Saturday Night Live: The best, worst and most controversial performances

Update: 10:39 a.m. Sunday
The Shins

were on

Saturday Night Live

last night night weekend's musical guests.

Being invited to be the musical guest on an episode of SNL has been a benchmark of commercial success for any band of the last forty years. And for good reason: From Andy Kaufman annihilating the fourth wall of broadcast television with his "Mighty Mouse" sing-a-long in 1975 to Radiohead debuting songs from one the best albums of the new millennium in 2000, an SNL musical act has a lot of history to live up to when stepping onto the stage in NBC's studio 8H. Or does it?

Over the last decade, a handful of performers who've graced the legendary stage have embarrassed not only themselves, but the institution itself for even considering them. Lately, if an SNL musical guest is in the news, it's usually not good. From lip-synching blunders to too-much too-soon amateur-in-the-headlights stints, being invited to perform on a stage that's seen Nirvana, the Beastie Boys and Patti Smith can not only expose a lack of talent, but it can stop a band's career dead in its tracks, forever labeling its members as having tripped over themselves on national television.

The Shins, a band at a crossroads of their own, with new members and their first release in five years, will be gracing the tumultuous SNL stage, potentially reviving a stuttering career or tainting it with a weak performance that will remind everyone why you can no longer trust Saturday Night Live to deliver the goods. As a point of comparison, here's a look back at some of the best, worst and most notorious performances to ever grace the SNL stage.



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