Saturday Night Live (season 12)
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|Saturday Night Live
The Saturday Night Live title card as seen in the opening credits of the 12th season.
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||20|
|Original run||October 11, 1986 – May 23, 1987|
Saturday Night Live aired its twelfth season during the 1986-1987 television season on NBC. The 12th season started on October 11, 1986, the 11th anniversary of the show's first episode, and ended on May 23, 1987.
Despite plans to have Saturday Night Live canceled due to the ratings of its previous season, producer Lorne Michaels convinced Brandon Tartikoff to give the show another chance, provided that a better cast be found for the next season. As a result, many of season 11's cast members were fired, except for Nora Dunn, Jon Lovitz, featured player A. Whitney Brown, and Weekend Update anchor Dennis Miller. Al Franken was rehired as a writer. The rest were relative unknowns, led by Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, Jan Hooks, Victoria Jackson, and Kevin Nealon. Hooks had auditioned to be in the season 10 and 11 casts, but had been turned down. Hartman helped write sketches in season 11's Thanksgiving episode hosted by Pee-wee Herman, and appeared in a sketch as a Pilgrim.
The first show of the 1986-1987 season opened with Madonna, host of the previous season opener, reading a "statement" from NBC about season 11's mediocre writing and bad cast choices. According to the "statement", the entire 1985-1986 season was "...all a dream. A horrible, horrible dream."
The season included "Masterbrain", a skit written by Jim Downey and Al Franken, in which Phil Hartman portrayed two sides of Ronald Reagan; 25 years later Todd Purdum called the skit "surely among the show’s Top 10 of all time."
bold denotes Weekend Update anchor
This season's writers were Andy Breckman, A. Whitney Brown, E. Jean Carroll, Tom Davis, Jim Downey, Al Franken, Jack Handey, Phil Hartman, George Meyer, Lorne Michaels, Kevin Nealon, Herb Sargent, Marc Shaiman, Rosie Shuster, Robert Smigel, Bonnie Turner, Terry Turner, Jon Vitti and Christine Zander. Downey also served as head writer.
|No.||#||Host(s)||Musical guest(s)||Original airdate|
|214||1||Sigourney Weaver||(none)||October 11, 1986|
Madonna appears in the cold opening to read a statement from NBC about the 1985–1986 season: "It was all a dream—a horrible, horrible dream." This was a reference to the famous ninth season of Dallas, which was later revealed to be a dream.The Church Lady, as well as the "Chopping Broccoli" sketch.
|215||2||Malcolm-Jamal Warner||Run–D.M.C.||October 18, 1986|
|216||3||Rosanna Arquette||Ric Ocasek||November 8, 1986|
The episode was actually recorded two weeks prior, but delayed due to NBC's broadcast of the legendary sixth game of the 1986 World Series between the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox; the aired version began with a taped segment in which Mets pitcher Ron Darling playfully apologized for the cancellation.Ric Ocasek appears as himself in Church Chat.
|217||4||Sam Kinison||Lou Reed||November 15, 1986|
|218||5||Robin Williams||Paul Simon||November 22, 1986|
|Guest appearance by Art Garfunkel.|
|219||6||Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, Martin Short||Randy Newman||December 6, 1986|
Chevy Chase acknowledges his recent stint in the Betty Ford Center in the monologue and cold opening, a sketch where klutzy people hold a support group meeting called Stumblebums Anonymous.
In a sketch written by Jim Downey and Al Franken, Phil Hartman portrays President Ronald Reagan as Masterbrain, a "sweet, befuddled old man in public, who in private becomes the hard-charging director of the covert operation to finance the Nicaraguan Contras."Guest appearance by Eric Idle.
|220||7||Steve Guttenberg||The Pretenders||December 13, 1986|
|Guest appearances by Penn & Teller and Buster Poindexter.|
|221||8||William Shatner||Lone Justice||December 20, 1986|
This show features a sketch where William Shatner, sick of Star Trek fans asking him inane questions, tells them to "Get a life!"
Comedian Kevin Meaney makes a guest appearance.Lone Justice played "Shelter" and "I Found Love", while special guest Buster Poindexter played "Zat You, Santa?"
|Deborah Harry||January 24, 1987|
|223||10||Paul Shaffer||Bruce Hornsby & the Range||January 31, 1987|
|224||11||Bronson Pinchot||Paul Young||February 14, 1987|
|Guest appearances by Paulina Porizkova and Buster Poindexter, who performs with the SNL Band.|
|225||12||Willie Nelson||Willie Nelson||February 21, 1987|
Danny DeVito makes a guest appearance.
Willie Nelson performs "Nightlife" and "Partners After All".In a sketch, Nelson accompanies Victoria Jackson on "The Boyfriend Song".
|226||13||Valerie Bertinelli||Robert Cray Band||February 28, 1987|
Bertinelli's then-husband, Eddie Van Halen, appears in a sketch and plays with the SNL Band.Guest appearance by Edwin Newman.
|227||14||Bill Murray||Percy Sledge||March 21, 1987|
|228||15||Charlton Heston||Wynton Marsalis||March 28, 1987|
|The episode features a short film by Ben Stiller.|
|229||16||John Lithgow||Anita Baker||April 11, 1987|
|230||17||John Larroquette||Timbuk 3||April 18, 1987|
|231||18||Mark Harmon||Suzanne Vega||May 9, 1987|
|232||19||Garry Shandling||Los Lobos||May 16, 1987|
Tracey Ullman appears in the filmed Hollywood Mom sketch.
Nell Campbell appears in Tenny Café.
|233||20||Dennis Hopper||Roy Orbison||May 23, 1987|