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10 Banned Talk Show Guests: What They’ve Done & Why They Deserved It

Kathy Zerbib |
December 19, 2012 | 10:27 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

After her ban on David Letterman’s talk show was lifted, Kathy Griffin opted to take off her dress during an interview with him (Photo Credit - Getty-Examiner & CareerUpshift).
After her ban on David Letterman’s talk show was lifted, Kathy Griffin opted to take off her dress during an interview with him (Photo Credit - Getty-Examiner & CareerUpshift).
Kathy Griffin on “The Late Show with David Letterman”

Comedian Kathy Griffin is no stranger to being banned from talk shows, as she has made herself infamous on “The View,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “The Late Show with David Letterman” (other shows are also rumored to have banned Griffin). Why? She has a nasty habit of swearing (an obvious no-no on television), insulting other celebrities and taking off her clothes. David Letterman had previously banned Griffin in the 90s for her incessant potty mouth, but lifted the restriction in 2009 by having her on his show. The interview began normally, as shown in this clip… until the comedian stood up and decided to remove her dress, which launched the evening into an awkward state. Needless to say, the ban was a blessing.


Hugh Grant on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”

According to Jon Stewart, Hugh Grant was a less than preferable guest back in 2009 when Stewart interviewed him on his film “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” Vanity Fair reports that Grant complained over the film clip used by the show that was undoubtedly chosen by the film’s publicist. In addition to his nitpicking, Stewart claims the actor repeatedly complained that he had other priorities to attend to and acted in a generally snotty way. This may seem a bit absurd on Jon Stewart’s part, as one would expect most of the celebrities, government officials and otherwise high-end guests on the show to act in a standard divalicious manner and demand their way. Apparently, Hugh Grant simply took it too far. 


Gilbert Gottfried on “The Howard Stern Show”

One would think the comedian would be banned from a talk show for being offensive, but no. Gottfried was banned from Howard Stern’s show for merely going on another radio show. However, the two are not in any sort of feud, as Stern came to Gottfried’s defense when the comedian was being criticized for poking fun at the Japanese tsunami incident. Yet banning Gilbert Gottfried would seem to be a necessary decision, as he is quick to insult and has a voice that is so painstaking and distinctive (here’s an example, if you can stand it!). Keeping Gottfried far away from a talk show, especially one on the radio, should be every talk show host’s decision.


Vince Vaughn on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”

Because Vince Vaughn’s film “The Dilemma” features gay jokes and Ellen DeGeneres is clearly a pro-gay marriage advocate, the actor was banned from promoting his film on her show. Allowing him to come on the talk show and freely broadcast material she found offensive and against her personal beliefs would be hypocritical and absurd on her part. DeGeneres, then, was right in her choice to deny Vaughn air-time, though her decision to do so was found to be unnecessary.


Sinead O’Connor on “Saturday Night Live”

Singer Sinead O’Connor was never invited back to the show after her controversial decision to perform the Bob Marley song “War” using her own anti-Catholic Church lyrics as protest (seen here). During her performance in 1992, she sang about child abuse and memorably tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II. A shocked audience and cast were her witnesses. Her on-air time was cut short and she has since been banned from the show. Though her efforts and belief in her cause are entirely admirable, O’Connor’s antics are unforgivable and “Saturday Night Live” was justified in never allowing her back on since.


Adrien Brody on “Saturday Night Live”

Adrien Brody hosted “Saturday Night Live” back in 2003 and delivered a performance that the show’s producer Lorne Michaels found highly offensive (which is surprising, considering it’s “Saturday Night Live”). The actor did not stick to the show’s script, his first major strike that night. Then, when introducing the musical performer Sean Paul, Brody came on stage in dreadlocks and a horrific Jamaican accent. Though the crowd laughed, Brody was banned from the show permanently. One cannot help but wonder why his ban came about. Yes, his racist actions against Sean Paul was a cheap laugh, but considering how much offensive material the show comes up with, how could they blame Brody for participating?


Madonna on “Piers Morgan Tonight”

Shockingly enough, Piers Morgan has stated that he previously made a list of celebrity guests who were banned from his CNN and UK talk shows. Music artist sensation Madonna is among the group on his list, whom he banned via Twitter. Referring to her as ‘boring’ and having ‘considerably less’ talent than Lady Gaga, Morgan justified banning Madonna merely on the grounds that he found her to be an older subject that had since been replaced. Put simply, Piers Morgan felt the need to add to his uncharismatic tendencies and attacked Madonna because he assumed he had grown a large enough fanbase that would support him. He clearly had not.


Kelsey Grammer on “Piers Morgan Tonight”

Piers Morgan must consider his talk show the hot spot of the year and his guests the luckiest celebrities, as he insists on banning people on a regular basis. In Kelsey Grammer’s case, however, one cannot help but side with Morgan (alas). Grammer reportedly left the set just before the interview started, after the program aired a picture of his ex-wife, Camille Grammer. Hear what Morgan had to say about the incident with Grammer here.


Howie Mandel on “Piers Morgan Tonight”

After everything the pair has undergone on their time as co-judges for “America’s Got Talent,” it is no wonder that Piers Morgan added Howie Mandel to his list of banned guests on his two talk shows. Mandel constantly plays pranks on Morgan, testing his patience with fart machines and soda machine blockades. Morgan even called his co-judge the “most annoying man [he’d] ever met.” It is no surprise, then, that Howie Mandel will not be featured on “Piers Morgan Tonight” anytime soon…though Mandel may just find a way to get on as another practical joke.


Bobcat Goldthwait on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”

As far as inappropriate guests go, Bobcat Goldthwait is as inappropriate as it gets. During his interview with Jay Leno, Goldthwait pulled out a can of lighter fluid, doused his chair in it and set the chair on fire. Goldthwait claims the incident was not because of drugs or alcohol, which makes the scene even more confusing and strange. The fire was obviously premeditated, as Goldthwait had brought the lighter fluid with him for the interview. Yet, the incident seems so out of place and insane that any reason behind his actions are not understandable. Thus, Bobcat Goldthwait inevitably deserved to be banned from talk shows.


Reach Staff Reporter Kathy Zerbib here; follow her on Twitter here.



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