Saturday Night Live (season 38)

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Saturday Night Live (season 38)
The title card for the thirty-eighth season of Saturday Night Live.
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 21
Original network NBC
Original release September 15, 2012 (2012-09-15) – May 18, 2013 (2013-05-18)
Season chronology
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Season 37
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Season 39
List of Saturday Night Live episodes

The thirty-eighth season of Saturday Night Live, an American sketch comedy series, originally aired in the United States on NBC between September 15, 2012, and May 18, 2013.

Also airing this season were two election-themed episodes of Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday, which aired on September 20, 2012 and September 27, 2012.[1] Two months before the season premiere, original writer and occasional featured player Tom Davis died after a two-year battle with throat and neck cancer.[2]


Before the start of the season, many cast changes occurred. Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg, both cast members since 2005, decided not to return following the end of the previous season.[3][4] As well, before the start of the season, Abby Elliott, who had been a cast member since 2008, was let go after four seasons on the show.[5] Vanessa Bayer, Taran Killam, and Jay Pharoah were upgraded to repertory status.

To fill the void, the show hired three new cast members: Chicago improvisers Aidy Bryant, Tim Robinson, and Cecily Strong as the replacements. According to the official press release, "Bryant trained at the iO Chicago, Annoyance Theatre and she was also part of the ensemble that performed on the Second City E.T.C Stage. Robinson also trained at the The Second City, he performed on their Mainstage and was also part of their National Touring Company. Like Robinson, Strong has also performed as part of the National Touring Company and trained at the iO Theater".[6]

Longtime cast member Bill Hader, on the show since 2005, announced on May 14, 2013 that this season would be his last.[7] In addition to Hader, this would also be the final season for Fred Armisen, who had been with the show since 2002,[8] and for Jason Sudeikis, who had been a cast member since 2005, as well as previously writing for the show since 2003.[9] This would also be the only season for featured player Tim Robinson, who would leave his spot in the cast to instead join the writing staff the following season.

bold denotes Weekend Update anchor


Seth Meyers and Colin Jost are the season's co-head writers. Prior to the start of the season, Upright Citizens Brigade Theater performers Josh Patten and Neil Casey joined the writing staff.[10] [11]


No. in
Host  Musical guest(s)  Original air date  Ratings/
725 1 Seth MacFarlane Frank Ocean September 15, 2012 4.8/12[13]

Frank Ocean performs "Thinkin Bout You" and the second half/single version of "Pyramids". John Mayer plays guitar on both songs.

In the opening monologue, MacFarlane utilizes his character voices of Peter, Stewie and Brian Griffin, and Glenn Quagmire from Family Guy, and Roger Smith from American Dad!. He also did the voices of George Takei, Droopy the Dog, Marty McFly and Kermit the Frog.

Aidy Bryant, Tim Robinson and Cecily Strong's first episode as cast members.[6]

Starting with this episode, Jay Pharoah takes over impersonating President Barack Obama from Fred Armisen.[12]

Psy appears in the "Gangnam Style" sketch alongside Bobby Moynihan's impersonation.
726 2 Joseph Gordon-Levitt Mumford & Sons September 22, 2012 5.0/12[14]
Mumford & Sons performs "I Will Wait" and "Below My Feet" and appears in the Song Memories sketch in which the band performs "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" as a Beatles tribute band.
727 3 Daniel Craig Muse October 6, 2012 4.5/11[15]

Muse performs "Madness" and "Panic Station."

Chris Parnell reprises his Jim Lehrer impression in the cold open.

Caroll Spinney appears as Big Bird on Weekend Update.
728 4 Christina Applegate Passion Pit October 13, 2012 4.6/11[16]

Passion Pit performs "Take a Walk" and "Carried Away."

Usain Bolt appears in the cold open and "The Californians" sketch.
729 5 Bruno Mars Bruno Mars October 20, 2012 5.4/14[17]

Bruno Mars performs "Locked Out of Heaven" and "Young Girls."

Tom Hanks appears in the cold open, introduces Mars' first number and appears in the "Merryville Brothers" sketch.
730 6 Louis C.K. fun. November 3, 2012 5.0/12[18]
fun. performs "Some Nights" and "Carry On."
731 7 Anne Hathaway Rihanna November 10, 2012 5.0/12[19]
Rihanna performs "Diamonds" and "Stay."
732 8 Jeremy Renner Maroon 5 November 17, 2012 5.1/12[20]

Maroon 5 performs "One More Night" and "Daylight." Additionally, Adam Levine appears in "The Stand-Off" sketch, which was pre-recorded.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie appears on Weekend Update.

This episode contains a cartoon entitled "Cool Drones" animated by Augenblick Studios.
733 9 Jamie Foxx Ne-Yo December 8, 2012 4.6/11[21]

Ne-Yo performs "Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)" and "She Is."

2 Chainz appears during Foxx's monologue.

Dermot Mulroney appears in the "Dylan McDermott or Dermot Mulroney" sketch.

Charlie Day appears in the "Maine Justice" sketch.
734 10 Martin Short Paul McCartney December 15, 2012 5.1/12[22]

Paul McCartney performs "My Valentine" with Joe Walsh on guitar, "Cut Me Some Slack" with the surviving members of Nirvana (Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear), and "Wonderful Christmastime." McCartney also appears in the "Pageant Auditions" sketch.

Paul Shaffer, Kristen Wiig, Jimmy Fallon, Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson and Tina Fey appear in the opening monologue.

Alec Baldwin appears as Tony Bennett in the "Tony Bennett Show" sketch.

Jackson and Carrie Brownstein appear in "What Up with That?", in which Martin Short reprises his Jackie Rogers, Jr. character.

At the beginning of the show, in lieu of the traditional opening skit, the New York City Children's Chorus performs a rendition of "Silent Night" in remembrance of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that occurred a day earlier. The choir also joins McCartney on "Wonderful Christmastime."
735 11 Jennifer Lawrence The Lumineers January 19, 2013 4.9/12[23]
The Lumineers performs "Ho Hey" and "Stubborn Love."
736 12 Adam Levine Kendrick Lamar January 26, 2013 5.0/12[24]

Kendrick Lamar performs "Swimming Pools (Drank)" and "Poetic Justice" and appears in the SNL Digital Short.

Andy Samberg, Cameron Diaz and Jerry Seinfeld appear in the opening monologue. Samberg also appears in the SNL Digital Short.

Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone and Danny McBride appear in the SNL Digital Short.

Levine's Maroon 5 bandmate Mickey Madden appears in the "Band Face-Off" sketch.
737 13 Justin Bieber Justin Bieber February 9, 2013 4.9/12[25]

Justin Bieber performs the acoustic version of ”As Long as You Love Me" and "Nothing Like Us."

Whoopi Goldberg appears in the opening monologue and introduces Bieber's first performance.
738 14 Christoph Waltz Alabama Shakes February 16, 2013 4.6/12[26]
Alabama Shakes performs "Hold On" and "Always Alright."
739 15 Kevin Hart Macklemore and Ryan Lewis March 2, 2013 4.8/12[27]

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis perform "Thrift Shop" with Wanz and "Can't Hold Us" with Ray Dalton.

Longtime announcer Don Pardo was unavailable due to a broken hip. Instead he is impersonated by former cast member Darrell Hammond.
740 16 Justin Timberlake Justin Timberlake March 9, 2013 5.9/15[29]

Justin Timberlake performs "Suit & Tie" with Jay-Z and "Mirrors."

Paul Simon, Steve Martin, Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Martin Short, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Candice Bergen, and future cast member Mike O'Brien appear in the "Five-Timers Club" opening monologue. Aykroyd and Martin reprise the characters "The Festrunk Brothers" in the "It's a Date" sketch. Short, Martin and Chase also introduce Timberlake's second number as the Three Amigos.

Andy Samberg appears in "It's a Date" and "Maine Justice". "It's a Date" was written by Samberg along with former SNL writers Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone of The Lonely Island.[28]
741 17 Melissa McCarthy Phoenix April 6, 2013 4.8/12[30]

Phoenix performs "Entertainment" and a medley of "Trying to Be Cool" and "Drakkar Noir."

Dennis Rodman appears in the cold opening.

Peter Dinklage appears on Weekend Update.
742 18 Vince Vaughn Miguel April 13, 2013 4.6/12[31]

Miguel performs "Adorn" and "How Many Drinks?".

Steve Jones appears in the "History of Punk" sketch.
743 19 Zach Galifianakis Of Monsters and Men May 4, 2013 4.4/11[32]

Of Monsters and Men performs "Little Talks" and "Mountain Sound".

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau cameos in the "Game of Game of Thrones" sketch.

Galifianakis's co-stars from The Hangover series, Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms, appear in the Jennifer Aniston lookalike sketch.

Jon Hamm appears in the pre-recorded edited version of the Darrell's House sketch.
744 20 Kristen Wiig Vampire Weekend May 11, 2013 4.6/12[33]

Vampire Weekend performs "Diane Young" and "Unbelievers".

Jonah Hill and Maya Rudolph appeared in the opening monologue. Maya Rudolph appeared in "The Californians."

Kristen Wiig reprised her roles as Gilly in a pretaped portion of the monologue, Kareena (of The Californians), Kat (of Garth and Kat) on Weekend Update, the Target Lady, and Dooneese, one of the Finger Lakes singers.
745 21 Ben Affleck Kanye West May 18, 2013 4.7/12[34]

Kanye West performs "Black Skinhead" and "New Slaves".

Affleck's wife Jennifer Garner appears in the opening monologue.

Amy Poehler returns to Weekend Update for a segment of "Really?!? with Seth & Amy" and resumes her co-anchor duties.

Anderson Cooper appears on Weekend Update for a pre-taped sketch involving recurring character Stefon.

Aimee Mann, J. Mascis, Kim Gordon, Steve Jones, Michael Penn and Fred Armisen's Portlandia co-star Carrie Brownstein appear in his goodbye, "It's a Lovely Day", sketch.

Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Tim Robinson, and Jason Sudeikis' final episode as cast members.[7][8]


Title  Original air date  U.S. viewers
"Saturday Night Live Christmas" November 28, 2012 7.36[35]
A collection of memorable holiday-themed sketches from past and present eras. Sketches include: "Santa's My Boyfriend", Jimmy Fallon's Christmas song monologue, "Turner Classic Movies presents: This, You Call a Wonderful Life", "The Mark Jensen Family Christmas Special", Garrett Morris' performance of "Winter Wonderland," "Glengarry Glen Santa's Workshop," "Steve Martin's Holiday Wish," Weekend Update: Adam Sandler's "Hanukkah Song" from the season 20 episode hosted by Roseanne Barr, "Homelessville Mascot vs. Salvation Army Santa," Robert De Niro's monologue from season 30 (featuring an appearance by Kermit the Frog), "TV Funhouse: Christmastime for the Jews," Weekend Update: Stefon's Christmas Clubs from the season 37 episode hosted by Katy Perry, John Malkovich's monologue from season 34, the "Dick in a Box" Digital Short from the season 32 episode hosted by Justin Timberlake, "Consumer Probe," "Michael Buble's Holiday Duets," "The Vogelchecks' Christmas," "Martha Stewart's Topless Holiday Special," "Robert Goulet's Christmas Special," Weekend Update: Drunk Uncle Rambles About the Holidays, "What Up With That" from the season 35 episode hosted by James Franco, "NPR: Schwetty Balls," "Mary Katherine Gallager in the School Choir," and "Seasons Greetings From Saturday Night Live" from the season 26 episode hosted by Lucy Liu.

Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday[edit]

The third 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 specials focus on the United States presidential election. The show is hosted by Seth Meyers, Update's current host.[1]

Title  Original air date  U.S. viewers
"Season 3, Episode 1" September 20, 2012 5.15
"Season 3, Episode 2" September 27, 2012 4.67


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