6. Sinead O'Connor: October 3rd, 1992
stunned," said Lorne Michaels of the single most controversial moment in SNL history, "but
not as much as the guy from the audience who was trying to charge her." In
a performance that garnered more than 4,000 phone calls to NBC, O'Connor
delivered a chilling a cappella rendition of Bob Marley's "War,"
changing the line "fight racial injustice" to "fight sexual
abuse," and then tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II. O'Connor later
admitted that viewers might've missed the significance of the act, a protest
against incidents of sexual abuse in the Irish church that emerged years before
similar scandals hit the U.S. "It's very understandable that the American
people did not know what I was going on about," she said later.