On nearly half the weekends throughout the year, Saturday Night Live airs live from 30 Rock’s Studio 8H. Bringing an hour and a half of live sketch comedy to the masses, the Lorne Michaels-led show is currently airing its 47th season on NBC. Sometimes hosts are applauded after they host the show fives times. Other times, they’re banned after a single appearance.
When it comes to someone like Samuel L. Jackson, he falls into the second group of hosts, if any. While the beloved Hollywood mainstay isn’t technically banned from the series, he blames longtime SNL star Kenan Thompson for causing the scenario which has prohibited him from appearing on the show in nearly a decade. You see, Jackson said two expletives during a single sketch in an episode in which he cameoed.
“Kenan got me banned from Saturday Night Live,” Jackson told guest host, and SNL alumnus, Leslie Jones on an appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show. “He didn’t cut me off soon enough and I said the forbidden word on television. He was supposed to cut me off!”
The incident happened during a 2012 episode of the show when Jackson appeared on the “What’s Up With That?” sketch. In it, Jackson dropped a full f-bomb before Thompson, playing a talk show host in the sketch, reminded Jackson that expletives cost the show money. Jackson then ended the sketch by dropping “sh-t” too.
Thompson is the longest-tenured member of the SNL cast and last year, he said he wasn’t in a rush to leave the show. He’s currently in his 18th year on the show.
“We’re on Season 46 right now — I’ve been there for 17 [years],” he explained. “It’s a wild place! That’s why I am never in a rush to leave because I have never seen anything like it and number two, there aren’t many live shows left. It never gets old because it’s sketch comedy and it changes every week.”
“You were either a child actor in movies…or you just were a TV kid and that’s all you did,” Thompson added about his earlier years. “You aren’t a working person that goes from job to job to job and just has a career. That was a new-ish type of thing. Our generation was focused on getting other jobs and other gigs.”
Saturday Night Live is streaming in its entirety on Peacock.