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The painfully awkward reason Adrian Brody was permanently banned from Saturday Night Live


Adrian Brody, the critically acclaimed and Oscar-winning actor who achieved recognition in 2002 after starring in Roman Polanski’s film The Pianist, has his name etched in the annals of the film industry for eternity.

His victory in the ‘Best Actor’ category at the Academy Awards made him the youngest actor to win in that accolade, a celebration of a quite spectacular performance which established Brody as a Hollywood superstar who very rarely misjudges a cinematic opportunity. However, in the world of television, the actor has had less success.

Saturday Night Live may well be one of the most lucrative late-night shows of all time and, as many know all too well, the chance to perform as either the musical guest or the host is a commercial opportunity not to be missed. However, some artists don’t seem to realise the chance they have to reach a national audience or perhaps they do and are keen to make a point. Adrian Brody, on the other hand, misjudged the situation spectacularly.

While Brody’s success with The Pianist cemented his place on the big screen, one which has seen the actor most famously create an unbinding relationship with director Wes Anderson, his first foray into the world of TV fell awkwardly flat. Brody, booked to host Saturday Night Live on May 10, 2003, would make the crucial mistake of taking to the stage in an improvised skit which was later criticised as racially offensive,

Going against all the pre-planning and preparation, Brody went off-script and walked on stage to present his intro wearing faux dreadlocks and began to don a Jamaican accent in reference to the fact that the show were planning to welcome Jamaican reggae musical guest Sean Paul to perform. “Ya, ya, ya, ya, you know, man. We got original rude boy Sean Paul here,” Brody begins to say as the crowd falls silent.

He continues: “Respect all respect. My auntie. Respect all aspect, respect me neck, respect me knees, Big up Jamaica massive! Big up Kingston Massive! We got the whole family now, ya here! Big respect to my man Sean Paul the dance floor killer!” 

The skit, which has largely been removed from the internet despite the short clip below, lasts less than a minute but, in truth, trying to watch it feels like a lifetime. Lorne Michaels, the now-iconic producer of SNL, famously hates improvised bits and swiftly banned Brody following the incident.

See the clip, below.