Home Top Posts 35+ Celebrities Who Were Banned From Talk Shows And The Real Reasons Why
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35+ Celebrities Who Were Banned From Talk Shows And The Real Reasons Why

Trista August 24, 2021

Talk shows aren’t always happy to have any celebrity for an interview. Just like everyday people, celebs make mistakes all the time, as well. Occasionally, their behavior leads them to be banned from popular talk shows. Talk shows have been on the air for many years, and over those years, some of those shows have racked up a long list of celebrities whom they refuse to work with.

Sometimes, though, it’s not even due to their behavior. Whether they had a public controversy or the host just has a personal vendetta against those celebrities, you won’t be seeing these stars on many talk shows. Find out who these famous people are and why particular talk shows banned them for life in the article below.


40. Hugh Grant – The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

Mainly known for being a British heartthrob and starring in some favorite ’90s romantic comedies, Grant isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. The Daily Show With Jon Stewart banned him from the show. Fans may have found Hugh Grant to be charming, but in 2009, Jon Stewart found the movie star not to be as lovely as everyone else. When he was a guest on The Daily Show, Grant was less than friendly.

Surprisingly, the normally well-mannered actor was rude to everyone on set and used foul language. He also complained the entire time, which in turn resulted in his punishment for the show. Later, he responded to the ban by agreeing with the decision because his behavior was unforgivable.


39. Joan Rivers – The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson

Someone who was always known for her crass sense of humor, late comedian Joan Rivers was actually a permanent guest on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. So it may come as a surprise to most to hear that later in life, the famous friendship between Carson and Rivers came to an end when she landed her own show on Fox.

Although Rivers made history as the first female host of a late-night show, it was a flop. It was so intense that the banning carried on when Jay Leno took over in 1992. However, the ban was lifted in 2014 when Jimmy Fallon took over.


38. Kathy Griffin – Almost Every Talk Show

Unlike other celebrities, pretty much every talk show we can think of has banned Griffin. However, it may come as no surprise that she’s rubbed people the wrong way. Griffin is one of the most controversial comedians. She has made derogatory remarks towards other celebs.

Griffin has also taken her clothes off on live television. That’s just to name a few, so it’s no wonder Griffin isn’t welcome on shows like Ellen, Today, The View, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and The Late Show with David Letterman.


37. Chevy Chase – Saturday Night Live

Now, you may be wondering how SNL banned Chase considering he was one of the show’s original cast members. To make it more surprising, he was also the first person banned from the show. However, after leaving the show on his own terms, he returned as a guest host.

During his eighth time hosting in 1997, however, he slapped cast member Cheri Oteri on the back of the head. Will Ferrell reported the incident and they never welcomed him back on the set again.


36. The Kardashians – Anderson Live

It’s really no secret that everyone doesn’t like the Kardashians, but one person in particular came out and refused to have this family star on their show. In an episode of Andy Cohen’s “Watch What Happens Live,” Anderson Cooper blatantly stated that he would never have the famous sisters star on his show.

He wasn’t specific about which Kardashian he wouldn’t have on his show but said he wasn’t a fan of the whole family. The irony of the entire thing was that Khloe Kardashian tweeted about how much she loved him just a few hours before he made those comments.


35. Madonna – Piers Morgan Tonight

It may come as a shock to many, as it did to us, to hear that anyone would give the queen of pop such a consequence. However, it’s not surprising that the person who had banned her from their show would be Piers Morgan. The controversial English talk show host stated that he would never have her as a guest on his show in 2011.

Surprisingly, Morgan called Madonna an irritant in his life for the past 20 years. He also stated that he would only let the Michigan native on his show if the singer made a public apology. It’s unclear, however, why he truly dislikes her. Apparently, the two still have a long-lasting feud.


34. Steven Seagal – Saturday Night Live

It’s no secret that Saturday Night Live definitely isn’t afraid to ban people. One example is the martial artist and actor Seagal. His reason for banishment differs from others. He never really did anything offensive or outrageous, but he’s still not allowed back on the show.

SNL banned him because of how rude he was to the cast and crew, making him highly disliked on the set. The creator and producer of Saturday Night Live, Lorne Michaels, said Seagal was the worst host they ever had on the show, which is quite harsh.


33. Kelsey Grammer – Piers Morgan Tonight

Just like Saturday Night Live, Morgan’s show has also banned many celebs. One of those people who made the list to be excluded is actor Kelsey Grammer. Please note that the Frasier star reportedly bailed out on an interview with Piers Morgan just minutes before he was supposed to appear on stage.

Grammer had abruptly left the set because Morgan had shown a picture of Grammer’s ex-wife, Camille, at the show’s beginning. This must have happened right after the star’s famous cheating scandal. However, that’s no excuse to run away like that.


32. Andy Kaufman – Saturday Night Live

The most unusual ban in Saturday Night Live’s history involved late comedian Andy Kaufman. In 1983, the show’s former producer allowed the audience to vote if the comedian would ever be allowed on the show again.

You can probably guess what side won the votes. The viewers were all given two different numbers to call to vote, and unfortunately, they voted for Andy Kaufman not to return to the show. We’re unsure what he did to make the viewers vote this way, but we don’t think he deserved that consequence.


31. Oprah – Late Show With David Letterman

Both Letterman and Winfrey were two people who had highly successful shows at the same time. For 25 years, however, the two had a longstanding feud that made Oprah say she would never appear on his show because he would make small jabs at her. If you’re wondering, their feud stemmed from a prank Letterman pulled on Oprah in Paris.

In the prank, he tricked her into paying for dinner. Since then, they have resolved their issues and appeared on each other’s shows, but it seemed that that would never happen for a while.


30. Caitlyn Jenner – Ellen

When it comes to Ellen DeGeneres, you’d think Caitlyn Jenner would be a celebrated person on her show. Apparently, Jenner and Ellen aren’t on excellent terms. After releasing her memoir, The Secrets of My Life, Jenner felt like DeGeneres alienated her from the LGBTQ, which to us sounds ridiculous. Jenner probably is not allowed to appear on Ellen due to comments she had made back in 2015.

She had said, “I have to admit that I remember 15 years ago, 20 years ago, whenever it was that the whole gay marriage issue came up, I was not for it.” So it’s a bit obvious how this could rub DeGeneres the wrong way.


29. Cypress Hill – Saturday Night Live

One of the most popular Hip-Hop groups in the early ’90s with songs like “Insane in the Brain,” Cypress Hill shocks us by making this list. Naturally, because of their success, producers at Saturday Night Live were interested in them, so they invited them to perform on the show. Lorne Michaels and his other producers, however, would regret this decision.

The group was known for partaking in illicit substances, so they were asked not to do so while on the set. They ended up disobeying the rules, along with trashing their instruments, which led SNL to ban them for life.


28. Gary Busey – The Howard Stern Show

Busey is known for his eccentric personality, as he is a method actor. Sadly, however, Busey was in a motorcycle accident and suffered from brain damage in 1988, which allegedly changed his personality beyond his usual kookiness everyone knew and loved. He proved how different he was after the accident during an interview he had with Howard Stern.

While talking with Stern, Busey tried chasing him around the studio and aggressively got into the crew’s faces. Not surprisingly, he was never invited back after the incident.


27. David Bowie – Saturday Night Live

As you may have learned by now, Saturday Night Live has a long list of celebrities they have banned from their show. You may be thinking to yourself, why would anyone ban David Bowie from their show. He must have done something serious to anger the producers. Bowie learned the hard way in 1997 not to mess with Lorne Michaels.

When David appeared as the musical guest, he was supposed to play “Telling Lies,” and he was explicitly asked not to perform “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps).” This is because Michaels said it reminded him of dark times. However, Bowie didn’t listen and played it anyway, resulting in a ban from the show for three years.

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The Spokesman-Review

26. Bobcat Goldthwait – The Tonight Show With Jay Leno

This probably has to be one of the most unusual bannings on our list: that of comedian Bobcat Goldthwait. He appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 1994, where he abruptly doused the couch in lighter fluid and set it on fire, shocking everyone because it was totally unexpected.

The inexplicably bizarre act, not surprisingly, caused Goldthwait to be banned from The Tonight Show and he also had to pay almost $4,000 in damages. We have to wonder what possessed him to wreck the set and put everyone in danger, to begin with. We may never know.


25. Adrien Brody – Saturday Night Live

As we all know, Saturday Night Live pushes the envelope when it comes to some of their sketches, but sometimes the special guests they have on their show take it too far by going off the script or by doing something offensive. That is where the producers draw the line.

This is precisely what happened to “The Pianist” star Adrien Brody. Brody decided to shock the audience with a racist joke while introducing the musical guest, Sean Paul. Not only did Brody take to the stage with an attempted fake Jamaican accent, but he also had on fake dreadlocks. He has been banned from the show ever since.

Gilbert Gottfried at Raleigh Improv

24. Gilbert Gottfried – The Howard Stern Show

Comedian Gottfried is known for his no filter comedy. The comedian’s distinct voice and larger-than-life personality can sometimes make people feel slightly uncomfortable, but it’s usually in good fun. However, one talk show host was not a fan of his sense of humor, and things got a bit awkward between the two.

During an interview with Howard Stern on his talk show, things got heated between him and Gottfried. Stern didn’t appreciate how Gilbert talked down to him on his show. It also didn’t help that Gottfried went to Stern’s rival for an interview after he was banned from Howard’s talk show.

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23. Martin Lawrence – Saturday Night Live

When given the opportunity to host Saturday Night Live in 1994, Martin Lawrence, who is known for his somewhat erratic behavior, did something the crew would never be able to forget. It’s customary for the host to open the show with a monologue, and after days of rehearsal, Lawrence decided to just go utterly off-script on live TV, which was a big no-no.

Lawrence not only made highly offensive comments about women and their hygiene, but he also made those comments with crude language that went against Saturday Night Live’s strict rules. As if that wasn’t enough, he also went off-script during one of the sketches. After protests from their sponsors, producers banned Lawrence from the show.


22. Vince Vaughn – The Ellen DeGeneres Show

DeGeneres is a proud lesbian; all of her fans probably know that. In 2011, Vince Vaughn’s character in a movie made offensive jokes about the LGBTQ community. So she refused to let him promote the film on her show. That makes sense, but Ellen never made a public statement about it.

Anderson Cooper denounced the movie while a guest on her talk show. However, it seems that Vaughn and DeGeneres were able to patch things up between the two since the incident. That’s more than some others who made it on this list.

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21. Jay Leno – Conan

You may remember back in 2010 when NBC bumped Conan O’Brien’s spot to an hour later and gave the earlier slot to Jay Leno. Although O’Brien ended up leaving the network, there was some unresolved tension between the two, which we don’t really blame it on either of them. After the fiasco, however, Conan admitted that he would never have Leno as a guest on his show because of the tension.

Maybe Conan felt it would have been too awkward between the two? He did joke, however, that he would have him as a musical guest. The real people to blame here are the executives at NBC.


20. Howard Stern – The Tonight Show With Jay Leno

They say Karma’s a you-know-what and what goes around comes around. Howard Stern got what was coming to him. Taking a step back to the beginning, it all began when Stern accused Jay Leno of stealing parts from his show. Even though Stern was used to issuing bans on others, he did not prepare himself for that same consequence.

The tipping scale happened in 1995 when Howard Stern appeared on The Tonight Show and thought it would be funny to bring to nearly naked women on stage with him. He then proceeded to suck on their toes while Leno interviewed the next guest. Leno ended the show early and walked off the stage because of how angry he was. The Tonight Show did not welcome Stern back.


19. Howie Mandel – Piers Morgan Tonight

Another celebrity to join the list of people banned from Piers Morgan’s show would be Howie Mandel. It’s not entirely clear the real reason behind the banning of Mandel on the show, but Morgan did say that he didn’t like his former fellow “America’s Got Talent” judge.

Not only did Morgan say that he thought Howie was too irritating to have on his show, he even went as far as to call Mandel “the most annoying man in the history of planet earth.” That’s pretty bold for someone to say without a real reason.


18. Vivica A. Fox – Jimmy Kimmel Live

Fox appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and was shocked when the host made a joke about her friend and former co-host of The View, Star Jones. For the rest of the interview, Fox was clearly unforgettable and upset with Kimmel. Who can blame her?

Even though Kimmel tried to smooth things over, the actress did not have it, ultimately leaving the set. Because of her departure, Kimmel announced that Fox was not to be a guest on his show ever again. However, we’re pretty sure that this was a mutual agreement.

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17. Milton Berle – Saturday Night Live

Berle, also known as ‘Mr. Television,’ was given the opportunity to host Saturday Night Night in 1979, but you can probably guess it didn’t go so well. Berle had a long history in show business starring on Vaudeville, television, radio, and pretty much everywhere else you looked.

Lorne Michaels said he had respect for the era Milton Berle represented, but wanted to take the show in a different direction. People pressured Michaels into having Berle on the show, and he knew he should have listened to his gut. That’s because Berle allegedly went off the script, bossed the crew around, and even wandered around the set naked.


16. Bill Hicks – Late Show With David Letterman

Despite having provocative routines that are witty and hilarious, you might be surprised to know a renowned comedian made the list. However, when we say Bill Hicks, those familiar with his routine are not shocked. It was on The Late Show with David Letterman, and it had something to do with Billy Ray Cyrus.

While on the show, Bill Hicks made some jokes about Cyrus, which isn’t surprising, but they were rude and inappropriate. Offended, Letterman banished him from the show. A year after, Hicks died and Letterman apologized to his mother for the incident.

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Los Angeles Times

15. Harmony Korine – The Late Show With David Letterman

Actor and director Harmony Korine is known for being as eccentric as his movies. He usually directs low-budget oddball films. Yet, David Letterman was still interested in him. Letterman had Korine on his show multiple times when he hosted The Late Show. Furthermore, he says he enjoyed the back and forth banter they shared between the two.

However, Harmony Korine supposedly took something from Meryl Streep’s purse backstage. It was very shocking to Letterman. That was the last straw that broke the camel’s back and Korine was banned.


14. Jackie Mason – The Ed Sullivan Show

Being invited to the Ed Sullivan Show during the 1960s was something that could make anyone’s career a success. So when comedian Jackie Mason was lucky enough to develop a friendship with Ed Sullivan and appeared on the show several times, it came as a surprise when they banned him due to a misunderstanding.

During a performance on an episode in 1964, Sullivan gave Mason a signal that there were only two minutes left so that Mason knew to wrap up his act. When Jackie gave Ed a playful gesture back, he thought it was the middle finger and got upset. He was then banned from the show until he made an apology on air many years later.


13. Sandra Bernhard – The Late Show With David Letterman

Bernhard is known for her brash, tough-talking that helped and hurt her career. She was at the top of her game in the world of comedy in the ’80s and ’90s. Because he was a fan, David Letterman had her on his show as a guest frequently.

However, when Letterman moved to CBS, Bernhard suddenly became a persona non grata on the show. Sandra said that Letterman thought she trashed him in their circle of mutual friends in the showbiz world, to which she had rejected ever doing. Even though she denied it, she was never on his show again.

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Los Angeles Times

12. Artie Lange – The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien

Usually, bans happen due to dislike or even hate, but that isn’t the case here. This is a rare case of being banned brought on by love. When Conan O’Brien briefly hosted The Tonight Show, he had his good friend Artie Lange on the show as a guest.

Lange was known for his partying ways and had a history of substance abuse that O’Brien was aware of. When Lange appeared on the show, he had slurred his words and rambled on with such incoherent sentences. There was clearly no doubt that Lange wasn’t sober. Out of concern for his friend, O’Brien banned him from making any more appearances on the show until he had cleaned up his act and got sober.


11. Robert Blake – Saturday Night Live

Actor Robert Blake was caught up in the murder case of his wife Bonnie Lee Bakley back in 2005 after being added to the list of suspects. He had gone through a lengthy trial and was found not guilty. That’s not why he was banned from Saturday Night Live, though.

In 1982, Blake hosted the show before he met his wife. On the set. He allegedly had a terrible temper and it scared some of the cast and crew. However, the incident that got him banned was when he crumpled up his script and threw it at a writer’s head.


10. Louise Lasser – Saturday Night Live

Lasser, a famous actress from the ’70s and also Woody Allen’s second wife, became the first-ever guest host to be banned from Saturday Night Live. Lasser was incoherent and didn’t seem like herself at all while hosting the finale of season one.

She was reportedly challenging to work with and even refused to be in scenes with other cast members besides Chevy Chase, and no one knows why. The show’s producer, Lorne Michaels, was so upset about the episode that he never let it re-air again.


9. Heather Mills – Piers Morgan Live

You may be wondering what Paul McCartney’s ex-wife could have done to upset Piers Morgan enough to ban her from his show. It has something to do with their divorce. Morgan was the one who had introduced the pair and he wasn’t happy with their settlement.

Mills received $50 million from the divorce, and after that, Morgan put a lifetime ban on her to make up for the financial and emotional pain he felt responsible for. It does seem a bit dramatic, though, considering he wasn’t the cause for their divorce.

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8. Fear – Saturday Night Live

Most of you may not be familiar with the punk rock band Fear. However, you probably know their biggest fan, John Belushi. In 1981, Belushi had already left Saturday Night Live to pursue an acting career. Nevertheless, he wanted to help the band.

While he was unable to get them onto the soundtrack for his movie, he scroed them a gig on Saturday Night Live instead. And although it was a lovely gesture on his part, it just didn’t work out. The band not only used highly offensive language in their set, but they also caused $20,000 worth of damage. Because of that, SNL gave them the boot.


7. Sherri Sheperd – Ellen

Even though Ellen DeGeneres preaches that everyone should be kind to one another, which we completely agree with, she is known for banning many potential guests from her show who don’t share her same beliefs. One of those potential guests who made the list was Sherri Shepherd.

Ellen decided to ban ‘The View’ host from her show all because of comments that she had made that DeGeneres perceived as anti-gay. Another rumor was that DeGeneres was mad that Shepherd had stolen her audience.

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The Guardian

6. Piers Morgan – Cherie Blair

Morgan certainly isn’t shy about banning people from his show. Furthermore, although he gets along just fine with former UK prime minister Tony Blair, the controversial TV host isn’t a big fan of his wife, Cherie. Morgan claims it was a clash of their personalities. He also stated that he believes it would get violent if she were to ever be on the show.

It’s arguably pretty bold of Morgan to say that Blair would attack him if they were ever to be on the air together, especially without a reasonable explanation as to why he doesn’t like her besides that their “personalities aren’t compatible.”

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5. Saturday Night Live – Charles Grodin

If you’re not quite sure who Grodin is, he was the strict father from the film Beethoven. The list continues as this extraordinary actor is yet another person whom Saturday Night Live banned from the show.

He was denied because the late actor made some interesting character choices when he hosted the show back in 1977. Grodin, for some reason, wanted to play a meta version of himself who was terrible at hosting Saturday Night Live. As a result, He purposely forgot his line, bombed his sketches, and did horrible ad-libbing. Even though this was a choice, it didn’t go over well with the producers, and Lorne Michaels decided to have him banned from the show after this performance.


4. Sinead O’Connor – Saturday Night Live

Rising to fame in the 1980s, singer O’Connor has always been a controversial figure. Furthermore, the performer was an open book about her beliefs. However, she pulled a specific stunt while performing on Saturday Night Live. It sent both producers and fans over the edge, making her unwelcome.

It was while she was singing a cover of Bob Marley’s “War” that the singer took out a picture of Pope John Paul II and ripped it in half while singing the word evil and “fight the real enemy.” Because they couldn’t believe what just happened, the entire studio went silent.


3. Rage Against The Machine – Saturday Night Live

Rage Against the Machine is a hard rock band known for its strong political beliefs. So it’s no surprise that fans found it a bit strange when they were the musical act on Saturday Night Live the same week as the Republican presidential nominee Steve Forbes.

They hung American flags upside down from the amps before their performance, only for stagehands to take them down seconds later. It’s no shock that the band was kicked off the stage and banned from the show after that.


2. Kim Burrell – Ellen

Even though many people supposedly banned from Ellen’s show are just rumors or speculation, she will never welcome one confirmed person on her show. Burrell, a gospel singer, isn’t allowed on the show because of negative comments about the gay community.

Ellen stated, “I actually didn’t know her. Her name is Kim Burrell. She made a statement when she was doing a Facebook Live, and she said some not very nice things about homosexuals. So, I didn’t feel that it was good of me to have her on the show to give her a platform after she was saying things about me.”

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Rolling Stone

1. Saturday Night Live – Elvis Costello

When Costello was making a name for himself in America and the UK during the 1970s, SNL asked him to perform. Before the show, he agreed to perform the song “Less Than Zero.” However, as he started to sing the song, he did something that shocked everyone.

Costello yelled, “Stop! Stop! I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen, but there’s no reason to do this song here.” He then started singing his song “Radio Radio.” It included lyrics that criticize corporate-controlled broadcasting. Producer Lorne Michaels was furious with Costello, so he had him banned from performing for 12 years.