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Saturday Night Live (season 40)

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"SNL 40" redirects here. For the show's 40th Anniversary Special, see Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special.
Saturday Night Live (season 40)
The title card for Saturday Night Live – season 40, showing New York skyscrapers.
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 21
Release
Original channel NBC
Original release September 27, 2014 (2014-09-27) – May 16, 2015 (2015-05-16)
Season chronology
← Previous
39
List of Saturday Night Live episodes

Saturday Night Live premiered its fortieth season during the 2014–15 television season on NBC. The season premiered on September 27, 2014, with host Chris Pratt and musical guest Ariana Grande and came to a conclusion on May 16, 2015 with host Louis C.K. and musical guest Rihanna. Former cast member Darrell Hammond succeeded Don Pardo, who had died in August,[1] as the show's new announcer.[2] The premiere included an interstitial photograph of Pardo — SNL's announcer since it premiered in 1975, with the exception of seasons 7 and episode 14 of season 21 (where Hammond took his place).[3]

Cast[edit]

As part of an ongoing rebuilding process, which producer Lorne Michaels indicated would result in cast changes for the 2014–15 season,[4] a number of changes were announced: Nasim Pedrad departed after five seasons to star on the Lorne Michaels-produced sitcom Mulaney,[5] while John Milhiser, Noël Wells, and Brooks Wheelan were let go after a single season.[6][7] Additionally, Mike O'Brien, a writer for the show for four seasons before joining the cast at the start of the previous season, returned to the writers' room.[8]

Two comedians joined the cast at the start of the season: stand-up comic Pete Davidson, the first SNL cast member to have been born in the 1990s,[9] and former SNL writer Michael Che as a Weekend Update co-anchor, replacing Cecily Strong, who remains in the cast.[10] Che left SNL at the end of the previous season to become a correspondent on The Daily Show.[11] After making appearances on Weekend Update and in several sketches, writer Leslie Jones was promoted to the cast on October 20, 2014 as a featured player.[12]

Writers[edit]

Prior to the start of the season, five new writers were hired:

Episodes[edit]

Saturday Night Live season 40 episodes
No. # Host(s) Musical guest(s) Original airdate Ratings/share
767 1 Chris Pratt Ariana Grande September 27, 2014 (2014-09-27) 4.0/10[16]

Ariana Grande performs "Break Free" and "Love Me Harder" (the latter with The Weeknd) and appears as She-Ra in the "He-Man and Lion-O" sketch.

Michael Che and Pete Davidson's first episode as cast members, and Che's first episode as Weekend Update co-anchor.[10]

Darrell Hammond's first episode as announcer.[2]

Anna Faris appears during the opening monologue.

Writer Leslie Jones appears during Weekend Update and the "NFL Intros" sketch.

After Weekend Update, an image of Don Pardo – SNL's nearly four decades long announcer, who died six weeks earlier – is shown in silence.
768 2 Sarah Silverman Maroon 5 October 4, 2014 (2014-10-04) 3.9/10[17]

Maroon 5 performs "Animals" and "Maps".

Adam Levine appears as Freddie Mercury in the "Joan Rivers" sketch and as himself in the "Stuck in Traffic" sketch.

An image of Joan Rivers is shown in silence following the "Joan Rivers" sketch due to her passing a month earlier (September 4, 2014).

Former cast member and current writer Mike O'Brien makes an appearance in the "Whites" commercial.
769 3 Bill Hader Hozier October 11, 2014 (2014-10-11) 3.8/10[18]

Hozier performs "Take Me to Church" and "Angel of Small Death & the Codeine Scene".

Kristen Wiig appears during the opening monologue, in the Hollywood Game Night sketch, introduces the tribute to Jan Hooks (alongside Hader), and introduces Hozier's second performance.

Harvey Fierstein appears during the opening monologue.

A tribute to Jan Hooks is shown by re-airing "Love is a Dream," a sketch from 1988 with Phil Hartman.

Writer Leslie Jones appears during the "39 Cents" commercial.
770 4 Jim Carrey Iggy Azalea October 25, 2014 (2014-10-25) 4.1/10[19]

Iggy Azalea performs a medley of "Fancy" and "Black Widow" with Rita Ora and "Beg for It" with and appears in the "Halloween Party" sketch (a dance-off to Sia's Chandelier music video).

Jeff Daniels appears in the "Carrey Family Reunion" sketch.

Leslie Jones' first episode as a cast member.
771 5 Chris Rock Prince November 1, 2014 (2014-11-01) 4.9/10[20]
Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL perform a medley including the songs "Clouds" (with Lianne La Havas), "Plectrumelectrum", "Marz" and "Anotherlove".
772 6 Woody Harrelson Kendrick Lamar November 15, 2014 (2014-11-15) 4.1/10[21]

Kendrick Lamar performs "I" and "Pay for It" (the latter with Chantal Kreviazuk and Jay Rock), and appears in the "Young Tarts & Old Farts" pre-taped sketch.

Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence appear in the opening monologue.

Uzo Aduba appears in the "The Dudleys" commercial.

Edward Norton appears in the unaired "Tweet" sketch.[22]
773 7 Cameron Diaz Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars November 22, 2014 (2014-11-22) 4.1/10[23]

Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars perform "Uptown Funk" and "Feel Right" with Mystikal.

This episode was dedicated to the memory of Mike Nichols.
774 8 James Franco Nicki Minaj December 6, 2014 (2014-12-06) 4.4/10[24]

Nicki Minaj performs "Bed of Lies" with Skylar Grey and a medley of "Only" and "All Things Go" and appears as Beyoncé in the "Jingle Ballerz Special" sketch, as Kim Kardashian on Weekend Update, and as herself in the "Brain Space" sketch.

Seth Rogen appears in the opening monologue and in the "Porn Stars With James Franco and Seth Rogen" sketch.

Mike O'Brien appears in the pre-recorded "Grow a Guy" short film.
775 9 Martin Freeman Charli XCX December 13, 2014 (2014-12-13) 3.9/10[25]
Charli XCX performs "Boom Clap" and "Break the Rules".
776 10 Amy Adams One Direction December 20, 2014 (2014-12-20) 4.0/10[26]

One Direction performs "Night Changes" and "Ready to Run" and appear in the "Girlfriends Talk Show" sketch.

Mike Myers appears as Dr. Evil in the cold open.

Kristen Wiig appears in the opening monologue and on Weekend Update.

Fred Armisen appears on Weekend Update and in the "A Very Cuban Christmas" sketch.
777 11 Kevin Hart Sia January 17, 2015 (2015-01-17) 4.1/10[27]
Sia performs "Elastic Heart" with Maddie Ziegler and "Chandelier".
778 12 Blake Shelton Blake Shelton January 24, 2015 (2015-01-24) 4.7/10[28]
Blake Shelton performs "Neon Light" and "Boys 'Round Here".
779 13 J. K. Simmons D'Angelo January 31, 2015 (2015-01-31) 4.3/10[29]

D'Angelo and the Vanguard performs "Really Love" and "The Charade".

Fred Armisen appears in the opening monologue.

Mike O'Brien and Jason Sudeikis appear in the pre-recorded "The Jay-Z Story" short film.
780 14 Dakota Johnson Alabama Shakes February 28, 2015 (2015-02-28) 3.8/9[30]

Alabama Shakes performs "Don't Wanna Fight" and "Gimme All Your Love".

Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson (Johnson's parents) appear during the opening monologue.

A title card in memory of Leonard Nimoy appears after the Star Trek-themed skit.
781 15 Chris Hemsworth Zac Brown Band March 7, 2015 (2015-03-07) 4.0/10[31]

Zac Brown Band performs "Homegrown" and "Heavy Is the Head" with Chris Cornell.

Luke and Liam Hemsworth appear in the opening monologue.
782 16 Dwayne Johnson George Ezra March 28, 2015 (2015-03-28) 3.7/9[32]
George Ezra performs "Budapest" and "Blame It on Me".
783 17 Michael Keaton Carly Rae Jepsen April 4, 2015 (2015-04-04) 3.7/9[33]

Carly Rae Jepsen performs "I Really Like You" and "All That".

Mike O'Brien appears in a pre-recorded segment.

Norman Reedus appears as Daryl Dixon on Weekend Update.
784 18 Taraji P. Henson Mumford & Sons April 11, 2015 (2015-04-11) 3.8/10[34]

Mumford & Sons performs "The Wolf" and "Believe".

Darrell Hammond appears as Bill Clinton in the cold open.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau appears in the pre-recorded "Game of Thrones: South Centros" sketch.

Billy Crystal appears on Weekend Update.

Numerous Muppets appear in a pre-recorded "Cookie Visits Sesame Street" sketch including Big Bird (Caroll Spinney), Elmo (Ryan Dillon), Cookie Monster (David Rudman), Count von Count (Matt Vogel), Mr. Snuffleupagus (Martin P. Robinson), Bert and Ernie (Eric Jacobson and Billy Barkhurst), Murray Monster (Joey Mazzarino), and Abby Cadabby (Leslie Carrara-Rudolph) with background appearances by the Two-Headed Monster, a Honker, and an Anything Muppet.
785 19 Scarlett Johansson Wiz Khalifa May 2, 2015 (2015-05-02) 3.4/9[35]
Wiz Khalifa performs "See You Again" with Charlie Puth and "We Dem Boyz", and appears during the pre-recorded "Blazer" sketch.
786 20 Reese Witherspoon Florence + the Machine May 9, 2015 (2015-05-09) 3.7/10[36]

Florence + the Machine performs "Ship to Wreck" and "What Kind of Man".

The mothers of Vanessa Bayer, Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Kyle Mooney, Bobby Moynihan, Jay Pharaoh, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Sasheer Zamata, and Reese Witherspoon appear in the monologue – each speaking one line.
787 21 Louis C.K. Rihanna May 16, 2015 (2015-05-16) 3.8/10[37]

Rihanna performs "Bitch Better Have My Money" and "American Oxygen".

Darrell Hammond appears as Bill Clinton in the cold opening.

Specials[edit]

# Special Original air-date U.S. viewers
(in millions)
1 "SNL's NFL Saturday" January 31, 2015 3.80[38]

A selection of past sketches related to the NFL were shown.[39] Aired sketches included:

  • "Bob Swerski's Quiz Masters", from the season 17 episode hosted by Chevy Chase.
  • "Schmitt's Gay", featuring Chris Farley and Adam Sandler, from the season 17 episode hosted by Steve Martin.
  • "Sexual Harassment and You", a TV Funhouse short by Robert Smigel, from the season 30 episode hosted by Tom Brady.
  • "NFL on CBS", from the season 32 episode hosted by Jeremy Piven.
  • "Text Message Evidence", from the season 37 episode hosted by Eli Manning.
  • "United Way" and "Locker Room Motivation", from the season 32 episode hosted by Peyton Manning.
  • "Tebow", from the season 37 episode hosted by Jimmy Fallon.
  • "NBC Football Promo", from the season 37 episode hosted by Channing Tatum.
  • "Super Champions", from the season 39 episode hosted by Melissa McCarthy.
  • "ESPN Bowl Madness", from the season 37 episode hosted by Charles Barkley.
2 "An SNL Valentine" February 14, 2015

Previous skits with a Valentine's Day theme are presented.[40] Aired sketches included:

  • "Dancing in the Dark" from the season 3 episode hosted by Steve Martin
  • "Some Dumb Little Thing from CVS" from the season 39 episode hosted by Melissa McCarthy
  • "The Best of T.T. & Mario" from the season 30 episode hosted by Jason Bateman
  • "The Love Toilet" from the season 17 episode hosted by Macaulay Culkin
  • Weekend Update: Daisy Rose discusses romantic comedy-themed sitcoms from the season 40 episode hosted by Jim Carrey
  • "A Sexy Valentine's Day Message" from the season 38 episode hosted by Justin Bieber
  • Weekend Update: Adam Sandler sings "Red-Hooded Sweatshirt" from the season 18 episode hosted by Alec Baldwin
  • "Nerds Prom Night" from the season 3 episode hosted by Buck Henry
  • "The Date" from the season 35 episode hosted by Megan Fox
  • Weekend Update: Jimmy Fallon on Valentine's Day from the season 24 episode hosted by Brendan Fraser
  • "The Continental" from the season 15 episode hosted by Christopher Walken
  • "Romantic Speech" from the season 39 episode hosted by Louis C.K.
  • "Gatorade Love Bucket" from the season 25 episode hosted by Mena Suvari
  • "Love-Ahs" from the season 27 episode hosted by Drew Barrymore
  • "I Just Had Sex" from the season 36 episode hosted by Jeff Bridges
  • "Les Jeunes de Paris" from the season 36 episode hosted by Emma Stone
3 "SNL 40th Red Carpet Live" February 15, 2015
A special hosted by Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Carson Daly and Al Roker. They interviewed past hosts, current and previous cast members, and musical legends that previously performed on the show.[41]
4 "Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special" February 15, 2015 23.1 (Live+SD); 26.5 (Live+3)[1]; 5.1 million (repeat)[2])[42]
A three and a half hour prime-time special celebrating SNL‍ '​s 40th year on the air.[43][44] This special assembled together a large list of current and former cast members, hosts, and musical acts from throughout the show's forty seasons.[43][44] This special became NBC's most-watched prime-time, non-sports, entertainment telecast since the ER season finale in 2004.[42]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b Zuckerman, Esther (September 18, 2014). "Darrell Hammond replacing Don Pardo as 'SNL' announcer". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 18, 2014. 
  3. ^ Patches, Matt (August 21, 2014). "Darrell Hammond Remembers Don Pardo, the Voice of SNL". Grantland. 
  4. ^ "Lorne Michaels: More 'SNL' cast changes coming". CNN. 13 June 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2014. Lorne Michaels says that Saturday Night Live can expect cast changes before its 40th season begins in September. In an interview with Deadline, the creator and longtime executive producer of NBC's late-night sketch show said, 'We're still in the middle of rebuilding. So there will be changes this year.' 
  5. ^ "Nasim Pedrad implies that she's leaving 'Saturday Night Live'". Erin Strecker. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Noël Wells & John Milhiser Also Leaving 'SNL', Michael Patrick O'Brien Future Unclear". Nellie Andreeva. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Brooks Wheelan states he was fired from Saturday Night Live". NY Daily News. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Mike O'Brien will not return as an 'SNL' player this season". Esther Zuckerman. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Pete Davidson Joins 'Saturday Night Live' As New Featured Player". Deadline. September 15, 2014. Retrieved September 15, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Carter, Bill (September 11, 2014). "New Comic to Anchor 'Update' on 'S.N.L.'". New York Times. Retrieved September 11, 2014. 
  11. ^ "'The Daily Show' hires 'SNL' writer Michael Che as correspondent". EW.com. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  12. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 20, 2014). "Leslie Jones Named 'Saturday Night Live' Cast Member". Deadline. Retrieved October 21, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Alison Rich Hired as a Writer at 'SNL'". Splitsider. August 28, 2014. Retrieved September 1, 2014. 
  14. ^ McCarthy, Sean L. (September 9, 2014). "SNL hires Nick Rutherford to reunite, write with his Good Neighbor mates". The Comic's Comic. 
  15. ^ a b c Wright, Megh (September 9, 2014). "Natasha Rothwell, Streeter Seidell, and Jeremy Beiler Join 'SNL's Writing Staff". Splitsider. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
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  20. ^ Bibel, Sara (November 2, 2014). "'Saturday Night Live' With Host Chris Rock and Musical Guest Prince Hits Highest Adults 18-49 Rating Since February". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 2, 2014. 
  21. ^ Bibel, Sara (November 16, 2014). "'Saturday Night Live' With Host Woody Harrelson and Musical Guest Kendrick Lamar Matches Highest Adults 18-49 Rating This Season". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 16, 2014. 
  22. ^ Cut For Time: Tweet - Saturday Night Live. YouTube. 19 November 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  23. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (November 23, 2014). "'Saturday Night Live' With Host Cameron Diaz and Musical Guests Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars Down From Last Week". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  24. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (December 7, 2014). "'Saturday Night Live' With Host James Franco and Musical Guest Nicki Minaj Rises From Last Original". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  25. ^ Bibel, Sara (December 14, 2014). "'Saturday Night Live' With Host Martin Freeman and Musical Guest Charli XCX Down from Most Recent Episodes". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 14, 2014. 
  26. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (December 21, 2014). "'Saturday Night Live' With Host Amy Adams and Musical Guest One Direction Even With Last Week". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 21, 2014. 
  27. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (January 18, 2015). "'Saturday Night Live' With Host Kevin Hart and Musical Guest Sia Flat With Last Original". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 18, 2015. 
  28. ^ Bibel, Sara (January 25, 2015). "'Saturday Night Live' With Host and Musical Guest Blake Shelton Up From Last Original". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 25, 2015. 
  29. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (February 1, 2015). "'Saturday Night Live' With Host J.K. Simmons and Musical Guest D'Angelo Down From Last Week". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  30. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (March 1, 2015). "'Saturday Night Live' With Host Dakota Johnson and Musical Guest Alabama Shakes Down From Last Original". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  31. ^ Bibel, Sara (March 8, 2015). "'Saturday Night Live' With Host Chris Hemsworth and Musical Guest Zac Brown Band Up From Last Original". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 8, 2015. 
  32. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (March 29, 2015). "'Saturday Night Live' With Host Dwayne Johnson and Musical Guest George Ezra Down From Last Original". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 29, 2015. 
  33. ^ Bibel, Sara (April 5, 2015). "'Saturday Night Live' With Host Michael Keaton and Musical Guest Carly Rae Jepsen Up From Last Week". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 5, 2015. 
  34. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (April 12, 2015). "'Saturday Night Live' With Host Taraji P Henson and Musical Guest Mumford and Sons Down From Last Week". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 12, 2015. 
  35. ^ Bibel, Sara (May 3, 2015). "'Saturday Night Live' With Host Scarlett Johansson and Musical Wiz Khalifa Down From Prior Episode". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 3, 2015. 
  36. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (May 10, 2015). "'Saturday Night Live' With Reese Witherspoon and Musical Guest Florence + The Machine Earns Highest Adults 18-49 Rating Since January". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  37. ^ Bibel, Sara (May 17, 2015). "'Saturday Night Live' With Host Louis C.K. & Musical Guest Rihanna Down from Last Week". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 17, 2015. 
  38. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (February 1, 2015). "TV Ratings Saturday: 'NFL Honors' Up Year-to-Year + 'Red Band Society' Makes Weak Saturday Debut". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  39. ^ "Saturday Night Live listings". Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  40. ^ "Saturday Night Live listings". Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  41. ^ "Saturday Night Live listings". Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  42. ^ a b Hibberd, James (February 16, 2015). "SNL anniversary breaks NBC ratings records". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 16, 2015. 
  43. ^ a b Bradley, Bill (April 18, 2014). "'Saturday Night Live' Will Celebrate Its 40th Anniversary With A Three-Hour Live Broadcast". The Huffington Post. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  44. ^ a b "NBC's 'Saturday Night Live' 40th Anniversary Special Set". Deadline. April 18, 2014. Retrieved May 18, 2014.