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Where would Saturday Night Live be if it didn’t stir up trouble every now and then?
The venerable sketch series has earned plenty of praise over the years for tackling challenging subject matter and shining a light on important issues. However, not everyone has always agreed with how the show has approached such topics.
Here are 10 of the most controversial sketches in the show’s 40-year history.
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Word Association (1975)
This bit from the show’s first season, featuring Richard Pryor and Chevy Chase, would probably face a great deal of flak if it were to debut today.
Nude Beach (1988)
Numerous viewers wrote in to complain about this sketch and its repeated use of the word “penis.”
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Chris Rock has said he vehemently disliked the sketch, as he found it mean-spirited.
Tiger Woods Accident (2009)
The sketch took heat for seemingly trivializing domestic violence.
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Governor David Paterson
Some viewers found the show’s portrayal of New York Governor David Paterson to be offensive to the visually impaired, as the politician himself was initially critical of the impression.
Some Christians were offended by this sketch that claims Jesus was assisting Tim Tebow.
Starbucks Verismo (2013)
The skit was criticized as racist for using voices of black actors to play incompetent Starbucks employees.
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Rosetta Stone (2013)
Thailand’s Ministry of Culture criticized the fake Rosetta Stone ad for implying that the primary reason to visit Thailand is for its sex trade.
DJesus Uncrossed (2013)
Religious groups complained about this skit, which showed Jesus slaughtering Romans and using the phrase, “No more Mr. Nice Jesus.”
Father Daughter Ad (2015)
The most controversial sketch of this current season has been one showing a girl joining ISIS, which some viewers criticizing the show for making light of the terrorist organization.
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