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Cool TV Video of the Day: The Performance that Got Elvis Costello Banned From SNL

Elvis Costello and the Attractions’ infamous performance of “Radio Radio,” which NBC and Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels did not want played because is a protest song about the media, took place on December 17, 1977. Ironically, the performance and the ban probably would not have happened had the originally scheduled guests the Sex Pistols, who were even more controversial, been able to obtain passports.

At the beginning of the performance, Costello and his band start to play their song “Less Than Zero,” but then stop to consult. This ends with a full performance of “Radio Radio.”

The ban only lasted 12 years. Since 1989, Costello has appeared on SNL 3 times. Lorne Micahels even invited Elvis Costello to perform “Radio Radio” with the Beastie Boys for Saturday Night Live‘s 25th anniversary special.


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