25 Interesting Facts about Saturday Night Live (SNL)

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1Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters were asked to play with Mick Jagger on SNL the same night they had a sold-out show in New Jersey. Instead of canceling on Saturday Night Live or their show, they rehearsed with Jagger, took a helicopter to Jersey, played their show, then flew back to NYC and played SNL.


2. Numerous Saturday Night Live hosts/guests have been banned from appearing on the show again, including Adrien Brody, Martin Lawrence, Milton Berle, Steven Seagal, and even Chevy Chase.


3. In 1992, singer Sinéad O'Connor tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II during a performance on Saturday Night Live to protest the abuse of children within the Catholic Church. It was extremely controversial at the time and she was heavily criticized in the media.


4. The SNL Jeopardy sketch was created by Norm Macdonald purely so that he could show off his Burt Reynolds impression.


5. Elvis Costello was banned from SNL after switching from "Less than Zero" to "Radio, Radio" mid-performance. SNL's producer gave him the finger for the duration of the song.


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6Rage Against the Machine

In 1996, Rage Against the Machine played Saturday Night Live with host Steve Forbes. In protest of billionaires like Forbes, they hung two upside-down flags from their stage, against the wishes of the staff. After a confrontation with SNL stagehands, they were kicked out before the second song.


7. When Richard Pryor hosted SNL in 1975, the NBC ordered the show to run on a 5-second delay due to Pryor being too controversial. Engineers later said they didn't do this because nobody knew how to do it.


8. In 1977, Saturday Night Live had an "Anyone Can Host" contest and the winner was an 80-year old woman named Miskel Spillman.


9. In a 1982 Saturday Night Live routine, Eddie Murphy had the audience call in to decide if 'Larry The Lobster' would live or be boiled on live TV.


10. When Paris Hilton was hosting SNL, cast members took bets as to whether or not she would ask anyone a personal question. Seth Meyers said yes and won when she asked if Maya Rudolph was Italian.


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11Bill Hader

Bill Hader often breaks into laughter while performing "Stefon" because SNL writer John Mulaney will change lines on him, leaving Hader to read the outlandish jokes for the first time on-air.


12. Chris Farley was fired from SNL for making late-night prank phone calls from the SNL offices with Adam Sandler, and mooning people from a limo shortly after.


13. Not only is Kenan Thompson SNL's longest-tenured cast member, but he is also the 1st one born after the show premiered in 1975.


14. When Frank Zappa hosted SNL in 1978, he was unpopular with most of the cast because of his anti-drug stance. During the live performance, he would regularly mug for the camera and point out that he was reading from cue cards.


15. In 2008, Saturday Night Live did a Japanese parody of 'The Office' with Ricky Gervais and Steve Carell.


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16Eddie Murphy

When Eddie Murphy was on SNL in the early 80s, other cast members often had to go downstairs after shows to catch a cab for him because no cab drivers would stop for a young black man late at night.


17. George Carlin hosted the very first episode of Saturday Night Live.


18. The original title of Saturday Night Live was "NBC's Saturday Night", due to the existence of an ABC show titled "Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell". This is why the famous opening phrase is worded "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!."


19. Saturday Night Live was created because in 1974 Johnny Carson petitioned NBC for more time off.


20. Saturday Night Live season 6 (1980) saw the entire cast and all but one writer leave. The replacements all flopped. It was all precipitated by Charles Rocket swearing on air. Nearly everyone was fired and new guy Eddie Murphy was one of the only two retained.


21Kanye West

In 2007, Kanye West had a skit on SNL about interrupting award ceremonies. This was about 2 years prior to the Taylor Swift MTV Music Video Awards incident.


22. Jenny Slate got fired from SNL for dropping the F-bomb.


23. When you do an audition for SNL, regardless if you are chosen and without compensation, SNL owns your characters and likeness after the audition.


24. Actor Adrian Brody is banned from Saturday Night Live after he did an improvised sketch. This is due to the fact that the producer Lorne Michaels hates unscripted performances.


25. Sets for Saturday Night Live can be no taller than 9 feet in order to fit into the freight elevators at 30 Rock.

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