Charles Barkley Talks Nirvana Hotboxing Their 'SNL' Dressing Room In 1993

Dave Grohl, Kurt Coabin, Krist Novoselic of Nirvana photographed in 1991.
Paul Bergen/Redferns

Dave Grohl, Kurt Coabin, and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana photographed in 1991.  

Just under two years after their performance of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" on Saturday Night Live helped solidify Nirvana's journey to the pop stratosphere (that same month, Nevermind took the top spot on the Billboard 200 from Michael Jackson), the Seattle grunge band returned to SNL for a follow-up.

Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic performed "Rape Me" and "Heart-Shaped Box" on SNL in 1993, but it's not the music that host Charles Barkley remembers. No, it's the weed.

On a recent radio show chat with sportscaster Dan Patrick, NBA legend Barkley recalls Nirvana hotboxing their SNL dressing room and getting a contact high every time their door opened.  

"I didn't know anything about Nirvana," Barkley admitted, adding that their dressing rooms were about three feet apart. "First of all, they were fantastic. All the guys were really nice, and I think Courtney [Love] was there also. I had people coming in and out [of my dressing room], friends, so I kept the door open. But every time those guys from Nirvana opened their locked door, I got a contact high. It was like one of those big mushroom clouds came. I was scared to go to the airport [after that]."

The other two times Barkley hosted SNL, Alicia Keys and Kelly Clarkson were the musical guests. No word if they hotboxed their dressing rooms, too.

Watch Barkley share his Nirvana story below.


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