Saturday Night Live (season 13)

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Saturday Night Live (season 13)
The title card for the thirteenth season of Saturday Night Live.
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 13
Original channel NBC
Original release October 17, 1987 (1987-10-17) – February 27, 1988 (1988-02-27)
Season chronology
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List of Saturday Night Live episodes

The thirteenth season of Saturday Night Live, an American sketch comedy series, originally aired in the United States on NBC between October 17, 1987, and February 27, 1988.

Minimal changes occurred before the beginning of the season. Kevin Nealon was promoted to repertory status.

Although the changes to the cast were minimal there were, however, major events that impeded the show's production. During production of the season premiere, a fire broke out near Studio 8H during dress rehearsal.

Despite plans to cancel the show for the week, Steve Martin (the episode host) pushed the cast to perform, making the Steve Martin/Sting episode the only episode without a dress rehearsal.[1]

On March 7, 1988, the Writers Guild of America went on strike, cancelling many planned episodes, including one originally planned to be hosted by original cast member Gilda Radner. Radner, unfortunately, would never get the chance to host due to her death from ovarian cancer the following year. The host for the March 12, 1988 broadcast (the first episode to be cancelled due to the strike of 1988) was never confirmed.


bold denotes Weekend Update anchor


New hires this season were Greg Daniels, Conan O'Brien and Bob Odenkirk.

The writers for this season included A. Whitney Brown, Tom Davis, Greg Daniels, Jim Downey, Al Franken, Jack Handey, Phil Hartman, George Meyer, Lorne Michaels, Conan O'Brien, Bob Odenkirk, Herb Sargent, David Borowitz, Rosie Shuster, Robert Smigel, Bonnie Turner, Terry Turner and Christine Zander. The head writer, like the previous season, was Jim Downey.


Saturday Night Live season 13 episodes
No. # Host(s) Musical guest(s) Original airdate
234 1 Steve Martin (10th time) Sting October 17, 1987

Presidential candidate Bruce Babbitt appears on Weekend Update.

First appearance of the Hans and Franz series of sketch.

Sting performs "We'll Be Together," and "Little Wing" and appears in the "Operation: Tightwad" sketch as James Bond villain Goldensting, a parody of Goldfinger.
235 2 Sean Penn LL Cool J
Michael Penn
October 24, 1987

Michael Penn, older brother of host Sean, performs "This and That" with his band The Pull.

LL cool J performs Go Cut Creator Go.
236 3 Dabney Coleman The Cars October 31, 1987
Guest appearance by Cassandra Peterson as Elvira.
237 4 Robert Mitchum Simply Red November 14, 1987
238 5 Candice Bergen (4th time) Cher November 21, 1987

Cher performs "We All Sleep Alone" and "I Found Someone."

Guest appearance by Paul Shaffer.
239 6 Danny DeVito (2nd time) Bryan Ferry December 5, 1987
Bob Odenkirk's first credited episode as a writer.
240 7 Angie Dickinson Buster Poindexter
David Gilmour
December 12, 1987
David Gilmour performs an instrumental guitar jam with the SNL house band called "Song For My Sara."
241 8 Paul Simon (4th time) Linda Ronstadt December 19, 1987

Namesake U.S. Senator Paul Simon, a presidential candidate at the time, makes a cameo in the monologue.

Dana Carvey appears during Weekend Update as Dennis Miller for the first time.
242 9 Robin Williams (3rd time) James Taylor January 23, 1988
243 10 Carl Weathers Robbie Robertson January 30, 1988
244 11 Justine Bateman Terence Trent D'Arby February 13, 1988

Conan O'Brien and Greg Daniels first writing credits as staff members.

D'Arby performs "Wishing Well" and "Under My Thumb."

Dan Aykroyd appears as Bob Dole in the cold opening.
245 12 Tom Hanks (2nd time) Randy Travis February 20, 1988
246 13 Judge Reinhold 10,000 Maniacs February 27, 1988


  1. ^ Shales, Tom; Miller, James Andrew (7 October 2002). Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live (1st ed.). Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 978-0-3167-8146-6.