The 7 Worst ‘SNL’ Musical Performances Of All Time

Tuesday, January 17 by
The nation has been looking for a target for its collective loathing since Bin Laden was killed. Here she is.  

Internet sensation Lana Del Rey performed on Saturday Night Live over the weekend, and her performance is being called one of the worst in the show’s long, long history. Though new to the music landscape, she had already been met with skepticism, with many feeling her indie credibility was largely manufactured, a position that was supported by her shoddy performance.

She was selected for the show due exclusively to buzz, as her output at the time of her selection consisted of a two-song web EP. As such, it would appear that Del Rey wasn’t prepeared for the gig. She appeared visibly nerous and seemed to make several mistakes during the performances, prompting no less than Brian Williams to write an email to Gawker panning her performance.

Here are a handful of other notorious SNL performances that would have undoubtedly upset Brian Williams as well.


The performances here fall into two groups, largely. Performances by shitty artists that are as shitty as the artists themselves and performances by decent artists that are shitty. This performance is the former.

It’s unclear what makes Ke$ha a star, so I’m comfortable assuming it’s her eagerness to get on her back for everyone in the music industry, from record execs to the guys that sell bootleg t-shirts outside concert venues.

This performance would seem to support my theory, as this video defies all logic blending astronauts, patriotism, and lots of spectacle with a song that’s pretty much about being a drunk white trash whore.

This performance is exactly as good as it should be.

Sinead O’Connor

This will sound horribly jaded, but I find it quaint that, as recently as 1992, people were mortified by the fact that Sinead O’Connor tore up a picture of the pope at the end of her a capella rendition of “War,” urging the audience and viewers to “fight the real enemy.” What do you think would happen if someone like Adele tore up a picture of Pope Benedict next weekend? I would guess you would hear a hiccup, a squeaky fart, then some polite applause.

Adding to the haunting nature of O’Connor’s performance is Lorne Michaels’ now-infamous decision to not light up the applause sign, creating an even more uncomfortable silence all the way to commercial.

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