Skits From SNL That Just Went Too Far
1 Martin Lawrence’s Monologue
In 1994, Martin Lawrence was invited to host an episode of Saturday Night Live that resulted in him being completely banned from making any future appearances.
Lawrence had spent days rehearsing with the rest of the cast, only to abandon the script when the show was live. He decided to comment on the female anatomy and their personal hygiene, which could only be described as “grotesque” by anyone who had watched the episode. SNL has since released new clips from his time on the show, but they have completely removed the comments that the comedian had made.
2 Kenan Thompson And Blake Lively’s Skit
In this scene, Kenan Thompson played Tiger Woods and Blake Lively played his wife, Elin Nordegren. This episode aired after Woods had been accused of domestic abuse.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence said the skit was “crass.” Plus, the fact that domestic abuse survivor, Rihanna, was the musical guest didn’t sit right with fans.
3 When Ashlee Simpson Was Caught Lip-Syncing
Ashlee Simpson had one of the most embarrassing moments of her career while on the SNL stage. After she had flawlessly “sang” her single “Pieces Of Me”, she returned to the stage to perform her song “Autobiography”.
Except that when the band began to play the music, the vocals from “Pieces Of Me” began to play again. She stood in a panic and later stated that she “made a complete fool of herself.”
4 The Nude Beach
This scene shows Matthew Broderick as the new guy at the beach. After he gets to meet all of the other men, they start to talk about all of their bodies.
After the episode aired, the show had received around 45,000 letters that complained about what had happened during the scene.
5 Jimmy Fallon’s Skit
Over two decades ago, Jimmy Fallon had played a character on SNL who impersonated Chris Rock. When the sketch had resurfaced, Fallon had issued a public apology.
He stated that he had “made a terrible decision” and he’s thankful that his fans held him accountable for his past actions.
6 A Bad Blind Joke
In a “Weekend Update” sketch, Fred Armisen played Governor David Paterson, who is legally blind. During the episode, he pretended to squint his eyes as if he couldn’t see.
The New York Times said that his portrayal was “disoriented” and “buffoonlike.”
7 The Father And Daughter Ad
Taran Killam and Dakota Johnson played a father-daughter duo in this episode. When they express an emotional goodbye, viewers begin to think that the daughter is going off to join the military.
But in an unexpected turn of events, the daughter said “Dad, it’s just ISIS.” This didn’t sit well with viewers, with many stating that the show shouldn’t be making light of the terrorist group.
8 Gen Z Hospital Skit
In an episode that Elon Musk hosted, he played a doctor in one sketch, which was intended to be a depiction of the language of Generation Z.
Many fans had pointed out that the language used, such as “catch hands” and “gang gang,” were not from Gen Z, but had been appropriated from the African American language.
9 Chippendale Audition
In 1990, Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze played an “audition” for the role of Chippendale, with the joke that Farley wouldn’t land the job because of his weight.
Other actors on the show had stated that it wasn’t a funny sketch, it was just mean.
10 When Jenny Slate Said The F-Bomb
Even though Jenny Slate was not the first person to drop the F-bomb on the show, she was definitely the most shocking person to use this kind of language on air.
It was during her first live sketch alongside Kristen Wiig. After this incident, she was only on the show for the rest of that season.
11 Louis C.K.’s Opener
In 2015, comedian Louis C.K. was a celebrity guest on the show. As you know, it’s customary for the guest to give the opening monologue before the sketches get started.
He opened up by attempting to make a joke about child predators. He stated, “From their point of view, it must be amazing for them to risk so much.” This was not received well by anyone who was watching it.
12 Word Association Skit
Chevy Chase and Richard Pryor had played together in a “Word Association” sketch. Chase is interviewing Pryor for a janitorial position, and he prompts him to say the first word that comes to mind.
The word exchange was completely innocent until they begin to say racial slurs where Chase says the N-word while the show is live. The sketch was not as controversial as it first aired as it is now.
13 Mocking The Deaf
In the very first season of SNL, the show sparked emotions in many people; but some of those emotions weren’t what they had expected. This particular episode was unintentionally aimed at mocking the deaf.
In one of the skits, they announce that they will have “news for the hard of hearing”, which sounds great, but the way they went about it was not admirable. Actor Garrett Morris repeated everything that Chevy Chase said by shouting it out loud. This scene resulted in many upset fans and offended those who were actually handicapped.
14 Nirvana Says Goodbye
In 1992, Nirvana was one of the most popular bands in the world. So, it only makes sense that they would make an appearance on SNL. But unbeknownst to the cast and crew of SNL, the band would be adding a flair of their own to the show.
At the end of the show, when the entire cast said their goodbyes, the band decided to have their own version of a “Goodbye” and three of the band members turned to each other and had a little make-out session.
15 Poorly Executed Sketches
In 1982, cast member John Belushi, unfortunately, passed away just two years after leaving the show. Since Belushi did live a controversial lifestyle, SNL used that to what they thought would be an advantage.
The show featured skits of drugs and fighting that some people believed to be inspired by how Belushi was actually living his life. This put the show at the center of controversy and had since changed the way that they produce skits.
16 The Pope Picture
Sinead O’Connor caused a global uproar when she performed on SNL. While rehearsing for the live show, O’Connor and the crew had planned on her holding a photo up of a starving child to get the point across of the song that she had sung.
But when it came time to hold up the photo on the live show, O’Connor decided to bring a photo of Pope John Paul II and rip it up. Since this occurred during the middle of the show, the cast was left to continue to perform even though they had been completely caught off guard.
17 Starbucks Employee’s
SNL made a Starbucks sketch that made people feel that they were being racist. In the sketch, the Starbucks employees were made out to look incompetent. The commercial sketch was for an at-home coffee maker that would mimic the actual experience of going to Starbucks.
They introduce a new machine with a different voice and make it seem that it’s disorganized and doesn’t know how to do its job.
18 History Of Vaudeville
In this sketch, people found themselves questioning why the writers decided to “make fun of” almost every race. They did this through the summarization of the history of Vaudeville.
But even though they were trying to poke fun at racism at the time, it didn’t come across in the best way. Although some people did like the fact that the segment was inclusive of all races.
19 DJesus Uncrossed
The “DJesus Uncrossed” was a skit that was written after the release of Django Unchained. It was a fake “trailer” that was meant to be a fantasy, but religious groups didn’t see it that way.
Christoph Waltz, who played in the real movie, was a guest star during this episode. The reason for the controversy was that “Jesus” was in the sketch. SNL meant for this scene to be satire, even if it didn’t come across that way.
20 The Jesus Coach
In a sketch with a portrayal of Tim Tebow and Jesus, people began to criticize the events that had occurred.
In the scene, “Jesus” said that he had been helping the Broncos win and ended the sketch by saying, “Oh, by the way, Mormonism. All true, every single word.”
21 The O. J. Simpson Joke
Norm Macdonald had already been taking jabs at O. J. Simpson during the duration of his trial. He was told that he wasn’t allowed to make jokes towards him during his Weekend Update segments, but this time he decided not to listen to the higher-ups.
Right off the bat, Macdonald jokingly said “Well, it is finally official, murder is legal in the state of California.” Clearly, this was not true, but due to the nature of the publicity that this case had brought up, the joke was taken a little too seriously.
22 The “Drag” Scene
People all over the internet criticized Kevin Hart for agreeing to do a sketch dressed in drag. People said that they were tired of seeing African American men being put into these kinds of scenes.
But Kevin Hart expressed more than once that it was his choice to dress up and that no one had made him do this.
23 Aaron Rodgers
SNL took the chance to make jokes about the recent news of football player Aaron Rodgers and his choice not to get vaccinated.
Obviously, Saturday Night Live is no stranger to being at the center of controversial topics. The COVID vaccine would be no exception.
24 The Joke From Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong appeared as a host on SNL, earning him the title of one of the worst hosts of all time. His “jokes” represented what had happened during his Olympic career.
On the show, he stated, “I’ve been working really hard on the show… but just not too good. Because the last time I did something too good, the French started testing my urine every fifteen minutes.” Viewers felt that this joke was too soon and in poor taste.
25 Justin Timberlake’s Music Video
In an episode of SNL, Justin Timberlake performed a song called “D in a B” as he likes to call it. But if SNL execs had anything to do with it, the song would not have been performed on the show.
Timberlake and Andy Samber performed the sketch with the word being bleeped out when it was live on air. Timberlake thought the version that aired was actually funnier than what the song actually mentioned.
26 Rosetta Stone Commercial
When the Rosetta Stone commercial first aired on SNL, it seemed to be perfectly fine. That was until Thailand took offense to the actions in the sketch.
In the “commercial,” men were learning how to speak Thai so they could visit Thailand and communicate with adult entertainment workers. Thailand felt that this was tarnishing its reputation.
27 Christmas Past Skit
During this episode, Kenan Thompson played the Ghost of Christmas Past and Taran Killam played Ebenezer Scrooge. Now, this doesn’t seem like it would offend anyone, right?
Well, the joke was that Ebenezer was gay. People didn’t like the fact that they joked about sexuality for a sketch.
28 Wayne’s World
In 1992, Dana Carvey and Mike Myers played characters of Wayne’s World. In the sketch, they said that “adolescence has thus far been unkind,” talking about 12-year-old Chelsea Clinton.
Due to the inappropriate nature of the joke, the cast did issue an apology letter to the White House.
29 The Safelite Commercial
In a sketch aired on an episode, the Safelite employee had resembled an actual actor from the real commercials. The company was not happy with the way that they made their employee seem like he had predatory behavior.
SNL has since tried its best to remove clips of the sketch from the internet, but not because Safelite had asked them to.
30 James Franco
In 2017, SNL aired an episode with the “Sexual Harassment Charlie” sketch where James Franco guest-starred. Franco had already been facing his own sexual harassment controversies when this episode aired.
In the sketch, he was required to apologize to the staff. The episode showed a double standard of sexual harassment where women are more comfortable with the act if it comes from an attractive male. Which, obviously, isn’t the case.
31 Kristen Stewart’s Potty Mouth
We all know that the cast and hosts of SNL are not allowed to say any profanity. There have been few who have accidentally slipped, but Kristen Stewart is one of the most memorable.
At the end of her monologue, she slipped the F-bomb. She finished by saying “I’m sorry and I’ll never be back.”
32 Escorted Out
Rage Against the Machine was a musical guest on the show in 1996. At the time, the rock band was making waves with their revolutionary political views.
Although, they did not make the best impression when they performed. The band placed upside-down American flags on their equipment, which resulted in them being escorted from the building after only performing one song.
33 Cultural Appropriation
We typically see cultural appropriation when someone is taking elements of a different culture of their own and using it in an inappropriate and unacknowledged way.
In this case, Nicki Minaj sang her single called “Chun-Li” and people found her performance and costume to be offensive. Which makes sense, since she did incorporate Asian background dancers into her show.
34 Charles Rocket
Charles Rocket had a short-lived career on SNL resulting from his accidental use of the F-bomb while on air.
While Rocket wasn’t the first person to use this kind of language on air, he already was on eggshells with the higher-ups. This language was inevitably the reason for him being removed from the show.
35 Teacher Trial
SNL will do everything they can to try and use comedy in situations that do not need to be funny. In this case, they tried to make light of sexual misconduct within high schools.
The sketch shows two female teachers who were accused of having a relationship with a 16-year-old student.
36 Larry David’s Holocaust Joke
When Larry David stated that he wasn’t sure if he’s still be checking out women in a concentration camp, people were quick to react. After noticing the audience’s hesitation to laugh, David said, “Is it me, or is it the whole thing?”
Users immediately began taking their thoughts to Twitter. One person said that “He managed to be offensive, insensitive, and unfunny all at the same time,” while another user said that “Nothing about the Holocaust will ever be funny.”
37 Alec Baldwin And The Canteen Boy
In a seemingly innocent scene that portrays Adam Sandler as an adult “Canteen Boy”, things quickly took a turn for the worse.
Baldwin, who played the Scoutmaster, made sexual advances to Sandler’s character and viewers took it the wrong way.
38 The Gabby Petito Case
After the Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie case already had people on edge, SNL thought they would try and make light of the situation, but viewers did not, in fact, find this skit to be funny in the slightest way.
In the show, Pete Davidson played Dog the Bounty Hunter and was talking about how he was having trouble finding Laundrie. Viewers said that bringing up his name in an episode was way too soon and they found it offensive.
39 Clown Scene
In an attempt to bring light on the ongoing political debate over women’s reproductive rights, SNL aired an episode with a character discussing her experience.
Women’s reproductive rights have been debated for decades. It only makes sense that this scene would depict what the show thought should be a universal opinion.
40 Is Boston Racist?
In a 2017 episode of SNL, Michael Che made a comment about how Boston was “the most racist city [he] has ever been to.”
One woman had commented and Che told her to “talk to [her] closest black friend and ask them to explain it to you.” People who were not on the receiving end of racist remarks did not understand how it was possible that someone would think this about Boston.