Why People Consider Steven Seagal The All-Time Worst Host Of SNL

It was 1991, and the really meaty days of hating Steven Seagal were still in front of us. He hadn't yet run a tank into a dog or assisted in the euthanization of a hundred chickens. Gene LeBell had only recently made the action star soil his dungarees, and the story hadn't been widely circulated yet. Seagal's hit diddy "Alligator Ass" was still some fifteen years in the future.

No, Steven was still a hot commodity, with recent successes like Above the Law, Hard to Kill and Marked for Death heralding an oncoming era of three-word Steven Seagal movie titles (see also: Out For Justice, Half Past Dead, Out Of Reach, Into The Sun, and a heaping scoop of the rest of his iMDB page.) The man who would one day serve steaming platters of justice as reality television's most perplexing law enforcement officer was going to make his Saturday Night Live debut. On a related note, he was also about to perform on Saturday Night Live for the last time, inscribing his name into the annals of SNL history as the Worst Host Ever.

Hard to Kill from New York

So how do you become the oft-alleged worst guest on SNL? From the sounds of things, you've gotta spin kick your ambitions from every possible angle.

Right off the bat, Seagal apparently took himself too seriously, a questionable approach to celebrity-centric sketch comedy. In an episode of Rob Lowe's Literally! podcast, David Spade described the action star, saying "He was too cool and he had his image ... He couldn't be relatable." He tossed in another quick descriptor — Seagal's "one-inch ponytail was a little too tight that night." Thus spoke Kuzco.

In Live From New York, the oral history of the show, Tim Meadows offered his own take on the process of working with Steven Seagal, saying that "he would complain about jokes that he didn't get" and "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." After a full week of working with that, the martial artist had earned himself a reputation — the next year, when Nicolas Cage performed a purposely misogynistic monologue, the bit wrapped up with Cage apologizing to Lorne Michaels, saying of the audience "They probably think I'm the biggest jerk who's ever been on the show." Michaels' response: "No, no. That would be Steven Seagal."

Luckily, Seagal was banned from the show, and there was never another bad episode of SNL again.