10 Notoriously Bad ‘Saturday Night Live’ Hosts

Emily Kanoff
10 Notoriously Bad ‘Saturday Night Live’ Hosts
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Who was banned from “Saturday Night Live”? Who went off-script? Who was just so painfully bad they’ll never be invited back? We’ve rounded up the best of the worst “SNL” hosts—from Justin Bieber to Paris Hilton and everyone in between.

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While some people might surprise you, there’s one guy we doubt would ever end up on a list like this—and that’d be Chris Pratt, star of this summer’s monster hit “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Pratt is all set to host this weekend’s 40th season premiere and considering he’s hilarious, incredibly sexy, and has an exceptional reputation around Hollywood, we have a feeling he’s got this in the bag.

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Click through the gallery to find out who made the list of the most notoriously bad “SNL” hosts ever.


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Who: Justin Bieber

When: Season 28—February 9, 2013

Why: It's been widely reported that Justin Bieber was not an ideal guest host. While Bill Hader kinda/sorta retracted his statements on "Watch What Happens Live" recently, he's gone on record a few times to admit his displeasure. In an interview with Howard Stern, he described Bieber's diva behavior as such: "Justin Bieber showed up with like 20 guys. He had a guy holding a slice of pizza. A guy holding a diet coke. Going around stage, you're trying to fight through all these people to get dressed.” Uncool Biebs, uncool.

Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Three Lions Entertainment

Who: January Jones 

When: Season 35—November 14, 2009

Why: It's a bummer Instagram didn't exist when the Mad Men star hosted "SNL". Girl is funny! For all intents and purposes, January Jones was a fine host. Fine! She was fine. She showed up, read her lines, and didn't rustle any feathers behind the scenes. But that's all she did. She was so blah, there was basically a Debbie Downer-esque "wah-wah" following her wherever she went. One critic at the time wrote, "Poor January Jones. It has, I think, been a long time since a host on "SNL" has been this bad. Stilted delivery, stumbling over words and that weird, low-energy negativity that works for Betty Draper but so does not work for a live comedy show." Wah-wah.

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Who: Paris Hilton

When: Season 30—February 5, 2005

Why: You remember 2005, right? This was peak Paris Hilton pandimonium and Kim Kardashian was but a blip (butt?) on the tabloid radar. If you look back, this episode is pretty funny. Give us Paris-Hilton-as-a-no-elbowed-Barbie any day of the week. But behind the scenes, Ms. Hilton didn't get the best reviews. In an interview with Howard Stern back in 2006, Tina Fey described Paris as a "piece of sh--" that was "proud of how dumb she is." Fey also took time to explain a game the cast played behind Paris' back, betting on who she would make personal conversation with first. Seth Meyers won, for the record.

Photo: Monica Schipper/Getty Images

Who: Adrian Brody

When: Season 28—May 10, 2003

Why: Note to self: When hosting "SNL" do NOT go off-script! Adrian Brody took it upon himself to improvise his introduction for musical guest Sean Paul—while wearing faux dreadlocks. Aside from the stint getting him banned from the show, it wasn't even funny. 

Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Who: Chevy Chase

When: Season 3—February 18, 1978, Season 5—February 9, 1980, Season 8—September 25, 1982, Season 11—November 16, 1985, Season 12—December 6, 1986, Season 17—January 18, 1992, Season 21—October 7, 1995, Season 22—February 15, 1997, 

Why: Yes, Chevy Chase is funny—but no one ever accused him of being a particularly nice guy. He also has the esteemed honor of being the only cast member to be banned from the show. According to the "Saturday Night Live" Wikia, Chevy's bad behavior goes way far back to the early years of the show. However the final straw came in 1997 when a hot-headed Chase allegedly hit Cheri Oteri in the back of the head. After Will Ferrell complained to Executive Producer Lorne Michaels, the gauntlet was thrown, and Chevy was not to be invited back. Guess we won't count the 4 times he's made a cameo appearance since? 

Photo: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

Who: Deion Sanders

When: Season 20—February 18, 1995

Why: There's a reason atheletes are atheletes, rappers are rappers and comedians are comedians. Sure, there are crossovers (Hello, Peyton Manning!) but when Deion Sanders decided to perform two tracks off his 1995 rap album during his hosting gig, he solidified his name on many an "SNL" worst list. 

Photo: Rob Kim/Getty Images for DirecTV

Who: Robert Blake

When: Season 8—November 13, 1982

Why: Aside from um, his other troubles, the "Baretta" star was officially banned from "SNL" following an outburst at the week's readthrough. In Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, David Sheffield, a writer at the time, flat-out called Blake the worst "SNL" host of all time. "He was sitting in a room and a sketch was handed to him by Gary Kroeger, who was a writer-actor—a sketch called 'Breezy Philosopher,'" he recalled. "Blake sat there and read that, with his glasses down his nose, then wadded it up, turned to Kroeger, and said, "I hope you got a tough a--hole, pal, 'cause you're going to have to wipe your a-- with that one. And he threw it and bounced it off Gary's face." Moral of the story—if you're ever in the position of hosting "SNL", leave the scripts on the table.

Photo: Archive Photos/Getty Images

Who: Frank Zappa

When: Season 4—October 21, 1978

Why: Sure you might be too young to remember the show's 4th season, but google around and you'll see Zappa's name show up a lot when bad "SNL" moments are discussed. Among other no-nos, he broke the fourth wall by chatting up the cue card-holders and audibly laughed during a "Coneheads" sketch. Come on, Frank! You don't mess with the Coneheads! 

Photo: Getty

Who: Milton Berle

When: Season 4—April 14, 1979

Why: Another frequently talked about guest is legendary funnyman Milton Berle. Again, while you might not recall the highlights from 1979, your parents certainly will. During his one and only hosting stint, "Uncle Milty" (as your parents will call him), apparently took the show into his own hands and completely upstaged the cast, including the beloved Gilda Radnor. Hey Milte—you mess with Gilda, you get the horns.

Photo: Archive Photos/Getty Images

Who: Steven Seagal

When: Season 16—April 20, 1991

Why: When Lorne Michaels says it, is has to be true...right? In an interview with New York Magazine in early 2014, Michaels was asked to elaborate on a comment he made about Seagal being the worst host in "SNL" history: "That was in a sketch. It’s an Al Franken joke. Nicolas Cage was hosting, and he said, “I’m going to be the worst host ever.” I just read it off a card: “No, that was Steven Seagal.” I think the Steven Seagal show was just a really hard week. I’m not sure, on an objective level, that he was necessarily the worst." There you have it. Sort of. 

Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

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