Martin Lawrence
Movies - TV
After Martin Lawrence Hosted SNL, He Was Banned From NBC Entirely
In 1994, Martin Lawrence was at the peak of his career, as his hit show “Martin” had been running on Fox since 1992, and he was the host of HBO's hugely influential standup comedy showcase “Def Comedy Jam.” However, when Lawrence hosted “Saturday Night Live” that year, he broke one of the show’s cardinal rules by going off-script and was harshly penalized.
In his opening monologue, Lawrence launched into an unpolished, unscripted, and unrehearsed bit, where he decried the state of female personal hygiene, even suggesting unorthodox usage of a tic-tac to remedy the issue. The crass bit went against Lorne Michaels' hard and fast rule of, ironically, no improv, and it led to Lawrence being banned from “SNL” and NBC as a whole.
In a 2020 interview with “The Breakfast Club,” Lawrence was asked if he was still banned from “SNL,” and he said, “I don't give a damn.” He then added, “The way it went down wasn't what they thought. And then they sent me an apology letter, Warren Littlefield [then head of NBC Entertainment] he sent me a letter and apologized and said, ‘Welcome back to NBC.’”