Saturday Night Live (season 36)

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Saturday Night Live (season 36)
The title card for the thirty-sixth season of Saturday Night Live.
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 22
Original channel NBC
Original release September 25, 2010 (2010-09-25) – May 21, 2011 (2011-05-21)
Season chronology
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List of Saturday Night Live episodes

The thirty-sixth season of Saturday Night Live, an American sketch comedy series, originally aired in the United States on NBC between September 25, 2010, and May 21, 2011.

This season also debuted a new animated feature voiced by former SNL cast members, called "Greetings from American America", created by former SNL head writer Fred Wolf.

Long-time announcer Don Pardo announced that he would pre-record his parts from his home in Arizona rather than performing live in New York City.[1]


Prior to the start of the season, many cast changes occurred. Will Forte, who had been with the show since 2002 (a total of 8 seasons), announced on August 26, 2010 that he would be leaving the show.[2] Featured player Jenny Slate was let go from the show after only one season.[3] Abby Elliott and Bobby Moynihan were promoted to repertory status, becoming the first featured players to be promoted since 2006.

The show hired four new cast members: Chicago improvisers Vanessa Bayer and Paul Brittain from ImprovOlympic; stand-up comic/impressionist Jay Pharoah; and comedic actor Taran Killam of The Groundlings, who, like Jeff Richards was a former cast member on SNL's rival sketch show, Mad TV (Killam was the show's youngest cast member at 19 years old).[4]

bold denotes Weekend Update anchor


In August 2010, Michaels hired Second City Theater writers Tom Flanigan and Shelly Gossman.[5] Heather Anne Campbell, a performer from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Los Angeles, was also added to the writing staff.[6] Sarah Schneider, a regular writer and performer for CollegeHumor, was a guest writer for the last five episodes of the season before joining full-time for season 37.[7]


Saturday Night Live season 36 episodes
No. # Host(s) Musical guest(s) Original airdate Ratings/Share
681 1 Amy Poehler Katy Perry September 25, 2010 5.3/13

Vanessa Bayer, Paul Brittain, Taran Killam, and Jay Pharoah's first episode as cast members.

Amy Poehler reprised her roles as Betty Caruso and Amber.

Katy Perry performed "California Gurls" and "Teenage Dream", and appeared in Bronx Beat and the SNL Digital Short.

Back-up dancer Kherington Payne appeared in both performances.

Justin Timberlake, Rachel Dratch, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Peter Sarsgaard, and Maya Rudolph made cameo appearances.

New York Governor David Paterson appeared in Weekend Update alongside Fred Armisen's portrayal of Paterson.
682 2 Bryan Cranston Kanye West October 2, 2010 4.8/12

Kanye West performed "Power" and "Runaway". Pusha T performed with him on the second song.

Morgan Freeman and Ernest Borgnine made cameo appearances in the sketch "What Up with That."

Helen Mirren appeared in the Digital Short.
683 3 Jane Lynch Bruno Mars October 9, 2010 4.8/12

Bruno Mars performed "Just the Way You Are" and a medley of the songs "Nothin' on You" and "Grenade".

Kristen Wiig received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for this episode.
684 4 Emma Stone Kings of Leon October 23, 2010 4.5/11

Kings of Leon performed "Radioactive" and "Pyro".

SNL writer John Mulaney appeared on a Weekend Update segment called "I Love It".
685 5 Jon Hamm Rihanna October 30, 2010 4.6/11

Rihanna performed "What's My Name?" and "Only Girl (In the World)" and appeared in the Digital Short.

The episode's final segment featured David Spade as the voice of a chihuahua in an animated short by former SNL writer Fred Wolf.
686 6 Scarlett Johansson Arcade Fire November 13, 2010 4.7/12

Arcade Fire performed "We Used to Wait" and "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)" and appeared in the Digital Short. Owen Pallett played violin during both of Arcade Fire's performances.[8]

Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner played the synthesizer during Arcade Fire's second performance.[9]
687 7 Anne Hathaway Florence + the Machine November 20, 2010 4.7/12
Florence + the Machine performed "Dog Days Are Over" and "You Got the Love".
688 8 Robert De Niro Diddy-Dirty Money December 4, 2010 5.0/12

Diddy-Dirty Money performed "Coming Home" and "Ass on the Floor". Diddy also appeared in the "Blizzard Man" sketch.

Swizz Beatz performed with Diddy-Dirty Money for their second song.

Robin Williams made a cameo in "What Up with That".

Ben Stiller made cameos in the "Movie Fan" and "It's a Living" sketches.

The episode's final segment featured Dana Carvey as the voice of a hippie in an animated short by former SNL writer Fred Wolf.
689 9 Paul Rudd Paul McCartney December 11, 2010 5.3/13

Paul McCartney performed "Jet", "Band on the Run", a medley of "A Day in the Life" and "Give Peace a Chance", and as an encore, "Get Back", replacing the extended good-byes. He appeared in the opening monologue, SNL Digital Short, and Weekend Update.

Chef Mario Batali appeared in the Digital Short.
690 10 Jeff Bridges Eminem and Lil Wayne December 18, 2010 4.9/12

For the first set, Eminem and Lil Wayne performed "No Love". For the second set, Eminem performed "Won't Back Down" and Lil Wayne performed "6 Foot 7 Foot".

David Rudman played Cookie Monster in the opening monologue. Cookie Monster started his own campaign on Facebook, similar to that of Betty White, to audition for SNL the month before, though he did not get the part.

Akon, Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaffer, John McEnroe, Blake Lively, and Jessica Alba along with Andy Samberg appeared in the SNL Digital Short.
691 11 Jim Carrey The Black Keys January 8, 2011 7.8/18

The Black Keys performed "Howlin' for You" and "Tighten Up".

Jim Carrey reprised his Charles Bronson impression from In Living Color.

The start of this broadcast was delayed 20 minutes due to the Colts-Jets AFC Wild Card game running long.
692 12 Gwyneth Paltrow Cee Lo Green January 15, 2011 5.1/12

Cee Lo Green performed "Forget You" and "Bright Lights Bigger City", appeared in the opening monologue, The Bar Mitzvah Sketch and the "Forget You" sketch.

Pee-wee Herman and Anderson Cooper appeared in the SNL Digital Short.
693 13 Jesse Eisenberg Nicki Minaj January 29, 2011 5.1/12

Nicki Minaj performed "Right Thru Me" and "Moment 4 Life" and appeared in the SNL Digital Short and the "Bride of Blackenstein" sketch.

Mark Zuckerberg appeared in the opening monologue.

Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaffer, and John Waters appeared in the SNL Digital Short.
694 14 Dana Carvey Linkin Park February 5, 2011 5.6/13

Linkin Park performed "Waiting for the End" and "When They Come for Me".

Mike Myers appeared in the cold open to reprise his role as the title character in a Wayne's World sketch and introduced Linkin Park's second number.

Jon Lovitz appeared in the opening monologue and introduced Linkin Park's second number.

Justin Bieber appeared in Church Chat and a pre-taped SNL Movie Trailer Re-Cut parody of The Roommate.

Carvey reprised his characters of Garth Algar and The Church Lady, as well as his impressions of Mickey Rooney and Regis Philbin.
695 15 Russell Brand Chris Brown February 12, 2011 5.0/12
Chris Brown performed "Yeah 3x" and "No BS".[10]
696 16 Miley Cyrus The Strokes March 5, 2011 5.4/13
The Strokes performed "Under Cover of Darkness" and "Life is Simple in the Moonlight".
697 17 Zach Galifianakis Jessie J March 12, 2011 4.8/12

Jessie J performed "Price Tag" with B.o.B and "Mamma Knows Best".

Seth Meyers ended Weekend Update by encouraging viewers to donate to Red Cross relief for the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.[11]

Seth Meyers made an appearance in the "The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy Tour" sketch as comedian Boston Powers. According to Meyers, it was his first appearance in a sketch in two years.[12]
698 18 Elton John Elton John and Leon Russell April 2, 2011 5.0/12

Elton John and Leon Russell performed "Hey Ahab" and "Monkey Suit" and perform an encore performance of "The Bitch Is Back" after the show was over.[13]

Will Forte cameoed in the ESPN Classic sketch to reprise his character Greg Stink.

Tom Hanks cameoed in the ESPN Classic sketch, the Knights of the Realm sketch, the SNL Digital Short, and introduced John's first musical number.

Carmelo Anthony cameoed in the ESPN Classic sketch, the SNL Digital Short and introduced John's second musical number.

Jake Gyllenhaal cameoed on Weekend Update.
699 19 Helen Mirren Foo Fighters April 9, 2011 4.7/12
Foo Fighters performed "Rope" and "Walk". Additionally, Dave Grohl appeared in the SNL Digital Short and the Bongo's Clown Room sketch.
700 20 Tina Fey Ellie Goulding May 7, 2011 5.3/15

Ellie Goulding performed "Lights" and "Your Song".

Maya Rudolph appeared in the opening monologue, the pregnancy class sketch, and the Googie Rene sketch.

Darrell Hammond appeared as Donald Trump in the GOP Debate sketch.

Tina Fey reprised her impersonation of Sarah Palin in the GOP Debate sketch.

Michael Bolton, Jorma Taccone, and Akiva Schaffer appeared in the SNL Digital Short.

Tina Fey received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for this episode.[14]
701 21 Ed Helms Paul Simon May 14, 2011 4.9/12

Paul Simon performed "Rewrite" and "So Beautiful or So What" and appeared in What Up with That.

Chris Colfer and Lindsey Buckingham appeared in What Up with That.

Jon Hamm, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell appeared in the live-action segment of TV Funhouse.
702 22 Justin Timberlake Lady Gaga May 21, 2011 7.0/17

Lady Gaga performed a medley of "The Edge of Glory" and "Judas" and "Born This Way" and appeared in the Liquorville sketch, the SNL Digital Short, and the "What's That Name?" sketch.

Susan Sarandon and Patricia Clarkson appeared in the SNL Digital Short, reprising their roles from the "Motherlover" Digital Short.

Bradley Cooper appeared on Weekend Update.

Jimmy Fallon reprised his role as Barry Gibb in the Barry Gibb Talk Show sketch.


# Special Original airdate
1 "The Women of SNL" November 1, 2010

A collection of past and present sketches highlighting the best work from SNL's female cast members, shown as a parody of The Real Housewives reality series.

Rachel Dratch, Nora Dunn, Tina Fey, Ana Gasteyer, Jan Hooks, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Laraine Newman, Cheri Oteri, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Molly Shannon and Kristen Wiig appeared in new material made exclusively for the special.[15]

Andy Cohen made a cameo during the special.

Originally this special was supposed to air in the previous season but was scrapped and replaced with a special about the history of Saturday Night Live in the 2000s. NBC re-aired the special on May 18, 2014.
2 "Saturday Night Live Backstage" February 20, 2011[18]

A documentary showing the creation of a typical Saturday Night Live episode.

Originally a special celebrating the 35th anniversary of the show was planned but was scrapped and replaced with this special instead.[16][17]


  1. ^ Ward, Coley (September 9, 2010). "Pardo to voice 'SNL' from Tucson". The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Arizona). Archived from the original on September 28, 2010. 
  2. ^ Barrett, Annie (2010-08-26). "Will Forte Leaving SNL". Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  3. ^ "Jenny Slate Leaving SNL". 2010-09-07. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  4. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (2010-09-07). "Four New Cast Members". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  5. ^ "Second City's Tom Flanigan Hired By 'Saturday Night Live'". Huffington Post. 2010-08-25. 
  6. ^ "Meet two more new writers for SNL's 36th season: Heather Anne Campbell and Tom Flanigan". The Comic's Comic. 2010-08-29. Archived from the original on July 27, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  7. ^ Frucci, Adam (August 10, 2011). "CollegeHumor's Sarah Schneider Hired as a Writer at SNL". SplitSider. 
  8. ^ "Watch: Arcade Fire on "Saturday Night Live"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  9. ^ "Watch: Arcade Fire return to SNL, bring friends « Consequence of Sound". 2010-11-14. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  10. ^ "Host Russell Brand and Musical Guest Chris Brown Make SNL Debuts on February 12". NBC. February 1, 2011. Archived from the original on November 2, 1012. 
  11. ^ ""SNL" Roars Into March With Host Miley Cyrus and Musical Guest The Strokes on March 5". 2011-02-28. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  12. ^ Seth Meyers (March 12, 2011). "Many thanks to Bobby Moynihan and Christine Nangle for writing me into my first sketch in 2 years.". Twitter. Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  13. ^ "Elton John: The Bitch Is Back". Saturday Night Live. Retrieved 2011-06-15. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Primetime Emmy Award Database". Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Retrieved November 3, 2012. 
  15. ^ "The Women of SNL". Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  16. ^ Gorman, Bill (2010-05-16). "NBC Unveils 2010–11 Primetime Schedule". Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  17. ^ "Toonces Is Back: OnStar Texting Cat Is The New Driving Cat". 2010-09-15. Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  18. ^ "Saturday Night Live Backstage". Retrieved 2011-03-27.