The Real Reason The Replacements Were Banned From SNL

"Saturday Night Live" has been a staple on television since the 1970s. The late-night sketch comedy show was the starting point for many of our favorite celebrities from Will Farrell to Tina Fey. Each week, the show brings on a new celebrity host and musical guest. "SNL" has a great reputation, but not all guests have been easy to work with. In the '80s, the rock group The Replacements were the musical guest. Their time on the show would go so poorly that they were banned from ever returning. The ban even extended to the entire NBC broadcasting network for 30 years. Pitchfork covered their return to NBC on "SNL" alumni Jimmy Fallon's late night show.

You're probably wondering what could go so wrong that a band would be banned from NBC in its entirety after a performance on the network's biggest show. For years, there was some confusion behind the incident. Was the band's misstep intentional? Was their ban a bit harsh? What really happened that Saturday night?

The band had a reputation

Unless you are a major fan of alternative music, you may not be familiar with The Replacements. Rolling Stone describes the band as "The greatest band that never was." There was a lot of hype surrounding this group, but they never took off the way they were expected to. The Replacements were known for being chaotic on stage. Rolling Stone continues, "Live, they careened toward the edge of self-destruction." They were notoriously chaotic on stage. The New Yorker reports that the band was known to have a bad reputation. They were often drunk and failed to perform their own songs at their concerts. A performance by The Replacements could turn into a Black Sabbath or Jackson 5 cover performance, says a long-time fan for Rolling Stone.

Somehow, a band with this type of reputation found its way to one of television's largest empires, and they were not going to tone down their performance for "SNL."

Why they were banned

According to Far Out Magazine, The Replacements landed their gig at "SNL" because of a last-minute cancellation by The Pointer Sisters. They were selected because of the show's musical director at the time, G.E. Smith. He was a huge fan of the band and thought they would be a great fit. He was wrong.

UpRoxx outlined the details of the band's shocking performance. It started with the whole band being drunk out of their minds. What followed was overly loud guitar amps, swear words being spoken on live television and nudity. They even messed up the intro of their song "Kiss Me on the Bus" so bad they had to start the song over. Since "SNL" is recorded live, there was no way they could prevent this footage from being shown across the country. The performance was broadcasted live to millions that night. It was a complete disaster.

Lorne Michaels, the creator of "Saturday Night Live," banned the band from performing on their show again after such a chaotic performance. The episode aired in 1986 and it would be three years before the band would perform on television again. The band broke up in 1991 on stage in Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune. They would get together for a brief reunion, even landing a performance on NBC's "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon." I guess they voided the ban.