Saturday Night Live (season 21)
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|Saturday Night Live
The Saturday Night Live title card as seen in the opening credits of the 21st season.
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||20|
|Original run||September 30, 1995 – May 18, 1996|
SNL once again dodged cancellation from season twenty's low ratings and scathing reviews about the show's decline in quality. Only five cast members: Norm Macdonald, Mark McKinney, Tim Meadows, Molly Shannon and David Spade returned to the show from the previous season.
Although David Spade returned to the show, he had more of a diminished role, very rarely appearing in sketches except for Spade in America, a "Weekend Update" segment hosted by Spade that debuted at the start of the season and was featured in all but five episodes.
Molly Shannon was upgraded to repertory status.
Several episodes into the season, head writer Fred Wolf and newly hired writer Colin Quinn were added to the cast as featured players. Chris Kattan also joined as a featured player for the final six episodes of the season.
This would be the final season for David Spade. Spade had agreed to stay only for a year so that he could be a bridge between the old and new casts. Newcomers David Koechner and Nancy Walls were also let go after this season.
The season was also home to the Rage Against the Machine incident. On April 13, 1996, the band was the musical guest, and was scheduled to perform two songs. The show was hosted that night by ex-Republican presidential candidate and billionaire Steve Forbes. According to RATM guitarist Tom Morello, "RATM wanted to stand in sharp juxtaposition to a billionaire telling jokes and promoting his flat tax by making our own statement." To this end, the band hung two upside-down American flags from their amplifiers. Seconds before they took the stage to perform "Bulls on Parade", SNL and NBC sent stagehands in to pull the flags down. Following the removal of the flags during the first performance, the band was approached by SNL and NBC officials and ordered to immediately leave the building. Upon hearing this, bassist Tim Commerford reportedly stormed Forbes' dressing room, throwing shreds from one of the torn down flags. Morello noted that members of the Saturday Night Live cast and crew, whom he declined to name, "expressed solidarity with our actions, and a sense of shame that their show had censored the performance."
bold denotes Weekend Update anchor
|No.||#||Host(s)||Musical guest(s)||Original airdate|
|387||1||Mariel Hemingway||Blues Traveler||September 30, 1995|
Jim Breuer, Darrell Hammond, Will Ferrell, David Koechner, Cheri Oteri, and Nancy Walls' first episode as cast members.Blues Traveler perform "Run-Around" and "Hook."
|388||2||Chevy Chase||Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories||October 7, 1995|
|Lisa Loeb performs "Do You Sleep?" and "Stay (I Missed You)."|
|389||3||David Schwimmer||Natalie Merchant||October 21, 1995|
|Natalie Merchant performs "Wonder" and "Carnival."|
|390||4||Gabriel Byrne||Alanis Morissette||October 28, 1995|
Colin Quinn, who was to become a credited cast member two episodes later, appears in the opening monologue as a dancing potato.Hand in My Pocket" and "All I Really Want."
|391||5||Quentin Tarantino||The Smashing Pumpkins||November 11, 1995|
Fred Wolf's first episode as a credited cast member.Robert Hegyes.
|392||6||Laura Leighton||Rancid||November 18, 1995|
Colin Quinn's first episode as a credited cast member.
Guest appearance by Sam Waterston in the prerecorded segment "Old Glory Robot Insurance".Rancid perform "Roots Radicals" and "Ruby Soho."
|393||7||Anthony Edwards||Foo Fighters||December 2, 1995|
|Jim Breuer debuts his recurring sketch "The Joe Pesci Show."|
|394||8||David Alan Grier||Silverchair||December 9, 1995|
|Silverchair performs "Tomorrow" and "Pure Massacre."|
|395||9||Madeline Kahn||Bush||December 16, 1995|
|Sam Waterston in a prerecorded segment.|
|396||10||Christopher Walken||Joan Osborne||January 13, 1996|
|Joan Osborne performs "One of Us."|
|397||11||Alec Baldwin||Tori Amos||January 20, 1996|
|Tori Amos performs "Caught a Lite Sneeze" and "Hey Jupiter."|
|398||12||Danny Aiello||Coolio||February 10, 1996|
Guest appearance by Larry Brown.Coolio performs "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)" and "Gangsta's Paradise."
|399||13||Tom Arnold||Tupac Shakur||February 17, 1996|
|Adam Sandler appears during Weekend Update, singing a song about his grandmother.|
|400||14||Elle Macpherson||Sting||February 24, 1996|
|Sting performs "Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot" and "You Still Touch Me".|
|401||15||John Goodman||Everclear||March 16, 1996|
Elle Macpherson makes a cameo appearance during the monologue.
Everclear performs "Santa Monica."Chris Kattan's first episode as a cast member.
|402||16||Phil Hartman||Gin Blossoms||March 23, 1996|
This episode marked the first appearance of Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan's "Roxbury Guys" characters.Gin Blossoms perform "Follow You Down" and "Memphis Time."
|403||17||Steve Forbes||Rage Against the Machine||April 13, 1996|
|Rage Against The Machine performs one song, "Bulls on Parade." Its second song was cut after the band attempted to hang inverted U.S. flags from its amplifiers, protesting host Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes.|
|404||18||Teri Hatcher||Dave Matthews Band||April 20, 1996|
Sketch Spade in America was performed by Teri Hatcher (as David Spade) and Spade (as Hatcher).Dave Matthews Band performs "Too Much" and "So Much to Say."
|405||19||Christine Baranski||The Cure||May 11, 1996|
|Dennis Rodman makes a cameo appearance in the cold open as Bob Dole's running mate, and then once again during Weekend Update.|
|406||20||Jim Carrey||Soundgarden||May 18, 1996|
Last episode for stage manager Joe Dicso, who had been in that position since the show's 1975 inception.David Spade, Nancy Walls and David Koechner's final episode as cast members.
- Shales, Tom (2003). Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live. Back Bay. ISBN 0-316-73565-5.
- Anon., Saturday Night Live Incident, Public release and distribution. Retrieved November 12, 2007.
- "Rage Against the Machine". The Flag Burning Page. Retrieved 2008-03-16.