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

TristaAugust 24, 2021
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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.

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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
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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Closer Weekly

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. 

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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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Variety

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Hornet

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Billboard

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.

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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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KTLA

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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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