Since its humble beginnings, Saturday Night Live has been a prized gig for improvisors, sketch comedians and stand-up artists. Landing a spot on the roster is almost impossible, and even if you do earn that coveted seat, that doesn't mean you'll keep it.
Take a look at some of the greats who've been fired from SNL - Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Sarah Silverman, the star-studded list goes on. Sometimes there are clear-cut paths leading to someone being let go, like dropping the F-bomb or portraying a character as flamboyantly gay (that means you, Damon Wayans). Other times it's a complete shock - why would SNL fire someone like Chris Farley?This list of the most shocking and controversial sketches in SNL history might have something to do with it. Did these SNL sketches get people fired? Quite possibly, but many were still hilarious, so vote up the best!
O.J. Simpson Jokes on "Weekend Update"Photo: NBC
Cast Member Fired: Norm Macdonald
Though it was never 100% confirmed, it's a safe bet that the reason "Weekend Update" host Norm Macdonald got the can was because of his onslaught of O.J. Simpson jokes, which directly offended NBC executive Don Ohlmeyer.
Perhaps these O.J. jokes from "Weekend Update" sealed Macdonald's fate:
"Yesterday, Simpson trial judge Lance Ito allowed that mystery envelope to be opened, and it appears Simpson may already have won ten million dollars." (9/24/94)
"This week in the O.J. Simpson trial, the infamous bloody glove was finally introduced into evidence. And O.J. didn’t help his case any by blurting out, “There it is! I’ve been looking all over for that thing!” (4/8/95)
"In a surprise move, O.J. Simpson has offered to give an interview to CNN, with 'absolutely no ground rules.' But interviewers Greta van Susteren and Roger Cossack have asked for one: 'Dont kill us!'" (12/9/95)"Our top story tonight comes from the O.J. Simpson civil trial, where this week it was revealed that in his first interview with police, Simpson had refused to take a lie detector test. His reason? It detects lies." (12/14/96)
Matt Foley Talks to Kids About DrugsPhoto: NBC
Cast Member Fired: Chris FarleyIt's hard to imagine that under any circumstance Chris Farley, the greatest physical comedian to walk the face of the Earth, would ever be let go from Saturday Night Live. Even today, fellow cast members like Adam Sandler don't know why he was fired. Maybe the producers felt threatened because his character Matt Foley who "lived in a van down by the river" was such a perfect stroke of comedy genius, no other sketch comedian on the show could live up to it?
Biker Chick ChatPhoto: NBC
Cast Member Fired: Jenny Slate
In one of the most notorious SNL mishaps ever, Jenny Slate accidentally dropped the F-bomb in the middle of a sketch, on her debut show. The incident didn't result in an instant axing - she remained a cast member for the rest of that season. But as pretty much everybody expected, she was let go when the season wrapped.It was an honest mistake - anything can happen on live TV - and since then Slate has done pretty well for herself, from her film Obvious Child to her recurring role on Parks and Recreation and her book, Marcel the Shell.
O.J. Simpson Jury Field TripPhoto: NBC
Cast Member Fired: Janeane Garofalo
Janeane Garofalo had her fair share of problems withSNL, though her main gripe seemed to be with the dominating boys' club mentality. However, since the subject of O.J. Simpson didn't seem to sit well with NBC execs in general, perhaps she was encouraged to leave following this O.J. sketch in which she plays a woman sleeping with Kato, while Simpson bribes jurors during a tour of his home.