When 25-year-old Kenan Thompson (born in 1978) was hired for the 29th season (2003-2004), he became the first cast member born after the show premiered in 1975.
In 1995, Steve Carell auditioned for the show, along with his wife, Nancy Carell. She was cast, he was not. The following season, he was cast as the voice of Gary in the recurring animated segment "The Ambiguously Gay Duo." When he hosted the show in 2005, Carell stated that Will Ferrell beat him for the spot.
Steve Martin and Tina Fey are the only people to host a season premiere, a season finale, and a Christmas show. Martin is the only person to host three times in one season.
Contrary to popular belief, Chevy Chase is not banned from ever hosting the show again. In the official SNL book Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, numerous cast members recalled Chase insulting the cast and crew. According to Terry Sweeney, Chase made homophobic remarks to Sweeney, who is openly gay. According to Will Ferrell, Chase was the worst host during his time on the show. Chase has continued to make cameo appearances on the show, but hasn't hosted since 1997. Because of this, a persistent rumor started that Chase was banned from ever hosting the show. Lorne Michaels denied the ban in a 2018 Washington Post article on Chase, stating his non-hosting since 1997 was just generational.
Some celebrities who were almost cast members include: Jim Carrey (1980), John Goodman (1980), Robert Townsend (1980), Catherine O'Hara (1981), Paul Reubens (1981), Geena Davis (1982), Lisa Kudrow (1990), Jennifer Aniston (1990), and Dane Cook (2002).
Abby Elliott, daughter of Chris Elliott, was the first cast member to be the child of a former cast member. Her grandfather, Bob Elliott, made a guest appearance in the fourth season. At 21 years old, she was the youngest female cast member in the show's history.
Lorne Michaels and the remaining cast members left the show after the fifth season. For the 1980-1981 season, the show was revamped, with a new cast and new producer, Jean Doumanian. The sixth season was so disastrous that NBC President Fred Silverman called in Programming Executive Dick Ebersol one of the show's creative masterminds, to save it. Ebersol fired Doumanian and the rest of the cast, except Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo. He hired a new cast, and the show eventually regained its ratings, mainly due to Murphy's popularity. When Michaels returned in the 1985-1986 season, he wanted his own cast, so the remaining members were fired. Ratings for that season were so low the show was almost cancelled. Michaels convinced Brandon Tartikoff that he could revive the show with a better cast. The show regained popularity, and Michaels has stayed with the show ever since. He later claimed that leaving the show was the biggest mistake of his life.
Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Phil Hartman, Mike Myers and Tina Fey all won Emmys for helping write the show.
In order to make Bill Hader laugh, and break character during the "Stefon" sketches, John Mulaney would change some of the jokes right before the live broadcast, meaning that when Hader was reading the cue cards, he was reading some of the material for the first time. His trademark gesture of covering his mouth with both hands, was his attempt to (often unsuccessfully) conceal fits of laughter.
The balcony level studio audience seats in Studio 8H are actually on-loan from Yankees Stadium. New York Yankees owner George M. Steinbrenner III loaned them out in 1975, with the assumption that the show wouldn't stay on the air long; they were expected back when the show was cancelled. Since then, NBC has had to pay out annual fines to the city of New York. In addition, any time repair work is needed, repair people are sent directly to the studio to do work there, which is more expensive than taking seats to a repair shop.
The word "fuck" has been said several times live on the air. George Carlin hosted the first show, in 1975, and performed "Seven Words You Can't Say on TV.", in 1980, Paul Shaffer said "fuckin'" instead of "floggin.'" In 1981, Charles Rocket, said "I'd like to know who the fuck did it" during a "Who Shot JR?" parody. On the same night, Prince sang the lyric "Fightin' war is such a fuckin' bore." In 1990, singer Morris Day of The Time said "Where the fuck this chicken come from?" and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith sang "feedin' that fuckin' monkey on my back" during their performance. In 1994, Michael Stipe of R.E.M. sang "Don't fuck with me" and Adam Horovitz of Beastie Boys sang "So won't you fuckin' listen" in their performance. In 1997, Norm MacDonald accidentally said, "The fuck was that?" after flubbing a line during "Weekend Update". James Hetfield of Metallica sang "Fuck 'em man, white knuckle tight" during their 1997 performance. In 2009, Jenny Slate accidentally said, "You know what, you stood up for yourself, and I fuckin love you for that." Kristen Stewart dropped the F-bomb during her opening monologue when she hosted in 2017. In 2018, during his first sketch, Sam Rockwell accidentally said, "You can't be this fucking stupid!"
According to Chris Rock, during his time on the show, he wished that he was on In Living Color (1990) instead, which had a predominately African-American cast. After three seasons, he left to join In Living Color as a recurring cast member. The show was cancelled at the end of that season.
Contrary to popular belief, Steve Martin was never a cast member. He has hosted the show 15 times and done occasional surprise appearances.
Studio 8H, where this show is broadcast, is not connected to the GE Building (NBC Studios) at Rockefeller Center, but is suspended by wires from the next floor. Arturo Toscanini, director of the NBC Orchestra, performed on radio from studio 8H, and didn't want vibrations from the subway to disturb his radio broadcasts.
According to Jane Curtin, John Belushi did not believe that women were funny. He would sabotage sketches by female writers by not performing them to his full capacity.
While most of the musical performances on the show are live, a few were lip-synced, and several were taped in advance. The first lip-sync was ABBA on November 15, 1975. The first advance performance was Carly Simon on May 8, 1976, because she was nervous about singing in front of a live audience. On the October 23, 2004 episode, Ashlee Simpson revealed that she was lip-syncing during her second performance, when the same vocal track for her first performance was accidentally replayed. An embarrassed Simpson walked off the stage, and the show quickly cut to commercial.
Three sets of brothers have been cast members: John Belushi and Jim Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and Peter Aykroyd, and Bill Murray and Brian Doyle-Murray.
Street performer Charlie Barnett was cast for the 1980-1981 season. Eddie Murphy replaced him after Barnett was found to be illiterate.
Mike Myers based the character "Dieter" on a student he met in art school. The real Dieter would often say things like "I once had a course where we had to touch tapioca, styrofoam, and monkeys. Michael, perhaps we can go to the zoo and touch monkeys." This inspired Myers' character constantly saying, "Would you like to touch my monkey?"
Kel Mitchell auditioned for a spot in the cast. He was beaten out by his former Kenan & Kel (1996) co-star, Kenan Thompson.
Don Pardo announced his retirement twice, in 2004 and in 2009. Both times, he was convinced to return. He would fly to New York City every week from his house in Arizona. In 2010, Pardo was allowed to record his intros from his home, and have them sent to New York City. Pardo remained with the show until shortly before his death, on August 18, 2014, at the age of 96.
The following people are members of the Five-Timers Club: Alec Baldwin (17 times), Steve Martin (15 times), John Goodman (13 times), Buck Henry (ten times), Chevy Chase (nine times), Tom Hanks (nine times), Christopher Walken (seven times), Elliott Gould (six times), Danny DeVito (six times), Drew Barrymore (six times), Candice Bergen (five times), Bill Murray (five times), Justin Timberlake (five times), Ben Affleck (five times), Tina Fey (six times), Scarlett Johansson (five times), Melissa McCarthy (five times), Dwayne Johnson (five times) and Jonah Hill (five times).
Louis C.K. auditioned for the 1993-1994 season. He was not cast, but James Downey recommended C.K. to Robert Smigel, who was the head writer of a new show, Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1993). C.K. was hired as a staff writer for that show.
All of the main cast members of Friends (1994), except Matt LeBlanc, hosted the show.
In 2001, Will Ferrell became the highest-paid cast member in the show's history. He was paid $350,000 for the 2001-2002 season.
According to Larry David, he stormed into Executive Producer Dick Ebersol's office, and angrily quit the show. When David realized how much money he would be losing, he decided to return to the show and pretend that nothing happened. Ebersol never confronted him about it, and David stayed for the rest of the season. David used this experience as the basis for Seinfeld: The Revenge (1991).
According to Bill Hader, he was recommended to Lorne Michaels by Megan Mullally, who saw him perform with his improvisation group, "Animals from the Future". Mullally was there to support her brother-in-law, Matt Offerman, and was impressed by Hader.
Darrell Hammond holds the records for the number of seasons as a cast member (14, 1995-2009), until Kenan Thompson. oldest cast member (53 in his final season), and the number of times saying "Live from New York, it's Saturday night!" (70). Hammond continued to make guest appearances in the 2009-2010 season, and on Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Summer Edition (2008).
As of 2012, the only female former cast members to return to the show as hosts have been Julia Louis-Dreyfus (May 13, 2006 and March 17, 2007), Molly Shannon (May 12, 2007), Tina Fey (February 23, 2008, April 10, 2010, and May 7, 2011), Amy Poehler (September 25, 2010), and Maya Rudolph (February 18, 2012).
During the 2007-2008 season, Wyatt Cenac, Jordan Carlos, Donald Glover, and Jordan Peele auditioned to join the cast and play Barack Obama. Fred Armisen, who is not African-American, was cast as Obama.
In November 2007, the cast, except for Maya Rudolph, gave a live unaired performance of Saturday Night Live at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City, as a result of the WGA strike. The show featured old and rejected sketches, with the proceeds going to the show's production staff. The host was Michael Cera, and the musical guest was Yo La Tengo. Rachel Dratch, Horatio Sanz, and Norah Jones made cameo appearances.
Jim Henson created new adult Muppets who appeared in every episode of the first season. The Muppet sketches weren't popular with the audience or the writing staff, so they were dropped.
Amy Poehler's 2008 Emmy-nomination as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series made her the first cast-member to be nominated in a category that is usually reserved for traditional comedy series.
Forty-seven-year-old Leslie Jones holds the record for the oldest cast member to join the show. Michael McKean and George Coe were both 46 years old when they joined.
In October 1980, Lorne Michaels and most of the original cast members, who had since left the show, reunited to put together a special that would parody the upcoming Presidential election between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. The special was to air live on November 1, 1980. A few days before the special was to air, Carter and Reagan decided to do another televised debate on November 1. Live coverage of the debate forced NBC to reschedule. NBC offered Michaels the chance to do the special the following week. He refused because it would have been after the election, and the material would no longer be topical.
James Downey is the longest serving writer in the show's history, other than Lorne Michaels. Downey wrote for 30 seasons: 1976-1980, 1984-1998, 2000-2005, and 2006-2013. In 1980, he left the show with Lorne Michaels and the rest of the cast. In 1998, he was fired by NBC Executive Don Ohlmeyer. In 2005, he took time off to write a book. He retired in 2013.
Ana Gasteyer and Chris Parnell auditioned to co-anchor Weekend Update in 2000. But Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon were hired instead.
In 2015, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked all 141 cast members, with John Belushi at #1 and Robert Downey Jr. at #141.
The episodes hosted by Louise Lasser and Milton Berle have never been rerun, at Lorne Michaels' insistence. Lasser refused to do any skits, and locked herself in her dressing room just before airtime, coming out just in time to do the opening monologue. Berle called everyone "Booby", and impressed no one but John Belushi with his mugging, racist jokes, and egomania. In addition, Berle invited many of his friends and family to the show, and orchestrated a standing ovation, which infuriated Lorne Michaels.
According to Kevin Nealon, his character of Mr. Subliminal was based on his friend, actor Ed Peck. Peck would sneak obscene words into everyday conversations exactly like Mr. Subliminal did. Peck called this "tagging".
Al Franken wanted to replace Kevin Nealon as Weekend Update anchor when Nealon left in 1995. When Norm MacDonald was picked instead, Franken left the show.
Featured cast member James Downey (1979-1980) is the uncle of cast member Robert Downey Jr.(1985-1986). James Downey still worked as a writer on the show, when Robert Downey, Jr. was in the cast.
Michael McKean and Dan Aykroyd are the only people to appear as cast members, hosts, and musical guests (McKean as Spinal Tap, Aykroyd as "The Blues Brothers.")
Don Pardo's announcing booth was located in the exact same spot on which Arturo Toscanini's podium once stood, when he conducted the NBC Symphony Orchestra in his long-running series of radio concerts.
Jason Sudeikis auditioned to anchor Weekend Update while he was still a writer on the show in 2004. In 2006, it was reported that Sudeikis would take over Weekend Update, but Seth Meyers was hired instead.
Candice Bergen was the first female host, the first person to host the show for a second time, and the first woman to host five times. Drew Barrymore has also hosted five times, her first being in 1982.
Eight regulars have received Oscar nominations. Joan Cusack, Dan Aykroyd, Robert Downey Jr., Bill Murray, Michael McKean, and Eddie Murphy were nominated after they were regulars. Randy Quaid was nominated before becoming a regular. Kristen Wiig was nominated during her tenure as a regular. McKean was nominated for Best Original Song, Wiig for Best Original Screenplay. The rest were nominated in the acting categories. The original bandleader Howard Shore won two Oscars for Best Original Score and one for Best Original Song.
The first "Weekend Update" anchor, Chevy Chase, has said that he modeled his catchphrase "Good evening, I'm Chevy Chase and you're not" after Eyewitness News (1983) anchor Roger Grimsby's opening line "Good evening, I'm Roger Grimsby, here now the news." Jane Curtin Chase's successor as "Update" anchor, used Grimsby's original intro to open the newscast. On the April 22, 1978 episode, he ended that night's "Update" with Grimsby's closing line, "Hoping your news is good news."
Roseanne Barr and Dwayne Johnson are the only hosts to appear under different names: Roseanne as Roseanne Barr, Roseanne Arnold, and Roseanne and Dwayne Johnson as The Rock and Dwayne Johnson. John Mellencamp is the only musical guest to appear under different names: John Cougar, John Cougar Mellencamp, and John Mellencamp.
Norm MacDonald was removed from Weekend Update in the middle of the 1997-1998 season at the insistence of NBC Executive Don Ohlmeyer, who said MacDonald was "not funny". MacDonald left the show at the end of the season. Rumors spread that Ohlmeyer did not like MacDonald's jokes about O.J. Simpson, who was a friend of Ohlmeyer's. MacDonald has said that he does not believe that was the reason he was fired.
The show gave the Jackass (2000) crew an opportunity to perform their stunts on a weekly basis prior to their show airing on MTV. They declined, but Johnny Knoxville hosted the show in 2005.
John Goodman, a frequent guest host, auditioned for the show in 1980, when he was starting out as an actor.
Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, David Spade, Rob Schneider, A. Whitney Brown, Billy Crystal, Denny Dillon, Michael McKean, Terry Sweeney, Alan Zweibel, Al Franken, Tom Davis, Paul Shaffer, Brian Doyle-Murray, James Downey, Tom Schiller, Yvonne Hudson, Don Novello, Tina Fey, Jason Sudeikis, Rob Riggle, and Ben Stiller appeared on the show before becoming cast members.
One of Kenan Thompson's most common impressions is of Bill Cosby, whom he also often portrayed on All That (1994).
When Harry Shearer left the show during the 1984-1985 season, he cited "creative differences". Shearer would later remark, "I was creative, they were different."
In 2011, Darrell Hammond revealed that he initially opposed the idea of impersonating John McCain. Hammond's father, a World War II veteran, had been severely traumatized by his war experiences. Hammond felt that poking fun at a former prisoner-of-war would be in poor taste.
John Candy was offered a chance to join the cast for the 1981-1982 season. He turned it down to stay with SCTV Network (1981).
According to Norm MacDonald, he copied the premise for "Celebrity Jeopardy" from the SCTV Network (1981) recurring sketch "Half Wits". MacDonald waited for SCTV cast member Martin Short to host the show, so that he could ask permission to use the idea. Short got permission from Eugene Levy, who wrote the original sketch.
The show has only had four directors in its history: Dave Wilson, Paul Miller, Beth McCarthy-Miller, and Don Roy King
The Folksmen, a folk music group seen in A Mighty Wind (2003), formed in the mid-1980s when Michael McKean hosted the show, and Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer were cast members.
Andy Kaufman was banned from the show after viewers voted him off by calling a pay-per-call 1-900 number. The phone-in vote was Kaufman's idea. The bad publicity caused Kaufman to lose club dates. Executive Producer Dick Ebersol promised Kaufman that he would have him back on the show at a later date. Kaufman died two years later.
According to Cecily Strong, the voice for her character in the "Former Porn Stars" sketches, is based on Sasha Grey. Strong saw Grey appear on The Tyra Banks Show (2005).
Tim Meadows and Chris Parnell are the only cast members to be fired and then rehired the following season. Meadows was fired between seasons and didn't miss any episodes.Jim Belushi was fired during his tenure, but was rehired the following month. Announcer Don Pardo was also fired before the seventh season, in an effort to revitalize the show. He was replaced by Mel Brandt, but Pardo was rehired the following season.
Mike Myers' English character Simon was a spoof of the UK television children's series Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings (1976). His character of Linda Richman was based on his mother-in-law.
Conan O'Brien appeared uncredited in many sketches from 1988 to 1991, while he was a writer for Saturday Night Live. Writer, and former cast member, Tom Davis appeared uncredited in many sketches from 1988 to 1994.
Despite the show's core theme of live comedy, stand-up segments of 3 episodes (Saturday Night Live: Richard Pryor/Gil Scott-Heron (1975),Saturday Night Live: Malcolm-Jamal Warner/Run-DMC (1986), and Saturday Night Live: Andrew Dice Clay/Julee Cruise/Spanic Boys (1990)) were broadcast on a seven second tape-delay, to allow censoring any "accidental" expletives.
As of 2013, five cast members have been born outside of North America: Tony Rosato (Italy), Pamela Stephenson (New Zealand), Morwenna Banks (England), Horatio Sanz (Chile), and Nasim Pedrad (Iran).
The following performers are all alumni of the famed Groundlings Theater in Los Angeles, California: Laraine Newman, Jon Lovitz, Phil Hartman, Jan Hooks, Will Ferrell, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, Cheri Oteri, Chris Parnell, Julia Sweeney, Will Forte, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, and Siobhan Fallon Hogan.
When Eric Idle hosted on October 20, 1979, a clip was shown from Idle's project Rutland Weekend Television (1975) of his Beatles parody The Rutles. The success of the clip led to Lorne Michaels co-producing the movie version, The Rutles - All You Need Is Cash (1978), which includes appearances by numerous Saturday Night Live alums and regulars.
Playwright Garrett Morris was originally hired as a writer. His sketches that were deemed too long and dramatic. Chevy Chase suggested that he join the cast as a performer instead.
In all 15 "Celebrity Jeopardy!" sketches, no contestant has ever rung in with a correct response.
During the initial 1975-76 season, the series was titled "Saturday Night" because Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell (1975) aired earlier in the evening on ABC. It was canceled after the first season.
Lorne Michaels wanted Laura Kightlinger to co-anchor with Norm MacDonald on Weekend Update, but MacDonald adamantly refused work with another anchor. Steve Martin convinced Michaels that MacDonald should work alone.
From 1975 to 1980, the map of the world on Weekend Update showed Vietnam split into the pre-1975 North and South.
In November 2013, Kenan Thompson stated in a TV Guide interview that the lack of black females in the cast was because "in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready." Jay Pharoah publicly stated that the show was not trying hard enough to find a black female, and recommended Darmirra Brunson. Lorne Michaels acknowledged the controversy, and special auditions were held in December 2013 to find a black female cast member. The candidates were Brunson, Nicole Byer, Gabrielle Dennis, Azie Mira Dungey, Tiffany Haddish, Leslie Jones, Misty Monroe, Beth Payne, Amber Ruffin, Simone Shepherd, LaKendra Tookes, Bresha Webb, and Sasheer Zamata. Zamata was hired to join the cast, while Jones and Tookes were hired as writers.
Catherine O'Hara was going to join the cast for the 1981-1982 season, but she backed out after Michael O'Donoghue screamed at the cast and crew during a meeting. She recommended Robin Duke, her co-star on SCTV (1976), to replace her.
G.E. Smith was the guitarist for Daryl Hall and John Oates before he joined the Saturday Night Live band.
Tim Kazurinsky was offered the chance to replace Brad Hall as Weekend Update anchor in the 1983-1984 season. Kazurinsky didn't want to take the job from Hall, and turned it down. Hall was fired as anchor anyway, and the show's host would usually anchor for the rest of the season.
The show's 50th Emmy win was Kate McKinnon's, in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series category in 2016.
Eddie Murphy didn't return to the show for several years because of a "Hollywood Minute" sketch in which David Spade made a joke about Murphy's lack of box-office success, saying "Look kids, a falling star, make a wish!"
As of 2013, nine cast members have been born in Canada: Dan Aykroyd, Peter Aykroyd, Paul Shaffer, Robin Duke, Martin Short, Phil Hartman, Mike Myers, Norm MacDonald, and Mark McKinney.
During the 2016 Presidential election, candidate Donald Trump said he would love for Alec Baldwin to play him, and Baldwin said that he would love to play the role. Once Trump received the Republican nomination, and the general election began, Baldwin was cast in the role, and continued the character into Trump's Presidency. Trump later stated that he was offended by Baldwin's portrayal, stating that he "stinks", and that the entire show was "boring and unfunny", despite the fact that he had hosted less than a year earlier. He claimed that Baldwin portrayed him as "mean and nasty", which was not his real personality.
Beginning in 1995, the Saturday Night Live logo used the abbreviation SNL, which became how the show was known.
Dwayne Johnson was scheduled to host on November 10, 2007, with Amy Winehouse as musical guest. The episode was canceled due to the 2007 WGA strike.
Jon Lovitz quit the show after 1989-1990 in order to work on Mom and Dad Save the World (1992). Filming took place during the 1990-1991 season, and Lorne Michaels would not allow Lovitz to miss any episodes.
Jeffrey Ross offered the chance to audition to replace Colin Quinn as Weekend Update anchor. Just before he was to meet with Lorne Michaels, Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey were hired instead.
In an interview on Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast, former writer Alan Zweibel revealed that he would often hide under the Weekend Update desk and feed jokes to the anchors in real time, to capitalize on breaking news events.
Although Kristen Wiig did improvisation at The Groundlings in Los Angeles prior to joining the show, she considers herself an "actress who does comedy", rather than a comedienne.
Guest performances were common in the show's first years, mostly by Andy Kaufman, Al Franken, and Tom Davis (who joined the cast in late 1979 as featured players), Michael O'Donoghue (one of the first cast members), Michael Davis, Harry Anderson (who hosted in early 1985), Steven Wright, Penn Jillette, Teller, and Sam Kinison. By the late 1980s, guest performances became very rare.
According to Marc Maron, he met with Lorne Michaels in 1996 about replacing Norm MacDonald as Weekend Update anchor.
Six presidential candidates have hosted the show. Ralph Nader hosted in 1977, 19 years before becoming the Green nominee in 1996. George McGovern hosted in 1984, 12 years after being the 1972 Democratic nominee. Al Gore hosted in 2002, two years after being the 2000 Democratic nominee. John McCain hosted in 2002, six years before being the 2008 Republican nominee. Roseanne Barr hosted three times in the early 1990s before becoming the 2012 Peace and Freedom nominee. Donald Trump hosted twice, in 2004 and 2015, before becoming the 2016 Republican nominee. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Steve Forbes hosted around the time they ran in the primaries, but none received their party's nomination. Rudy Giuliani hosted in 1997, 11 years before he unsuccessfully ran for the 2008 Republican nomination.
In 1976, the NBC News election unit used Studio 8H for election coverage. The episodes for October 16, 23, and 30 were made in a Brooklyn studio. The February 20, 1977 episode was performed live in New Orleans on a Sunday. Several episodes in 1984 were produced in RCA Bldg Studios 8G and 3A due to election coverage.
According to Jim Breuer in his memoir, Lorne Michaels did not want to hire him, but NBC executives insisted on him. Michaels resented Breuer until he broke through with "The Joe Pesci Show".
Janeane Garofalo was a cast member during the 1994-1995 season. She left before the end of the season due to creative differences.
When the show first debuted, it didn't air every weekend. The news magazine show Weekend (1974) aired "the first weekend every month" (except when it was delayed one week for Eric Idle's first appearance).
Liz Cackowski and Maribeth Monroe are among the women who auditioned for the 2005-2006 season, but both lost out to a newcomer, Kristen Wiig.
Alec Baldwin is the first performer in the show's history to win an Emmy as Best Supporting Actor without being a cast member. He appeared in 17 out of 21 episodes during season 42, exceeding the limit to be considered a guest star.
In October 2017, it was announced that the entire original cast would be inducted into the American Television Hall of Fame.
The show switched stations in Utah twice - at first, it aired on KUTV (CBS affiliate) till 1995, then till 2013 on KUCW (The CW affiliate) and is on KSL (NBC affiliate) since 2013. Salt Lake City's NBC affiliate is owned by the Mormon church.
The characters "The Coneheads" were ranked #15 in TV Guide's list of the "25 Greatest Sci-Fi Legends" (August 1, 2004 issue).
Prior to the 1983-1984 season, Eddie Murphy agreed to appear in ten live broadcasts, and via a taped sketch in ten others. Those ten sketches were taped in September of 1983, and were alternated with Eddie Murphy's live appearances throughout the season.
Prior to joining the cast, Dennis Miller won a Gabriel Award for his work as the host of "Punchline", a children's television show.
Musical Director Lenny Pickett has been the tenor sax soloist on the opening theme since the beginning of the 1985-1986 season. During that time, he has never missed one episode. His fellow Musical Director, Leon Pendarvis, has been in the house band since the 1980-1981 season, and may be the musician with the longest tenure in a television show band.
Christopher Reeve appeared as himself as an audience member in a skit, a few weeks before he hosted the show.
In 2001, NBC aired two live 30-minute special episodes in prime time slots, to fill airtime. Jennifer Lopez, who was hosting the regular show that week, made a cameo in the second special. In 2003, a live "Weekend Update" special aired during Super Bowl XXXV halftime.
Executive Producer Dick Ebersol left the show in 1985 to be a stay-at-home father to his children. His wife, Susan Saint James, was starring in Kate & Allie (1984), and Ebersol promised her that he would work from home while she worked on her show. Lorne Michaels was persuaded to rejoin the show, and has produced it ever since.
In Season 43, Kenan Thompson surpassed Darrell Hammond as the longest-tenured cast member, with 15 continuing seasons. Hammond has been in more episodes than Thompson, has made countless cameos, and has been the show's announcer for over 3 seasons. In 2018, Thompson announced that he has no plans to leave the show anytime soon.
Writer Kevin Brennan was considered to take over for Colin Quinn as Weekend Update anchor. After he was passed over, he left the show.
Ray Romano was originally scheduled to host the show for the second time in April 2002, but had to drop out due to a busy schedule. He was replaced by Dwayne Johnson.
John Belushi originally did not want to be involved with the show, because he hated television. Michael O'Donoghue persuaded Belushi to audition.
Cast members that became famous after their tenures on the show include Julia Louis-Dreyfus,Ben Stiller, and Robert Downey Jr..
Chris Farley accidentally cut himself with glass between his first and second seasons. A scar is visible on his right arm during sketches.
A very loose representation of the show, called "Saturday Night Tonight", appears in the Castle (2009) episode "Castle: Dead from New York (2015)".
The following performers are alumni of Second City Theater in Chicago, Illinois: John Belushi, Jim Belushi, Bill Murray, Brian Doyle-Murray, Danitra Vance, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tim Kazurinsky, Mary Gross, Tim Meadows, Chris Farley, David Koechner, Ana Gasteyer, Nancy Carell, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, and Horatio Sanz.
The following performers are alumni of Second City Theater in Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Dan Aykroyd, Peter Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, Mike Myers, Tony Rosato, Robin Duke, and Martin Short.
Bruce McCulloch and Mark McKinney, from the comedy troupe "The Kids In the Hall," wrote and performed for the show after The Kids in the Hall (1988) ended production.
Gilda Radner was originally set to be the first female original cast member to host in the 13 season, but her episode was cancelled due to a WGA strike. Radner would never get the opportunity to host due to her declining health during the following season, and her death just before the season finale for season 14.
After being the lead in the hit movie Weird Science; and starring in several other hit movies like National Lampoon's Vacation, Sixteen Candles and Breakfast Club, Anthony Michael Hall made the odd choice of joining the cast of Saturday Night Live in 1985. (Usually big stars don't join ensemble cast shows like this; particularly one aimed at novices in the business like this one; after they have already starred in their own hit movies! That's usually considered a step down. ) Hall did not stay for an entire season on SNL. Neither did fellow Weird Science co-star Robert Downey Junior. Ben Stiller did not stay on for an entire season; neither did Jeneane Garafalo. And all went on to be big stars.
After being a very successful ensemble player on Saturday Night Live; Jan Hooks followed up that major success with this slight one; playing one of the supporting characters on Designing Women for two years. After that she did a couple parts here and there, and then dropped out of showbiz altogether; before dying relatively young in 2014. Tina Fey spoke out about Jan Hooks at the time; about the tragedy of her potential not being realized:' "It made me sad when she passed, and it made me mad at the time how available she was," Fey said. "Jan should have had a bigger career. Jan deserved a big movie career. Certainly as big as Rob Schneider's fucking career. She was a bigger star on S.N.L."'
Gilda Radner was seriously being considered by producer Gary Marshall and ABC for one of the characters on Laverne and Shirley. If she had nabbed the part; she would have left SNL after only half a season.
There have been 6 people named "Chris" in the cast of SNL: Chris Rock (16-18), Chris Farley (16-20), Chris Elliott (20), Chris Kattan (21-28), Chris Parnell (24-31), and Chris Redd (43-present). There has also been a Christopher: Christopher Guest (10). There has also been a Christine: Christine Ebersole (7).