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Saturday Night Live (season 40)

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Saturday Night Live (season 40)
The title card for Saturday Night Live – season 40, showing New York skyscrapers.
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 21
Release
Original network NBC
Original release September 27, 2014 (2014-09-27) – May 16, 2015 (2015-05-16)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 39
Next →
Season 41
List of Saturday Night Live episodes

Saturday Night Live premiered its fortieth season during the 2014–15 television season on NBC. The season premiered on September 27, 2014, with host Chris Pratt and musical guest Ariana Grande and came to a conclusion on May 16, 2015 with host Louis C.K. and musical guest Rihanna. Former cast member Darrell Hammond succeeded Don Pardo, who had died in August,[1] as the show's new announcer.[2] The premiere included an interstitial photograph of Pardo – SNL's announcer since it premiered in 1975 (with the exception of season 7 and episode 14 of season 21 – where Hammond took his place).[3]

Cast[edit]

As part of an ongoing rebuilding process, which producer Lorne Michaels indicated would result in cast changes for the 2014–15 season,[4] a number of changes were announced: Nasim Pedrad departed after five seasons to star on the Lorne Michaels-produced sitcom Mulaney,[5] while John Milhiser, Noël Wells, and Brooks Wheelan were let go after a single season.[6][7] Additionally, Mike O'Brien, a writer for the show for four seasons before joining the cast at the start of the previous season, returned to the writers' room.[8]

Two comedians joined the cast at the start of the season: stand-up comic Pete Davidson, the first SNL cast member to have been born in the 1990s,[9] and former SNL writer Michael Che as a Weekend Update co-anchor, replacing Cecily Strong, who remains in the cast.[10] Che left SNL at the end of the previous season to become a correspondent on The Daily Show.[11] After making appearances on Weekend Update and in several sketches, writer Leslie Jones was promoted to the cast on October 20, 2014 as a featured player.[12]

Coinciding with the show's fortieth anniversary, the show introduced a new logo, which is still in use today: it shows the text SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (with the "NIGHT" being oriented below "SATURDAY" and "LIVE").

Writers[edit]

Prior to the start of the season, five new writers were hired:

This was the final season for Mike O'Brien, who joined the writing staff in 2009 and Claire Mulaney, who joined the staff in 2013, as well as the only season for writers Natasha Rothwell, Nick Rutherford, and Alison Rich.[16]

Episodes[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
HostMusical guest(s)Original air dateRatings/
Share
7671Chris PrattAriana GrandeSeptember 27, 2014 (2014-09-27)4.0/10[17]

7682Sarah SilvermanMaroon 5October 4, 2014 (2014-10-04)3.9/10[18]

  • Maroon 5 performs "Animals" and "Maps".
  • Adam Levine appears as Freddie Mercury in the "Joan Rivers" sketch and as himself in the "Car Ride" sketch.
  • An image of Joan Rivers, who died a month earlier, is shown in silence following the "Joan Rivers" sketch.
  • Former cast member and current writer Mike O'Brien makes an appearance in the "Whites" commercial.
7693Bill HaderHozierOctober 11, 2014 (2014-10-11)3.8/10[19]

7704Jim CarreyIggy AzaleaOctober 25, 2014 (2014-10-25)4.1/10[20]

7715Chris RockPrinceNovember 1, 2014 (2014-11-01)4.9/10[21]

  • Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL perform a medley including the songs "Clouds" (with Lianne La Havas), "Plectrumelectrum", "Marz" and "Anotherlove".
  • This episode marks Prince's final television performance before his death in 2016.
7726Woody HarrelsonKendrick LamarNovember 15, 2014 (2014-11-15)4.1/10[23]

7737Cameron DiazMark Ronson and Bruno MarsNovember 22, 2014 (2014-11-22)4.1/10[24]

  • Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars perform "Uptown Funk" and "Feel Right" with Mystikal.
  • A memorial picture of Mike Nichols, who died of a heart attack three days before, was shown after a "High School Theater Show" sketch.
7748James FrancoNicki MinajDecember 6, 2014 (2014-12-06)4.4/10[25]

7759Martin FreemanCharli XCXDecember 13, 2014 (2014-12-13)3.9/10[26]

77610Amy AdamsOne DirectionDecember 20, 2014 (2014-12-20)4.0/10[27]

77711Kevin HartSiaJanuary 17, 2015 (2015-01-17)4.1/10[28]

77812Blake SheltonBlake SheltonJanuary 24, 2015 (2015-01-24)4.7/10[29]

77913J. K. SimmonsD'AngeloJanuary 31, 2015 (2015-01-31)4.3/10[30]

78014Dakota JohnsonAlabama ShakesFebruary 28, 2015 (2015-02-28)3.8/9[31]

78115Chris HemsworthZac Brown BandMarch 7, 2015 (2015-03-07)4.0/10[32]

78216Dwayne JohnsonGeorge EzraMarch 28, 2015 (2015-03-28)3.7/9[33]

78317Michael KeatonCarly Rae JepsenApril 4, 2015 (2015-04-04)3.7/9[34]

78418Taraji P. HensonMumford & SonsApril 11, 2015 (2015-04-11)3.8/10[35]

78519Scarlett JohanssonWiz KhalifaMay 2, 2015 (2015-05-02)3.4/9[36]

78620Reese WitherspoonFlorence + the MachineMay 9, 2015 (2015-05-09)3.7/10[37]

78721Louis C.K.RihannaMay 16, 2015 (2015-05-16)3.8/10[38]

Specials[edit]

TitleOriginal air dateUS viewers
(millions)
"SNL's NFL Saturday"January 31, 2015 (2015-01-31)3.80[40]

A selection of past sketches related to the NFL were shown.[39] Aired sketches included:

  • "Bob Swerski's Quiz Masters", from the season 17 episode hosted by Chevy Chase.
  • "Schmitt's Gay", featuring Chris Farley and Adam Sandler, from the season 17 episode hosted by Steve Martin.
  • "Sexual Harassment and You", a TV Funhouse short by Robert Smigel, from the season 30 episode hosted by Tom Brady.
  • "NFL on CBS", from the season 32 episode hosted by Jeremy Piven.
  • "Text Message Evidence", from the season 37 episode hosted by Eli Manning.
  • "United Way" and "Locker Room Motivation", from the season 32 episode hosted by Peyton Manning.
  • "Tebow", from the season 37 episode hosted by Jimmy Fallon.
  • "NBC Football Promo", from the season 37 episode hosted by Channing Tatum.
  • "Super Champions", from the season 39 episode hosted by Melissa McCarthy.
  • "ESPN Bowl Madness", from the season 37 episode hosted by Charles Barkley.
"An SNL Valentine"February 14, 2015 (2015-02-14)N/A

Previous skits with a Valentine's Day theme are presented.[41] Aired sketches included:

  • "Dancing in the Dark" from the season 3 episode hosted by Steve Martin
  • "Some Dumb Little Thing from CVS" from the season 39 episode hosted by Melissa McCarthy
  • "The Best of T.T. & Mario" from the season 30 episode hosted by Jason Bateman
  • "The Love Toilet" from the season 17 episode hosted by Macaulay Culkin
  • Weekend Update: Daisy Rose discusses romantic comedy-themed sitcoms from the season 40 episode hosted by Jim Carrey
  • "A Sexy Valentine's Day Message" from the season 38 episode hosted by Justin Bieber
  • Weekend Update: Adam Sandler sings "Red-Hooded Sweatshirt" from the season 18 episode hosted by Alec Baldwin
  • "Nerds Prom Night" from the season 3 episode hosted by Buck Henry
  • "The Date" from the season 35 episode hosted by Megan Fox
  • Weekend Update: Jimmy Fallon on Valentine's Day from the season 24 episode hosted by Brendan Fraser
  • "The Continental" from the season 15 episode hosted by Christopher Walken
  • "Romantic Speech" from the season 39 episode hosted by Louis C.K.
  • "Gatorade Love Bucket" from the season 25 episode hosted by Mena Suvari
  • "Love-Ahs" from the season 27 episode hosted by Drew Barrymore
  • "I Just Had Sex" from the season 36 episode hosted by Jeff Bridges
  • "Les Jeunes de Paris" from the season 36 episode hosted by Emma Stone
"SNL 40th Red Carpet Live"February 15, 2015 (2015-02-15)N/A
A special hosted by Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Carson Daly and Al Roker. They interviewed past hosts, current and previous cast members, and musical legends that previously performed on the show.[42]
"Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special"February 15, 2015 (2015-02-15)23.1 (Live+SD); 26.5 (Live+3)[1]; 5.1 million (repeat)[2])[45]
A three and a half hour prime-time special celebrating SNL's 40th year on the air.[43][44] This special assembled together a large list of current and former cast members, hosts, and musical acts from throughout the show's forty seasons.[43][44] This special became NBC's most-watched prime-time, non-sports, entertainment telecast since the ER season finale in 2009.[45]

References[edit]

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  5. ^ "Nasim Pedrad implies that she's leaving 'Saturday Night Live'". Erin Strecker. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
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  14. ^ McCarthy, Sean L. (September 9, 2014). "SNL hires Nick Rutherford to reunite, write with his Good Neighbor mates". The Comic's Comic. 
  15. ^ a b c Wright, Megh (September 9, 2014). "Natasha Rothwell, Streeter Seidell, and Jeremy Beiler Join 'SNL's Writing Staff". Splitsider. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
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  22. ^ Cut For Time: Tweet - Saturday Night Live. YouTube. November 19, 2014. Retrieved May 15, 2015. 
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  29. ^ Bibel, Sara (January 25, 2015). "'Saturday Night Live' With Host and Musical Guest Blake Shelton Up From Last Original". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 25, 2015. 
  30. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (February 1, 2015). "'Saturday Night Live' With Host J.K. Simmons and Musical Guest D'Angelo Down From Last Week". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  31. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (March 1, 2015). "'Saturday Night Live' With Host Dakota Johnson and Musical Guest Alabama Shakes Down From Last Original". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  32. ^ Bibel, Sara (March 8, 2015). "'Saturday Night Live' With Host Chris Hemsworth and Musical Guest Zac Brown Band Up From Last Original". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 8, 2015. 
  33. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (March 29, 2015). "'Saturday Night Live' With Host Dwayne Johnson and Musical Guest George Ezra Down From Last Original". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 29, 2015. 
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  36. ^ Bibel, Sara (May 3, 2015). "'Saturday Night Live' With Host Scarlett Johansson and Musical Wiz Khalifa Down From Prior Episode". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 3, 2015. 
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  45. ^ a b Hibberd, James (February 16, 2015). "SNL anniversary breaks NBC ratings records". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 16, 2015.