Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hosting the show after making disparaging remarks about immigrants drew criticism and protests from over a dozen Hispanic and Latino groups.
“SNL” cast member Nora Dunn boycotted the Andrew Dice Clay-hosted Season 15 episode in protest of his past jokes about women. Musical guest Sinead O’Connor also canceled her appearance.
Ashlee Simpson had an awkward turn as musical guest in 2004, when she was caught lip syncing on stage. Simpson later explained that she was “sick” and advised not to sing live to protect her voice.
David Spade initiated a decades-long feud with Eddie Murphy with a seemingly innocuous joke about the former cast member being a “falling star.” Spade later revealed that Murphy screamed at him over the phone and refused to return to “SNL” for years after.
Elvis Costello got himself banned from “SNL” with a 1977 performance when he stopped a performance of “Less Than Zero” to launch into “Radio, Radio,” a song critical of the commercialization of broadcasts.
Jenny Slate‘s first outing as an “SNL” cast member didn’t go as smoothly as she’d probably hoped. The actress accidentally dropped an f-bomb on air in her very first sketch.
Host Sam Kinison had a few jokes cut from the west coast broadcast of his opening monologue in a 1986 episode when he joked about crack cocaine and the Crucifixion.
Sinead O’Connor used her platform as “SNL” musical guest to protest sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. She infamously tore up a picture of the pope during a performance of Bob Marley’s “War.”
“Saturday Night Live” has been repeatedly criticized for a lack of diversity among its cast. Pressure on the show to diversify culminated in the casting of comedian Sasheer Zamata, a black woman, for Season 39.