December 17th 1977 the musical guest on Saturday Night Live was supposed to be The Sex Pistols.
But they were unable to make it.
The show reached out to The Ramones.
Joey reportedly responded “We don’t substitute for anybody”.
Elvis Costello had recently released his debut album “My Aim Is True” and was touring in the area.
Elvis accepted the offer to take the musical guest slot.
His new label wanted him to play his single in the UK “Less Than Zero”.
Elvis figured it wouldn’t be interesting to Americans watching on TV because it’s a song about a British politician.
Seconds into beginning that song Elvis waved to the band and told them to stop before stepping to the mic and saying “I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen, but there’s no reason to do this song here.”
Then Elvis and The Attractions launched into the song “Radio Radio”.
You can watch the performance below.
It would be until 1989 before Elvis had his ban reversed and could return to the show.
Then on the SNL 25th anniversary show Elvis appeared with The Beastie Boys to goof on that stunt.
You can watch Elvis with The Beastie Boys below as well.