Fun Fact #18: Banned from SNL

Posted: March 1, 2013 by Tuned In, Turned Up in Fun Facts
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It’s hard to believe that the same sweet Elvis Costello that guest starred on Stephen Colbert’s Christmas Special back in 2008 was once controversial enough to be banned from SNL, but on December 17, 1977, Elvis was officially deemed “banned”.

Filling in for the Sex Pistols, Elvis Costello was the first British Punk/New Wave Rock act on SNL. The creators of Saturday Night Live had told him in advance that he was not to perform “Radio Radio”, so he instead was set to perform his growing hit, “Less Than Zero”. Within the first 10 seconds of performing that though, he said “I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen, there’s no reason to do this song here” and immediately broke out into an aggressive performance of “Radio Radio”.

Costello’s ban wasn’t lifted for another 12 years. In 1999, during the show’s 25th anniversary season, he reprised the original stunt during the Beastie Boys’ performance of “Sabotage”.

You can view the original performance here!

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