Saturday Night Live (season 44)

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Saturday Night Live (season 44)
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes21
Release
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 29, 2018 (2018-09-29) –
May 18, 2019 (2019-05-18)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 43
Next →
Season 45
List of Saturday Night Live episodes

The forty-fourth season of the NBC comedy series Saturday Night Live premiered on September 29, 2018, during the 2018–19 television season with host Adam Driver and musical guest Kanye West[1][2] and concluded on May 18, 2019, with host Paul Rudd and musical guest DJ Khaled.[3]

Cast[edit]

Prior to the start of the season, Luke Null (who joined the cast during the previous season) was let go from the show.[1] Upright Citizens Brigade alum Ego Nwodim joined the cast as a featured player, with Nwodim becoming the seventh African-American female cast member in the show's history.[4] Featured players Mikey Day, Alex Moffat, and Melissa Villaseñor were upgraded to repertory status while Chris Redd and Heidi Gardner remained featured players.

Aside from Null, all other cast members from the previous season returned to the show, including guest star Alec Baldwin in his role as President Donald Trump.[5]

This would be the last season for Leslie Jones, who departed after five seasons in the cast in favor of focusing on her movie career. Her departure was announced on August 27, 2019.[6]

Cast roster[edit]

bold denotes "Weekend Update" anchor

Writers[edit]

Prior to the start of the season, the show added Alison Gates, Alan Linic, Eli Mandel, and Bowen Yang to the writing staff,[4] while co-head writer Bryan Tucker was designated a senior writer, leaving Colin Jost, Michael Che, and Kent Sublette as the show's remaining head writers.[7]

Episodes[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
HostMusical guest(s)Original air dateRatings/
Share
8511Adam DriverKanye WestSeptember 29, 2018 (2018-09-29)4.8/11[10]

8522AwkwafinaTravis ScottOctober 6, 2018 (2018-10-06)4.2/10[11]

  • Travis Scott performs a medley of "Skeletons" and "Astrothunder" with John Mayer and Kevin Parker on guitar and bass, respectively, and "Sicko Mode". Additionally, Scott appears in the "Dance Battle" sketch.
  • Awkwafina became the second Asian-American woman to host SNL, 18 years after Lucy Liu hosted in 2000.
8533Seth MeyersPaul SimonOctober 13, 2018 (2018-10-13)4.4/10[13]

8544Jonah HillMaggie RogersNovember 3, 2018 (2018-11-03)4.4/10[14]

8555Liev SchreiberLil WayneNovember 10, 2018 (2018-11-10)4.0/10[16]

  • Lil Wayne performs "Can't Be Broken" with Halsey and "Uproar" with Swizz Beatz, and appears in the pre-recorded "Booty Kings" sketch.
  • Robert De Niro appears as Robert Mueller in the cold open.
  • Future appears in the pre-recorded "Booty Kings" sketch.
  • Dan Crenshaw appears on Weekend Update opposite Pete Davidson, referencing a controversial joke Davidson made about him the previous week.[15]
8566Steve CarellElla MaiNovember 17, 2018 (2018-11-17)4.4/11[19]

8577Claire FoyAnderson .PaakDecember 1, 2018 (2018-12-01)4.1/10[20]

8588Jason MomoaMumford & SonsDecember 8, 2018 (2018-12-08)4.3/10[21]

  • Mumford & Sons perform "Guiding Light" and "Delta".
  • Robert De Niro appears as Robert Mueller in the cold open.
  • The February 2, 2019, rerun replaces the "Khal Drogo's Ghost Dojo" sketch with the dress rehearsal version.
8599Matt DamonMark Ronson and Miley CyrusDecember 15, 2018 (2018-12-15)4.8/12[25]

  • Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus perform "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart" and a cover of "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)". For the latter song, Ronson and Cyrus are joined by Sean Lennon, son of original artists John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
  • In a break with tradition in which the host introduces the musical guests, Pete Davidson introduces Ronson and Cyrus's second performance. It was Davidson's only live appearance on the show (though he did appear in one pre-recorded sketch). Earlier in the day, a post on Davidson's Instagram sparked public concern that he was suicidal.[22][23]
  • Alec Baldwin, Robert De Niro, and Ben Stiller appear as Donald Trump, Robert Mueller, and Michael Cohen, respectively, in the cold open. Additionally, Baldwin appears in the "Cop Christmas" sketch.
  • This episode attracted negative reactions from Donald Trump, both when the episode originally broadcast, as well as when the episode rebroadcast on March 16, 2019.[24]
86010Rachel BrosnahanGreta Van FleetJanuary 19, 2019 (2019-01-19)4.5/11[26]

86111James McAvoyMeek MillJanuary 26, 2019 (2019-01-26)4.1/10[27]

86212HalseyHalseyFebruary 9, 2019 (2019-02-09)4.7/11[28]

86313Don CheadleGary Clark Jr.February 16, 2019 (2019-02-16)4.3/11[29]

  • Gary Clark Jr. performs "Pearl Cadillac" and "This Land".
  • Alec Baldwin appears as Donald Trump in the cold open.
  • Before the goodnights, a photo of former stage manager Joe Dicso is shown in silence.
86414John MulaneyThomas RhettMarch 2, 2019 (2019-03-02)4.7/11[30]

  • Thomas Rhett performs "Look What God Gave Her" and "Don't Threaten Me With a Good Time".
  • Bill Hader and Ben Stiller appear as Jim Jordan and Michael Cohen, respectively, in the cold open. Additionally, Hader appears in the "What's That Name?" sketch.
  • Before the goodnights, a photo of wardrobe department member Margaret Karolyi is shown in silence.
86515Idris ElbaKhalidMarch 9, 2019 (2019-03-09)4.5/11[31]

  • Khalid performs "Talk" and "Better".
  • Gwyneth Paltrow appears as Fifer James on Weekend Update.
  • The episode's rerun on August 3, 2019, aired the originally Cut for Time sketch "New Cast Member", a short film where Kyle Mooney plays an unknown relative who appears as an unnoticed Saturday Night Live cast member. Also, before the goodnights of this rerun, a photo of former lighting director Phil Hymes was shown. Hymes had passed away on the Monday of that week.
86616Sandra OhTame ImpalaMarch 30, 2019 (2019-03-30)4.1/10[32]

86717Kit HaringtonSara BareillesApril 6, 2019 (2019-04-06)4.4/11[33]

86818Emma StoneBTSApril 13, 2019 (2019-04-13)3.9/10[34]

  • BTS performs "Boy With Luv" and "Mic Drop".
    • BTS became the first K-Pop group and the first Asian musical guests to perform on the show.
  • Michael Keaton appears as Julian Assange in the cold open.
  • Pornographic film actor Ty Mitchell appears in a pre-recorded skit called "The Actress."
86919Adam SandlerShawn MendesMay 4, 2019 (2019-05-04)4.8/12[37]

  • Shawn Mendes performs "If I Can't Have You" and "In My Blood" and appears in the "Sandler Family Reunion" sketch.
  • Chris Rock appears in the opening monologue with Sandler and Pete Davidson, singing an original song called "I Was Fired".
  • Jimmy Fallon, Kristen Wiig, and frequent Sandler collaborator Allen Covert appear in the "Sandler Family Reunion" sketch. Additionally, Wiig appears in the "Last Call" sketch.
  • Prior to the goodnights, Sandler performs a musical tribute to Chris Farley that was originally performed in his 2018 stand-up special Adam Sandler 100% Fresh.
    • Sandler also does a short impersonation of Farley during the opening monologue.
  • Former SNL writers Tim Herlihy, Steve Koren, and Robert Smigel guest-wrote on this episode.[35]
  • With this episode, Sandler ties Dan Aykroyd's record for the longest gap between being a cast member and returning to host the show. The gap for both actors stands at nine days shy of 24 years.[36] Both actors made guest appearances on the show during the time period after leaving the cast and before returning to host.
87020Emma ThompsonJonas BrothersMay 11, 2019 (2019-05-11)4.2/10[38]

  • Jonas Brothers perform "Sucker" and a medley of "Cool" and "Burnin' Up" and appear in the "Judge Court" sketch.
  • Tina Fey and Amy Poehler appear in the opening monologue.
  • In honor of Mother's Day, Pete Davidson's mother, Amy Davidson, appears on Weekend Update alongside her son.
  • Jon Hamm appears during the goodnights. His name came up during the aforementioned Weekend Update appearance by the Davidsons.
87121Paul RuddDJ KhaledMay 18, 2019 (2019-05-18)4.0/10[40]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Simon had previously performed "Bridge over Troubled Water" on November 20, 1976, the eighth episode of the show's second season.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Williams, Janice (September 1, 2018). "When does 'Saturday Night Live' Season 44 premiere? 'SNL' Returns this fall".
  2. ^ Otterson, Joe (September 17, 2018). "Adam Driver to Host 'SNL' Season 44 Opener, Kanye West to Perform". Variety. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  3. ^ NBC (April 17, 2019). ""Saturday Night Live" Closes Out Its 44th Season with Three Back-to-Back Shows in May". The Futon Critic. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Douglas, Esme (September 21, 2018). "Here's what you need to know about SNL's newest cast member, Ego Nwodim". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  5. ^ Butler, Bethonie (September 21, 2018). "Alec Baldwin says he'll play Trump again on SNL — even though 'it's like agony'". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  6. ^ Nellie Andreeva (August 27, 2019). "Leslie Jones departs Saturday Night Live after 5 seasons, Kate McKinnon to return for Season 45". Deadline. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  7. ^ Megh Wright (September 10, 2018). "Here Are the Co-Head Writers of Saturday Night Live Season 44". Vulture. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
  8. ^ Alexander, Bryan (October 7, 2018). "'Saturday Night Live': Pete Davidson rips Kanye West's 'wrong' pro-Trump rant after 'SNL'". USA Today.
  9. ^ "Ariana Grande Dropped Out of 'SNL' Premiere for "Emotional Reasons"". The Hollywood Reporter. September 28, 2018. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  10. ^ ""Saturday Night Live" Delivers Its #2 Top-Rated Season Premiere Overnights in Six Years". The Futon Critic. September 30, 2018. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  11. ^ "Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: College Football Puts ABC on Top". The Futon Critic. October 7, 2018. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  12. ^ Kurtz, Judy (October 18, 2018). "Baltimore Police union objects to 'Thirsty Cops' sketch on 'SNL'". The Hill.
  13. ^ "Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: ABC Cruises to Victory with College Football". The Futon Critic. October 14, 2018. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  14. ^ "Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: Alabama/LSU Showdown Puts CBS on Top". The Futon Critic. November 4, 2018. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  15. ^ Sims, David (November 11, 2018). "A Veterans Day Apology From Saturday Night Live and Pete Davidson". The Atlantic. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  16. ^ "Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: ABC Wins Latest College Football Showdown". The Futon Critic. November 11, 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  17. ^ Hinzmann, Dennis (November 19, 2018). "Peppermint & Jiggly Caliente Get You There as 'GPYass' on 'SNL'". Out. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  18. ^ Daw, Stephen (November 19, 2018). "Peppermint and Jiggly Caliente Make Road Trips More Fun in Epic 'SNL' Sketch". Billboard. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  19. ^ "Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: ABC Wins Demo Race with College Football". The Futon Critic. November 18, 2018. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  20. ^ "Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: Big Ten Championship Puts FOX on Top". The Futon Critic. December 2, 2018. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  21. ^ "Saturday Ratings: ABC's 'The Alec Baldwin Show' DOA on Saturday". Programming Insider. December 9, 2018. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  22. ^ Ellis, Ralph; Marco, Tony (December 16, 2018). "Pete Davidson makes brief appearance on 'SNL' after troubling Instagram post". CNN. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  23. ^ Caron, Christina; Mays, Jeffery C. (15 December 2018). "Pete Davidson of 'Saturday Night Live' Is Accounted For After Alarming Instagram Post". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  24. ^ "Trump Got Really Mad at SNL. It Was a Rerun This Week". Esquire. March 17, 2019.
  25. ^ "Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: UFC Sparks Demo Victory for FOX". The Futon Critic. December 16, 2018. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  26. ^ "Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: ABC Gets Boost from NBA Coverage". The Futon Critic. January 20, 2019. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  27. ^ "Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: ABC Tops Demos with NBA Coverage". The Futon Critic. January 27, 2019. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  28. ^ "Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: Alliance of American Football Opens on Top for CBS". The Futon Critic. February 10, 2019. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  29. ^ "Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: ABC, NBC Share Top Honors on Modest Night". The Futon Critic. February 17, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  30. ^ "Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: NBA Leads Demo Race for ABC". The Futon Critic. March 3, 2019. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  31. ^ "Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC Tops Viewers, Shares Demo Crown". The Futon Critic. March 10, 2019. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  32. ^ "Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC Tops Low Key Night with "Dateline"". The Futon Critic. March 31, 2019. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  33. ^ "Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS Wins Big with Final Four Coverage". The Futon Critic. April 7, 2019. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  34. ^ "Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: ABC Wins Sports Showdown with NBA Playoffs". The Futon Critic. April 14, 2019. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  35. ^ Wright, Megh (May 3, 2019). "Adam Sandler's Old SNL Office Now Belongs to the 'Weekend Update' Guys". Vulture. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  36. ^ https://www.inquisitr.com/5378233/adam-sandlers-return-to-snl-marks-longest-gap-of-any-former-cast-member-to-host/
  37. ^ "Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: NBA Playoffs Put ABC on Top". The Futon Critic. May 5, 2019. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  38. ^ "Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC Edges Competition with NHL Playoffs". The Futon Critic. May 12, 2019. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  39. ^ "Leslie Jones to Leave 'Saturday Night Live' Ahead Of 45 Season". TheWrap. August 27, 2019. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  40. ^ "Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC Tops Viewers, Shares Demo Crown with FOX". The Futon Critic. May 19, 2019. Retrieved May 19, 2019.