Spade names SNL’s worst-ever celeb host
There are bad Saturday Night Live hosts - and then there's this actor.
On a new episode of Rob Lowe's Literally! podcast, SNL alum David Spade revealed that Steven Seagal took himself too seriously to embrace the show's ethos, and as a result, he ended up "fighting" the cast and crew on various sketches.
"He was too cool and he had his image," said Spade. "He couldn't be relatable."
In April 1991, fresh off success in Hard to Kill and Marked for Death, Seagal was tapped to host Saturday Night Live, but things quickly went off the rails.
Rumours have long circulated that Seagal was difficult to work with, ignored cue cards, and freewheeled his monologue. According to Uproxx, the episode went so poorly that SNL boss Lorne Michaels reportedly banned Seagal from appearing ever again.
Spade has been open about Seagal being "hard to work with" in the past - he said as much on a 2015 episode of Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen - but he elaborated on the issues at great length during an interview on the Literally! With Rob Lowe podcast.
When asked about Seagal's 1991 SNL episode, Spade joked that the action star's "one-inch ponytail was a little too tight that night," but he did admit that the guest was always "friendly" to him.
"You have to sort of trust these 30 people you don't know," explained Spade. "A lot of people think we're there to make fun of them. But if we're getting you on the show to host, we all want it to work.
"And if you make fun of yourself - this is where it gets tricky - it will benefit you. And we promise you. And if you don't, and if you fight it too much - that was (Seagal)."
The former SNL star explained that Seagal refused to do his trademark "kung-fu fighting as a cold open, or a monologue," which put the writers in a difficult spot.
"We had something (in the monologue) where he throws in kicks or something, and it would have been amazing. And I think we walked up and get kicked and fall down," said Spade. "He said he would do it, but he just 'talked it.' He wouldn't do it. He wouldn't play at all, and then in the other sketches, he was fighting us.
"A lot of (hosts), you have to go through their people when you just want to grab someone and say, 'Hey, what about this idea?'" he continued.
"And some people (like Seagal) still make you go through their people."
This article originally appeared in Decider and was reproduced with permission
Originally published as Spade names SNL's worst-ever celeb host