In the 90s, Michael Jordan didn't just win 6 NBA championships but also became a global phenomenon. MJ was not just a basketball superstar but an icon that many people wanted to see, whether live, on TV, or wherever he appeared. It was also the same era when almost all late-night TV shows wanted Jordan to grace them his presence, including Saturday Night Live (SNL) — which is still one of the most popular entertainment shows on television.
In 1991, Jordan was a prestigious guest on SNL, and let's just say his appearance is still considered one of the most hilarious and best of all time.
Jordan's SNL monologue
To give a quick brief (for those who don't know), SNL has been ongoing for more than 4 decades as they call upon celebrity hosts (like Jordan in 1991) to perform comedic skits and monologues for the audience.
In 1991, SNL requested Jordan to do several skits of inappropriate commercials for his monologue. One commercial included was Jordan selling pornography, where he was hilariously quoted saying porn isn't what it is if he's not in it.
"So when you want hardcore pornographic videos, remember this label because it's not really pornographic unless it says Michael Jordan," Jordan said in his SNL skit.
The commercial never aired on TV except in that one SNL episode which was done for mere entertainment and laughs. Aside from the fabricated commercial monologue, Jordan was also tasked by the SNL production crew to do a daily affirmation skit, in which he did several scenes with comedian Stuart Smalley.
The SNL crew loved working with Mike.
In 2018, Tim Meadows (one of the longest-running cast members on SNL) recalled the time he had with the 6-time champion himself. According to Meadows, Jordan was the perfect guest because of his charismatic nature and ability to entertain an audience and make them laugh — which made him the ideal guest for SNL.
"He was very nice, first of all. I told him that I was a Pistons fan and he goes 'I hate the Pistons'. He didn't even mist words, he was like 'I hate them'. But then, he was supposed to do a film for a commercial and what it turned out to be was the Michael Jordan pornography, that was his sketch because he sells everything and people like him so much so he's got his own line of pornography and Al Franken actually wrote that skit," Meadows said in his appearance on the Mickstape podcast in 2018.
Jordan had his fair share of late-night TV show appearances but his guesting on SLN is definitely on top of the list of the best shows he's ever done. Aside from MJ, Charles Barkley, LeBron James, and Bill Russell were also featured in one of the world's most popular comedy live shows.