Saturday Night Live (season 35)

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Saturday Night Live (season 35)
The title card for the thirty-fifth season of Saturday Night Live.
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 22
Original network NBC
Original release September 26, 2009 (2009-09-26) – May 15, 2010 (2010-05-15)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 34
Next →
Season 36
List of Saturday Night Live episodes

The thirty-fifth season of Saturday Night Live, an American sketch comedy series, originally aired in the United States on NBC between September 26, 2009, and May 15, 2010.

A total of 22 episodes were broadcast during the show's eight-month-long season, which included a two-week break in February due to the 2010 Winter Olympics. The season was accompanied by three prime-time episodes of Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday and three prime-time SNL clip shows.

Prior to the start of the season, many cast changes occurred. Darrell Hammond, the last cast member from the 1990s, left the show after a record 14 seasons in the cast.[1] Featured players Michaela Watkins and Casey Wilson were both let go from the show before the start of the season.[2] To fill their absence the show brought in two new featured players, Nasim Pedrad of The Groundlings and stand-up comic Jenny Slate.[3] Abby Elliott and Bobby Moynihan continued as featured players.

A notable moment of the season was when an internet campaign was created to get actress Betty White to host an episode of the show. The campaign was started in early 2010 on Facebook and the group was called "Betty White to Host SNL (please?)!" The campaign was successful, and White became the oldest person ever to host the show. For White's episode, Lorne Michaels brought back former cast members Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Molly Shannon. The episode garnered the show's highest ratings in over a year. with a rating of 5.8 in the 18–49 rating, demographic and with 12.1 million viewers overall.[4]

This season would also be the last for longtime cast member Will Forte, who had been with the show since 2002.[5] This would also be the only season for featured player Jenny Slate, who was let go after the season ended.[6]


  • bold denotes Weekend Update anchor only


Second City theater performer Mike O'Brien joins the writing staff.[7] He would join the cast for the show's thirty-ninth season. Season 35 would prove to be the final season with Lonely Island member Jorma Taccone as a credited writer. He would make contributions to select Lonely Island sketches.


No. in
Host  Musical guest  Original air date  Ratings/
659 1 Megan Fox U2 September 26, 2009 4.6/11[8]

U2 performs "Breathe", "Moment of Surrender" and "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)".

Nasim Pedrad and Jenny Slate's first episode as cast members.

A new opening sequence which mentions SNL's 35 years on-air debuts with this episode.

During the "Biker Chick Chat" sketch, Jenny Slate accidentally says, "You stood up for yourself, and I fuckin' love you for that!" Most of the sketch before and after consisted of everyone saying "Friggin'," "frickin'" or "freakin'". Slate quickly holds her breath after realizing her mistake.

Brian Austin Green cameoed in the Transformers Digital Short.
660 2 Ryan Reynolds Lady Gaga October 3, 2009 4.7/12[9]

Lady Gaga performs "Paparazzi" and a medley of songs including "Bad Romance", "LoveGame" and "Poker Face". She appears with Madonna in Deep House Dish, and in another sketch after her second performance.

Elijah Wood appears in the SNL Digital Short.

Scarlett Johansson (Reynolds' then-wife) appears in the "Porcelain Fountains" ad portraying the same Lexi character that she played during her two hosting appearances.

Darrell Hammond appears as California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger during Weekend Update.
661 3 Drew Barrymore Regina Spektor October 10, 2009 4.6/11[10]

Regina Spektor performs "Eet" and "The Calculation".

Justin Long appears as Matthew McConaughey in a sketch called "Celebrity Ghost Stories". He summarized the plot of McConaughey's movie, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.
662 4 Gerard Butler Shakira October 17, 2009 4.8/11[12]

Shakira performs "She Wolf" and "Did It Again".

Dwayne Johnson made a cameo reprising his role as "The Rock" Obama in the cold opening.

During the advertisements, outtakes from dress rehearsal from the 1990s and 2000s were shown.[11]

James Franco appears as himself in the sketch "What Up With That".
663 5 Taylor Swift Taylor Swift November 7, 2009 5.0/12[13]

Taylor Swift performs "You Belong with Me" and "Untouchable".

Amy Poehler returned to do another "Really?! with Seth and Amy" during Weekend Update. Poehler also introduced Swift's second performance.
664 6 January Jones The Black Eyed Peas November 14, 2009 4.7/12[14]

Black Eyed Peas performs "I Gotta Feeling", "Meet Me Halfway" and "Boom Boom Pow". The last song closed out the show and was played over the goodnights. They also appears in the Today Show sketch.

Darrell Hammond cameoed as Lou Dobbs on Weekend Update.
665 7 Joseph Gordon-Levitt Dave Matthews Band November 21, 2009 4.3/11[15]

Dave Matthews Band performs "You and Me" and "Shake Me Like a Monkey".

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's opening monologue is a song and dance tribute to Donald O'Connor's "Make 'Em Laugh" number in Singin' in the Rain.

Dave Matthews cameoed as Ozzy Osbourne in "The Mellow Show with Jack Johnson", while Bill Hader portrayed Matthews.

Al Gore cameoed in the "What Up With That" sketch and on Weekend Update, promoting NBC "Green Week" and his new book.

Mindy Kaling cameoed in "What Up With That" as the 2nd guest.
666 8 Blake Lively Rihanna December 5, 2009 4.4/12[16]

Rihanna performs "Russian Roulette" and "Hard" and appears in the SNL Digital Short.

Young Jeezy performs with Rihanna for her second song.

On this episode's installment of Weekend Update, Abby Elliott appears as actress-singer Brittany Murphy, following a report about Murphy's alleged firing from a recent film. This portion of Update was cut from reruns in light of Murphy's death later that month.
667 9 Taylor Lautner Bon Jovi December 12, 2009 5.1/12[17]
Bon Jovi performs "Superman Tonight" and "When We Were Beautiful".
668 10 James Franco Muse December 19, 2009 4.4/11[18]

Muse performs "Uprising" and "Starlight".

Mike Tyson and Jack McBrayer appear during "What Up With That".
669 11 Charles Barkley Alicia Keys January 9, 2010 4.4/19[19]

Alicia Keys performs "Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart" and "Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down" and appears in the SNL Digital Short.

The original east coast airing was delayed 35 minutes due to the Cowboys-Eagles NFC Wild Card game running long.

This episode attracted 10.4 million viewers, and was the second highest-rated episode of the season.[19]
670 12 Sigourney Weaver The Ting Tings January 16, 2010 5.4/14[20]

The Ting Tings performs "That's Not My Name" and "Shut Up and Let Me Go".

Darrell Hammond cameoed as Jay Leno in the cold open.

James Cameron cameoed as himself in the SNL Digital Short.
671 13 Jon Hamm Michael Bublé January 30, 2010 5.0/12[21]

Michael Bublé performs "Haven't Met You Yet" and "Baby (You've Got What It Takes)" and appears in the "Hamm and Bublé" sketch.

Sharon Jones sang with Michael Bublé for his second song.
672 14 Ashton Kutcher Them Crooked Vultures February 6, 2010 5.3/13[22]
Them Crooked Vultures performs "Mind Eraser, No Chaser" and "New Fang". As well, Dave Grohl appears in a sketch after Them Crooked Vultures' second performance.
673 15 Jennifer Lopez Jennifer Lopez February 27, 2010 6.3/15[23]
Jennifer Lopez performs "Until it Beats No More" and "Starting Over".
674 16 Zach Galifianakis Vampire Weekend March 6, 2010 5.0/12[25]

Vampire Weekend performs "Cousins" and "Giving Up the Gun".

Brian Williams, Jack McBrayer, Jane Krakowski, Mehmet Oz, Anthony Anderson, and Jeremy Sisto all appears during the SNL Digital Short, "Zach Drops by the Set".

Paul Rudd and Frank Rich appears during "What Up With That".

Galifianakis shaved his beard before the last sketch of the show and wears a fake beard during the goodnights.[24]
675 17 Jude Law Pearl Jam March 13, 2010 4.5/11[26]

Pearl Jam performs "Just Breathe" and "Unthought Known" and appears in the "Twilight Zone" Nightmare at 20,000 Feet parody.

Julian Casablancas sang "Boombox" with The Lonely Island in the SNL Digital Short.

Jerry Seinfeld cameoed on Weekend Update to do "Really?! With Seth and Jerry".
676 18 Tina Fey Justin Bieber April 10, 2010 5.7/14[28]

Justin Bieber performs "Baby" and "U Smile" and appears in two sketches. Bieber also appears in Fey's monologue.

Mark Sanchez and Steve Martin made cameo appearances during Fey's monologue.

Fey reprised her impersonation of Sarah Palin on the fake commercial "The Sarah Palin Network."

Fey received a 2010 Emmy Award nomination as herself for Guest Actress in a Comedy.[27]
677 19 Ryan Phillippe Ke$ha April 17, 2010 5.2/13[29]

Ke$ha performs "Tik Tok" and "Your Love Is My Drug".

Phillippe promoted the film MacGruber, the first new SNL movie in over a decade.
678 20 Gabourey Sidibe MGMT April 24, 2010 4.7/12[30]

MGMT performs "Flash Delirium" and "Brian Eno".

SNL writer John Mulaney delivers a Weekend Update commentary on girl scout cookies.
679 21 Betty White Jay-Z May 8, 2010 8.8/21[33]

In early 2010, an online campaign was created on Facebook to get White to host an episode of the show. The group was called Betty White to Host SNL (please?)![31] The movement was sparked by White's appearance in a Snickers commercial aired during Super Bowl XLIV.[citation needed] Because of this, White is the first person to ever host based on an internet movement created by fans. The commercial itself aired during one of the commercial breaks.

With this episode, White, at age 88, is the oldest person ever to host the show, surpassing Miskel Spillman, the winner of SNL's "Anyone Can Host" contest in 1977.[32]

For the first set, Jay-Z performs a medley of "Public Service Announcement", "On to the Next One", "99 Problems", "03 Bonnie and Clyde", and "Empire State of Mind," featuring back-up singer Bridget Kelly. During "99 Problems", Jay-Z's band samples "Points of Authority" by Linkin Park. For the second set, Jay-Z performs "Young Forever" with Mr Hudson, which he dedicated to White.

Former SNL cast members Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Molly Shannon appears throughout the show. Gasteyer and Shannon reprised their characters from The Delicious Dish sketches. Shannon also reprised her character Sally O'Malley during Weekend Update. Rudolph reprised her impression of Whitney Houston during Weekend Update. Fey and Poehler returned to Update as well, to participate in Really!?!.

This episode was nominated for seven 2010 Emmy Awards.

White won an Emmy for Guest Actress in a Comedy for hosting.[27]

TV Ratings: 14.952 million viewers [1]
680 22 Alec Baldwin Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers May 15, 2010 5.8/14[35]

Will Forte[34] and Jenny Slate's final episode as cast members.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performs "I Should Have Known It" and "Jefferson Jericho Blues", two songs from their 2010 album Mojo. Petty appears in the SNL Digital Short.

Steve Martin made a cameo appearance in the opening monologue.


Title  Original air date 
"Saturday Night Live Presents: A Very Gilly Christmas" December 17, 2009

Holiday-themed sketches from past episodes are aired, including Adam Sandler's "The Hanukkah Song", Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg's "Dick In A Box" Digital Short, Delicious Dish and many more.

Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin make guest appearances.

Kristen Wiig hosts as her character Gilly, with Will Forte, Kenan Thompson, Bobby Moynihan and Abby Elliott reprising their roles as the sketch's supporting characters.
"Saturday Night Live Presents: Sports All-Stars" January 31, 2010

Will Forte and Jason Sudeikis host the show as Pete Twinkle and Greg Stink, their recurring ESPN Classic sports announcer characters.

Sketches featuring appearances by professional athletes including: Peyton Manning, Derek Jeter, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, Charles Barkley and others are shown (most of which previously appeared in last year's SNL clip show special about sports-related sketches).
"Saturday Night Live in the 2000s: Time and Again" April 15, 2010

The special featured insight on the show during the 2000s: topics discussed include Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey as the new Weekend Update anchors after the departure of Colin Quinn, how SNL became popular for its spoofs on the 2000 United States presidential election, how the show's humor survived the 9/11 attacks and the anthrax scare, Will Ferrell's departure at the end of season 27 and the search for a replacement cast member to play George W. Bush, SNL's shaky years between seasons 28 and 30 due to Jimmy Fallon's and Horatio Sanz's cracking up on camera, Jimmy Fallon's departure from the show, Amy Poehler teaming up with Tina Fey for Weekend Update, the hiring of Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, and Kristen Wiig, and SNL regaining its popularity with the Digital Shorts, its return from the WGA strike of 2007–2008, the introduction of new fan-favorite hosts like Justin Timberlake and Jon Hamm, and the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election.

Fred Armisen, Alec Baldwin, Rachel Dratch, Abby Elliott, Jimmy Fallon, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Will Forte, Bill Hader, Darrell Hammond, Chris Kattan, Marci Klein, John McCain, Seth Meyers, Lorne Michaels, Tracy Morgan, Bobby Moynihan, Chris Parnell, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Andy Samberg, Horatio Sanz, Akiva Schaffer, Molly Shannon, Michael Shoemaker, Jason Sudeikis, Jorma Taccone, Kenan Thompson, Justin Timberlake, Christopher Walken and Kristen Wiig provided comments for the special.

Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday[edit]

The second season of Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday, a limited-run series based on Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" sketch, has aired in conjunction with this season. The show is hosted by Seth Meyers, Update's current host, and former Update co-host Amy Poehler. Like the sketch, the show is a parody of local news broadcasts and satirizes contemporary news stories and figures. As of June 2010, three episodes have aired. An additional three episodes were scheduled to air in spring 2010, but were scrapped.[36]

Episode number Original airdate Notes
Episode 1 September 17, 2009
Episode 2 September 24, 2009
Episode 3 October 1, 2009

MacGruber film[edit]

The first SNL film since 2000's The Ladies Man, MacGruber was released on May 21, 2010. The film, starring SNL cast members Will Forte and Kristen Wiig and former cast member Maya Rudolph, is based on the "MacGruber" sketches from the show. It received mixed reviews from critics and, in spite of a wide initial release, was a box office bomb. After a two-week opening commitment during which it was shown in 2,546 theaters, it was dropped from all but 177 theaters starting in its third week, a drop exceeded since 1982 only by Meet Dave and The Rocker.[37]


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