The 7 Worst ‘SNL’ Musical Performances Of All Time

Tuesday, January 17 by

Ashlee Simpson

Ashlee Simpson’s legendary performance on SNL taught me a life lesson I still hold dear today: If you hit a snag in any situation and need to buy yourself some time to think, do a jig while you regroup. This little secret has served me well in job interviews, eulogies, and when I get pulled over for drunk driving.

Of course, this scandal, (if anything pertaining to Ashlee Simpson can actually be a “scandal”) resulted from a lip-synched rendition that went horribly wrong when the singing for her first song, “Pieces of Me,” were heard again when she was supposed to be singing “Autobiography.” It would have been as disastrous as the Milli Vanilli lip-synching fiasco if anyone had thought as highly of Ashlee Simpson as they did of Milli Vanilli.


While the hardcore punk band Fear’s appearance on SNL in 1981 was by all measures, a shitshow, I think it provided one of the more interesting and charming aspects of the show in its early years. Fear wasn’t on the radar of most Americans at that (or any other) time, but former cast member John Belushi was fond of them and had successfully lobbied to get them on the Halloween show. However, once they took the stage, punks bumrushed the studio and began slamdancing during the performance, causing a nation to collectively drop their monocles into their martini glasses.

The estimates of damage done to the set vary wildly, between $20,000 and $500,000. Either way, job well done, fellas.


I’ll be honest. I hate Coldplay, so even their best, most over-achieving performance would probably have found them on this list. Their lyrics remind us that stars are yellow and every teardrop is a waterfall.

They are huge pussies and they must be stopped.

I’m trying to set aside my personal feelings in saying that this performance failed to clear the low bar the band has set for itself. Onstage playing “Viva la Vida,” Chris Martin (husband to Gwyneth Paltrow, father to bullying victims Apple and Moses) writhes around in a performance that manages to fall flat in tiny studio 8H, making us wonder how he’s able to pull off those gigs in arenas full of yuppies.

Following this debacle, Coldplay sales at your neighborhood Starbucks fell almost 29%.

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