Saturday Night Live (season 10)

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Saturday Night Live (season 10)
The title card for the tenth season of Saturday Night Live.
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 17
Original channel NBC
Original release October 6, 1984 (1984-10-06) – April 13, 1985 (1985-04-13)
Season chronology
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List of Saturday Night Live episodes

The tenth season of Saturday Night Live, an American sketch comedy series, originally aired in the United States on NBC between October 6, 1984, and April 13, 1985.

Only 17 episodes were produced due to a writer's strike and budget constraints.

During the previous season Eddie Murphy left the show mid season. Because of Murphy's departure Joe Piscopo also left the show because he did not want to do it without Murphy. Dick Ebersol then fired Robin Duke, Brad Hall and Tim Kazurinsky.

Ebersol then wanted to blow up the show by adding seasoned comedians instead of newcomers. He hired Billy Crystal (who hosted twice in season nine and was originally set to appear in SNL's first episode), Harry Shearer (who was a cast member on SNL in its fifth season), New Zealander Pamela Stephenson (from "Not The Nine O'Clock News"), Rich Hall (best known for his work on Not Necessarily the News and Fridays), Martin Short (from SCTV), and Christopher Guest (a frequent contributor to The National Lampoon Radio Hour in the early 1970s). Guest would become the anchor of Saturday Night News.

In the middle of the season, Harry Shearer left the show due to "creative differences" (which Shearer describes as "I was creative; they were different")[citation needed]. Despite his departure, his image is still shown in the opening credits (spray-painting an elevated train as it goes down the track).

This season also featured a new opening sequence, depicting the SNL cast as giants in and around New York City landmarks.

At the end of the season, Ebersol requested to completely revamp the show to include mostly prerecorded segments. Short, Guest, and Hall had tired of the show's demanding production schedule and showed little interest in returning for another season, leaving Crystal the only "A-cast" member available for Season 11. Like Lorne Michaels at the end of Season 5, Ebersol made taking the show off the air for several months to re-cast and rebuild a condition of his return. Another idea was to institute a permanent rotation of hosts (Billy Crystal, David Letterman and Joe Piscopo) for "a hip The Ed Sullivan Show".

After briefly canceling the show, NBC decided to continue production only if they could get Michaels to produce again. Ebersol, along with his writing staff and most of the cast, left the show after this season. Those who wished to stay, such as Crystal, were not rehired for the following season.


bold denotes Weekend Update anchor


Billy Crystal, Larry David, Christopher Guest, Rich Hall, Rob Riley, and Martin Short joined the writing staff. Jim Downey and Harry Shearer rejoined the staff after a four year hiatus. Robin Duke, Adam Green, Tim Kazurinsky, Michael McCartney, Eddie Murphy, Pamela Norris, and Joe Piscopo left the staff.

This season's writers were Jim Belushi, Andy Breckman, Billy Crystal, Larry David, Jim Downey, Christopher Guest, Rich Hall, Nate Herman, Kevin Kelton, Andy Kurtzman, Margaret Oberman, Rob Riley, Herb Sargent, Martin Short, Harry Shearer, Andrew Smith, Bob Tischler and Eliot Wald. The head writer was Bob Tischler.


Saturday Night Live season 10 episodes
No. # Host(s) Musical guest(s) Original airdate
179 1 (none) Thompson Twins October 6, 1984

The Thompson Twins performs "Hold Me Now" and "The Gap."

Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, Rich Hall, Martin Short and Pamela Stephenson's first episode as cast members.

Harry Shearer rejoins the cast after a four-year hiatus.

Crystal, as Fernando, anchors Saturday Night News.
180 2 Bob Uecker Peter Wolf October 13, 1984

Peter Wolf performs "Lights Out" and "I Need You Tonight."

Bob Uecker anchors Saturday Night News.

Yogi Berra makes a guest appearance.
181 3 Jesse Jackson Andrae Crouch
Wintley Phipps
October 20, 1984

Andrae Crouch performs "Right Now" and Wintley Phipps performs "Tell Me Again."

The first appearance of Willie and Frankie on the "You Know What I Hate?" sketch.

Jesse Jackson anchors Saturday Night News.
182 4 Michael McKean Chaka Khan
The Folksmen
November 3, 1984

Chaka Khan performs "I Feel for You" and "This Is My Night."

Edwin Newman anchors Saturday Night News.

Bobby Fraraccio appears as Barry Manilow on "Fernando's Hideaway."
183 5 George Carlin Frankie Goes to Hollywood November 10, 1984

Frankie Goes to Hollywood performs "Two Tribes" and "Born to Run."

Carlin anchors Saturday Night News.
184 6 Ed Asner The Kinks November 17, 1984

The Kinks performs "Do It Again" and "Word of Mouth."

Ed Asner anchors Saturday Night News.
185 7 Ed Begley, Jr. Billy Squier December 1, 1984

Billy Squier performs "Rock Me Tonite" and "All Night Long."

Christopher Guest hosts Saturday Night News.
186 8 Ringo Starr Herbie Hancock December 8, 1984

Herbie Hancock performs "Junku" and "Rockit."

Guest appearance by Barbara Bach, wife of host Ringo Starr.
187 9 Eddie Murphy Robert Plant & the Honeydrippers December 15, 1984
Robert Plant and the Honeydrippers performs "Rockin' at Midnight" and "Santa Claus Is Back in Town."
188 10 Kathleen Turner John Waite January 12, 1985

Harry Shearer's final episode as a cast member.

John Waite performs "Saturday Night."
189 11 Roy Scheider Billy Ocean January 19, 1985
Billy Ocean performs "Caribbean Queen" and "Loverboy."
190 12 Alex Karras Tina Turner February 2, 1985
Tina Turner performs "What's Love Got to Do with It" and "Private Dancer."
191 13 Harry Anderson Bryan Adams February 9, 1985

Bryan Adams performs "Somebody" and "Run to You."

Guest appearances in the audience by Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Marty Stuart, Christopher Reeve, and Carol Burnett.
192 14 Pamela Sue Martin Power Station February 16, 1985

Power Station performs "Some Like It Hot" and "Get It On (Bang a Gong)."

Pre-recorded guest appearances by Terri Garr, Susan Lucci, Morgan Fairchild, Lynn Swann, and Ann-Margret.
193 15 Mr. T
Hulk Hogan
The Commodores March 30, 1985

The Commodores performs "Nightshift" and "Animal Instinct."

Guest appearances by Steve Landesberg, Liberace, Rowdy Roddy Piper, and Bob Orton, Jr..
194 16 Christopher Reeve Santana April 6, 1985

Santana performs "Say It Again" and "Right Now."

Guest appearance by Steven Wright.
195 17 Howard Cosell Greg Kihn April 13, 1985

Greg Kihn performs "Boys Won't" and "Lucky."

Billy Crystal, Jim Belushi, Mary Gross, Christopher Guest, Rich Hall, Gary Kroeger, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Martin Short and Pamela Stephenson's final episode as cast members.

Note: Dick Ebersol's final episode as executive producer.


# Special Original airdate
1 "SNL Film Festival" March 2, 1985
Hosted by Billy Crystal, presenting short films and commercial parodies. Eddie Murphy, Joe Piscopo, Robin Williams, Tim Kazurinsky, and Stevie Wonder make appearances in pre-recorded segments from previous seasons. Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert review the show. John Candy and Eugene Levy plug next week's show with musical guests Hall & Oates (who don't end up appearing due to a writers strike).
1 "The Best of John Belushi" August 3, 1985
The special featured some of the best material featuring John Belushi during his stint on the show. Sketches include Sam Peckinpah, Beethoven Composes 'My Girl', Beethoven Composes 'What I Say', Vito Corleone in Therapy, Samurai Deli, Wilderness Comedian, The Last Voyage of the Starship Enterprise, The Bee Honeymooners, Dragnet, Tomorrow with Tom Snyder, Mussolini Reenactment, Little Chocolate Donuts, Olympia Cafe, Don't Look Back In Anger, The Academy Awards, Superhero Party and Miles Cowperthwaite, Part Two: I Am Nailed to the Hull." The special also features musical numbers Belushi performs on the show: Belushi as Joe Cocker performs A Little Help From My Friends and The Blues Brothers performs "King Bee," "Soul Man," and "B-Movie Boxcar Blues."