage Against the Machine might have a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame but don’t expect to see the band ever perform on SNL again. The group has been banned from SNL since 1996 when the band served as musical guest alongside host Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes. During their first song of the night, the band hung American flags upside down as a way to protest Forbes and were also reported to have ripped one of the flags up and thrown it into Forbes’ dressing room. The band was kicked out of 30 Rock before they even played their second set of the night and have not been asked back since. 

Kanye West
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Kayne West

The final name on our list is Kayne West, who has a rich history with SNL having appeared on the show seven times over the course of his career. While West had been welcomed back many times over the years, his most recent appearance in 2018 reportedly led to his banishment from the show. During a third performance in the episode, West went on an unplanned rant about mainstream media and politics while also voicing support for Donald Trump. The stunt is rumored to have led to West being banned from the show and he’s not returned since.