Ariana Grande Drops Unexpected Profanity Into ‘SNL’ Monologue

Ariana Grande Scream Queens
Courtesy of Fox

Singer and actress Ariana Grande surprised the “Saturday Night Live” audience and crew with an unexpected profanity during her monologue on the program, a slip that in the past has sparked controversy at certain times during the late-night show’s long history.

Grande used her opening moments on the NBC program to poke fun at her past as a child star on Nickelodeon, then transitioned into a musical number in which she pondered what sort of scandal she might eventually encounter. She appeared to flub a line, and in reaction, uttered the phrase “Oh, s–t” while continuing with the song.

Grande’s mistake was unscripted, according to a person familiar with the program, and was expected to be cleaned up for the show’s broadcast on the West Coast.

The celebrity’s stint on the show was otherwise winning. She seemed to really grab the audience during a sketch in which she did impressions of singers ranging from Shakira to Britney Spears to Rhianna, and did a convincing imitation of Jennifer Lawrence during a run-through of “Family Feud  – Celebrity Edition.” She also performed two songs. An appearance by Larry David as Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders boosted the proceedings.

In the past, however, profanity on “Saturday Night Live” has not been rewarded. In February, 1981, cast member Charles Rocket improvised a response to host Charlene Tilton that included the word “f–k,” an incident that went down in infamy. Featured player Jenny Slate inadvertently used a variation of that same word in her debut on the program in September of 2009. While she had a strong first year, and even established herself with a recurring character, she did not return to the program in its next season.

Both of those mishaps took place well after midnight. Grande’s slip occurred during the first fifteen minutes of the broadcast, when the number of viewers watching from home is typically at its apex.

At least one person who swore on a live “SNL” telecast escaped punishment. In 1995, cast member Cheri Oteri uttered the word “s–t” while playing irascible character Rita DelVecchio. Host David Schwimmer called attention to the mistake during the episode’s farewell moments, and Oteri placed some money in a “swear jar.” All was forgiven. Oteri stayed with the program until 2000.

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  1. JEN says:

    Can’t stand her since she licked a donut and said she hates America. She’s what’s wrong with this country. Wished she would leave and never come back. Such a stupid little shit – trying to get more attention.

    • Johnny1248 says:

      Ughhh. it’s been a year since that happened and you are still butthurt over this? ”She’s what’s wrong with the country” No, it’s mistake she did like most 20 year olds do. ”She hates America” No, she explained she loves America but she said that comment out of her frustration over the big issue in America which is child obesity. ”Wished she would leave and come back” ”She’s a stupid little shit” Stop acting like you had a hair across your a**, Ariana has the right to stay in America whether you like her or not. You should be concerned about more important issues. Donald Trump is what’s wrong with the country and so are the white cops killing black people. These are issues you should be concerned, not a celeb doing something silly where in the end she apologized a billion times. Btw, if she was a bad person then why did she donate thousands of dollars to a fan for college tuition? Why does she support so many charities? Why did she adopt so lots of homeless dogs? Why did she invite some of her fans for coffee? Why does she sometimes cry over feeling overwhelmed with the love she gets from her fans? Because she is a good person, that’s not a point of view, that’s a fact, not some ”stupid little sh*t” as you think she is. it’s time to listen and get your head out of your a** instead of being blind over your dislike you have over her. Thank you and have a good day

  2. Visitohr says:

    Hahah, you mericans and your censorship..

  3. ihatefanboys says:

    That was not a mistake. She did it intentionally. If was clearly meant to follow “bitch slapped Adelle”. Shouldn’t let her host anymore. And what was up with hanging that jacket off her arms ? Looked retarded. Then again it is Ariana Grande

  4. Evelyyn says:

    im 10 and i watch SNL and idc if ariana cussed kids at my school cuss more than adults belive me its nothing new.

  5. Jack says:

    Who cares she is old enough to say what she wants and it’s not like kids watch snl

  6. Sheryl E Linsley says:

    Drop HER!!!! First she spit O. Donuts and talked about Hating America!!! Why are Americans standing for this!

    • Johnny1248 says:

      Because she can and has the right to remain relevant. ”Drop her” she ain’t gonna go anywhere bruh. Yeah, she licked a donut, so what? 20 Year olds do silly things like these. Btw, she said ”I hate America” but she explained that she loves the country and that she said ”I hate America” out of her frustration over the child obesity issue in U.S . Also you should be concerned about bigger issues, Jihadists still kill people, white cops kill black people for no reason and also Donald Trump is still being a f*ckhead and you are butthurt over a 20 year old licking a donut? It’s time to get your head out of your a**

  7. Alberto says:

    Is this the same girl that went on and said that she hates Americans and what America stands for and everything American. why is she even relevant now?

    • Crystal says:

      How did you even come up with that? She definitely didn’t say that. She said she hated America as a sarcastic joke while talking to a friend. You definitely took that and ran with it didn’t you? Also, I would say she’s very relevant considering she was asked to host and be the musical guest.

  8. stevenkovacs says:

    Interesting that Ariana came off as a better impersonator of singers than as a singer. Her new songs were weak.

  9. Dawnna says:

    OK; so she slipped.. There’s kids staying up watching SNL with or without their Parents permission.. And Ol Hippies, Yuppies, Bikers & staunch Catholics! (etc. etc.) For the most part SNL is & always has been a ‘Counter Culture’ show.. Some of us love it & some don’t! I wonder what percentage of the people are truly ‘shocked’ by the word “s_i_” !! I’m no prude, but recently went to a “Spencer’s Gift’s” store here in Salem, Oregon.. (for the 1st time in many yrs.) They’ve got everything from “strap-on’ apparatus to a zillion T-shirts w/the F word, beanies, cups, etc.
    I couldn’t believe it! Point being- every cuss word is main stream & there’s no going back.. The proverbial Cat is outta the bag! There IS NO more ShOcK VaLuE! Get over it!

  10. Julia Child says:

    is sh** even a swear word … in reality?!! come on !

    • sweet...but can be toxic says:

      why you include catholic in this Dawnna? Catholic or not that words are not nice word for other people to glorify or immetate especially young kid.

  11. To compare what she said to Charles Rocket is an incredible stretch. I can understand it from the 1,000’s of click bait pretend social media websites, but from Variety? Come on. You can say “crap” all you want on television, the “S” word. (don’t want to be censored) is no different.

  12. Jo Mama says:

    It’s clearly intentional, not in terms of Grande but the network. They flashed the Today Show years ago, and ignoring a forced delay is either monumentally stupid – or it’s exactly how they want it.

  13. Croid says:

    it obvious dat she bees juss a stoopid immature girl who aint puttin much thot wif any thang dat she do ….

  14. Jason Barlow says:

    You forgot an incident. What about when Samuel L Jackson dropped the f-bomb a few years ago during the skit with Keenan, “What’s Up With That?”

    • Brian Steinberg says:

      Actually, Jason, he never completed the word. Kenan interrupted him before he could. It was never clear whether it was an error or part of the script

  15. Joe says:

    the FCC enforces the indecency and profanity prohibitions only against conventional broadcast services, not against subscription programming services such as cable and satellite.

  16. Sal says:

    FX is Basic Cable…they aren’t monitored by the FCC. They only answer to their corporate sponsors, so they can get away with a lot more. Network television has to adhere to the rules set by the FCC.

    • Jo Mama says:

      You know these gov. agencies are comprised of former executives in their respective field of oversight, who are still working for that field – shaping the guidelines and rules to the benefit of the corporations while paying lip service to the American people by claiming staunch “regulation” of industry. It’s all the money power, the money party, and the official script has become an absolute joke.

  17. Andy Maroney says:

    You still can’t say “shit” on TV at 11:30 PM on an adult oriented comedy show without folks getting their knickers in a twist. What year are we living in?

    • Jo Mama says:

      2016 A.D. That was an easy one. If you have a point to make, try articulating it fully and you’ll see then if you really have one.

  18. Joel Young says:

    Seriously? People have a problem with that word? It’s heard on many of the current hit TV shows, along with other “worse” words. I have huge doubts that any SNL viewer really cares.

  19. Ken says:

    Her imitation of JLaw was more than “convincing” — it was UNCANNY!

  20. Jegle Rengaw says:

    Who cares, She was F**King amazing tonight on SNL, Did you hear her singing impersonations, that’s what you should of been writing about. Talent with a capital T.

    • getreal says:

      LOL, calm down. All she had was impersonations? Please, impersonations don’t make you original because you’re still borrowing someones act.
      Let’s see her write a song (both music and lyrics).

      You see, there is a difference between talented and ability. She, like all pop singers, have ability to sing, but not the ability to create. When she writes a complete album by herself and does not use a team of writers to do it, THEN I will say she is talented. Until then, she’s just another Beyonce or Rihanna. Not talented, just good at following directions.

      • CeCe says:

        She just wrote and collaborated on a bunch of songs for her new album, and I would definitely say impersonations take ability and talent. There is a such thing as being a talented performer/singer without completing an entire album by yourself, but still having creative control. Before she was a pop singer she was on Broadway and I’m pretty sure they don’t let just anyone perform there. Artist that complete albums completely by themselves are very rare (but awesome), there’s usually some sort of collaboration whether it’s producing or writing.

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