Saturday Night Live (season 45)

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Saturday Night Live (season 45)
Country of originUnited States
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 28, 2019 (2019-09-28) –
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 44
List of Saturday Night Live episodes

The forty-fifth season of the NBC comedy series Saturday Night Live premiered on September 28, 2019, during the 2019–20 television season with host Woody Harrelson and musical guest Billie Eilish.[1]


Prior to the beginning of the season, Leslie Jones, who joined the cast one month into season 40, left after having been with the show for almost five full seasons.[2] Three new featured players were announced on September 12, 2019: SNL staff writer Bowen Yang (who had appeared as Kim Jong-Un in a season 44 episode hosted by Sandra Oh), Chloe Fineman of The Groundlings, and stand-up comedian Shane Gillis. Yang is the first fully East Asian-American cast member in the show's history.[3]

The choice of Gillis as a cast member generated backlash after podcast clips of him making racist remarks were reposted,[4] including referring to presidential candidate Andrew Yang using a racial slur.[5] Gillis has also made derogatory remarks about Muslims, women, and the LGBTQ community on his online show Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast.[6] Gillis was let go from the cast only four days after the announcement of his hiring, prior to the airing of the first episode.[7]

Featured players Heidi Gardner and Chris Redd (both originally hired in 2017 at the start of season 43) were upgraded to repertory status while Ego Nwodim remained a featured player.[8]

Pete Davidson took a leave of absence at the beginning of the season, missing the first two episodes before returning for the third, due to filming commitments of The Suicide Squad.[9] He was still credited for those missed episodes.

Cast roster[edit]

bold denotes "Weekend Update" anchor


During the credits of the premiere episode, it was revealed the show added Dan Bulla, Dan Licata, and Jasmine Pierce as new writers.[10] Michael Che, Colin Jost, and Kent Sublette remain as head writers.


No. in
HostMusical guestOriginal air dateRatings/
8721Woody HarrelsonBillie EilishSeptember 28, 2019 (2019-09-28)4.1/10

8732Phoebe Waller-BridgeTaylor SwiftOctober 5, 2019 (2019-10-05)4.0/11

8743David HarbourCamila CabelloOctober 12, 2019 (2019-10-12)3.8/11

8754Chance the RapperChance the RapperOctober 26, 2019 (2019-10-26)TBD

  • Confirmed on air.
8765Kristen Stewart[1]TBANovember 2, 2019 (2019-11-02)TBD
TBATBAEddie Murphy[1]TBADecember 21, 2019 (2019-12-21)TBD


  1. ^ a b c Dan Snierson (August 26, 2019). "Saturday Night Live releases star-studded season 45 lineup". Entertainment Weekly. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  2. ^ Elber, Lynn (August 27, 2019). "Leslie Jones exiting 'SNL,' Kate McKinnon back next season". Associated Press. Associated Press. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  3. ^ Wright, Megh. "Saturday Night Live Adds 3 New Cast Members for Season 45". Vulture. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  4. ^ "Resurfaced Material of New 'SNL' Cast Member Shane Gillis Using Racist, Sexist, and Homophobic Remarks". 2019-09-12.
  5. ^ "New 'SNL' cast member Shane Gillis referred to Andrew Yang as a 'Jew ch–k'". 2019-09-14.
  6. ^ Shane Gillis, New 'S.N.L.' Cast Member, Used Racial Slur in Podcast The New York Times, September 12, 2019
  7. ^ Otterson, Joseph (September 16, 2019). "Shane Gillis Out From 'Saturday Night Live'". Variety. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  8. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 24, 2019). "'SNL' Promotes Heidi Gardner & Chris Redd To Full Cast Members". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Cooper, Mariah (September 29, 2019). "Pete Davidson Skips 'Saturday Night Live' Season Premiere to Film 'Suicide Squad' Sequel". Us Weekly.
  10. ^ "'Saturday Night Live' Adds New Writers For Season 45". September 29, 2019. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  11. ^ Creating Saturday Night Live: Billie Eilish "Bad Guy" Performance. YouTube. October 1, 2019. Event occurs at 0:17. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  12. ^ Cramer, Laura Jaye (October 2, 2019). "Why Some Dancers Are Upset That Billie Eilish Channeled Fred Astaire on "SNL"". Dance Magazine.
  13. ^ Jensen, Erin (September 29, 2019). "Aidy Bryant can't help but break after 'Saturday Night Live' sketch hiccup during premiere". USA Today.
  14. ^ Wright, Megh (September 29, 2019). "Here's the Writing Staff of Saturday Night Live Season 45". New York (magazine).
  15. ^ Husband, Andrew (October 6, 2019). "'Weekend Update' Had Some Fun At Absent Cast Member Pete Davidson's Expense On 'SNL'". Uproxx.
  16. ^ Muller, Marissa (October 6, 2019). ""SNL" Finally Addressed Pete Davidson's Absence This Season, And, Wow What A Burn". Buzzfeed.