1981: Charles Rocket, SNL's Next Big Star, Is Fired For Dropping F-Bomb
By | February 18, 2020
When Charles Rocket joined the show in 1981, Saturday Night Live was in a make-or-break scenario. It was the first season without Lorne Michaels at the helm and it had an all new cast. New cast member Charles Rocket was supposed to be a standout performer -- in the tradition of Chevy Chase and Bill Murray -- and he kind of was, just not for the reason he wanted to be. After Rocket dropped the F-bomb on the air during the credits of a 1981 episode of the long running comedy show, he and many of his coworkers were fired, and he spent the rest of his life trying to live down the flub. Unfortunately he took his own life in 2005. Getting fired from Saturday Night Live may not have been the reason behind his suicide, but certainly weighed on him.
Before He Was On SNL, Rocket Was An Art School Kid
After growing up in Bangor, Maine, Rocket studied at the Rhode Island School of Design in the late ‘60s before getting into the RISD underground scene that birthed bands like the Talking Heads and director Gus Van Sant. He acted in short films and even fronted a band called The Fabulous Motels as a singing accordion player. His foray into comedy started when he filmed a series of faux news reports under the name “Charles Kennedy.” Rocket’s work was so deadpan that he eventually scored a job working as a news reporter for a short period of time.