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 network NBC
Original release October 6, 1984 (1984-10-06) – April 13, 1985 (1985-04-13)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 9
Next →
Season 11
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". Shearer told the AP, "I was creative, and they were different."[1] 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.


No. in
Host(s)  Musical guest(s)  Original air date 
179 1 (none) Thompson Twins October 6, 1984
180 2 Bob Uecker Peter Wolf October 13, 1984
181 3 Jesse Jackson Andrae Crouch
Wintley Phipps
October 20, 1984
  • Andrae Crouch performed "Right Now" and Wintley Phipps performed "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
183 5 George Carlin Frankie Goes to Hollywood November 10, 1984

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

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

The Kinks performed "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 performed "Rock Me Tonite" and "All Night Long".

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

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

Bryan Adams performed "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 performed "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 performed "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 performed "Say It Again" and "Right Now".

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


Title  Original air date 
"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).
"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."


  1. ^ Steele, Brian (April 26, 2015). "11 Things We Learned About Harry Shearer From His WTF Episode". IFC. Retrieved September 2, 2015.