Why Steven Seagal Was the Worst “SNL” Host Ever, According to the Cast and Crew

Seagal's 1991 appearance on the show was pulled from syndication

Steven Seagal beard
Actor Steven Seagal at the International Aikido Festival held at the RMK Academy of Martial Arts.
Donat Sorokin/TASS via Getty Images

Over the course of 46 seasons, Saturday Night Live has had some pretty memorable hosts, some of whom stood out for the wrong reasons. But as a new Yahoo article points out, one stands above the rest as the undeniable worst host in the show’s history, according to its cast and crew: Steven Seagal.

The action star hosted the sketch show back in 1991, and his behavior on set was enough to get him banned from ever hosting again. Producer Lorne Michaels named him the worst host during a Nicolas Cage monologue in 1992. (After Cage said viewers probably think he’s the “biggest jerk who’s ever been on the show,” Michaels responded, “No, no. That would be Steven Seagal.”)

“The biggest problem with Steven Seagal was that he would complain about jokes that he didn’t get, so it was like — you can’t explain something to somebody in German if they don’t speak German,” cast member Tim Meadows said in the book Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live as Told by Its Stars, Writers, and Guests. “He just wasn’t funny, and he was very critical of the cast and writing staff. He didn’t realize that you can’t tell somebody they’re stupid on Wednesday and expect them to continue writing for you on Saturday.”

Seagal left such a bad impression on the folks at SNL that his episode was pulled from syndication and streaming services, and NBC has scrubbed most footage of it from the internet.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.