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|History of Saturday Night Live series:|
This article is about the history of Saturday Night Live from 2010 through 2015.
- 1 2010–2011 season
- 2 2011–2012 season
- 3 2012–2013 season
- 4 2013–2014 season
- 5 2014–2015 season
- 6 References
The 2010–11 season of Saturday Night Live began September 25, 2010 with host Amy Poehler and musical guest Katy Perry. Before the start of the new season, four new cast members were added to fill the gap left behind by Will Forte (who quit the show after eight years), Jenny Slate (who was fired after her first season on the show), Abby Elliott (who was promoted to repertory player), and Bobby Moynihan (also promoted), improv comedians Paul Brittain and Vanessa Bayer, former MADtv and The Amanda Show cast member Taran Killam, and stand-up comic/impressionist Jay Pharoah.
The opening montage remained the same as the previous season's, but with Will Forte and Jenny Slate removed. Scenes with Vanessa Bayer (sitting at an outdoor cafe), Paul Brittain (riding a bike down Midtown), Taran Killam (playing table tennis), and Jay Pharoah (showing off his breakdancing moves) were added.
The commercial bumpers remained mostly the same as the previous season. All references of SNL's 35 years on the air were removed. Some bumpers showcased the host or musical guest(s) moving.
- Will Forte, who had been with the show since 2002 with a total of 8 seasons under his belt, announced on August 26, 2010 that he would be leaving the show. Featured player Jenny Slate was let go from the show after only one season.
- Abby Elliott and Bobby Moynihan were promoted to repertory status, becoming the first featured players to be promoted since the 2006–07 season.
- The show hired four new cast members: Chicago improv comedians Vanessa Bayer and Paul Brittain; stand-up comic/impressionist Jay Pharoah; and comedic actor Taran Killam of The Groundlings. Killam became the second actor to have been a cast member on both MADtv and SNL, the first being Jeff Richards who joined SNL in 2001 and departed in early 2004. Killam was also the second SNL cast member who got his start on a Nickelodeon comedy show before coming to SNL after Kenan Thompson (Killam was on the All That spin-off, The Amanda Show).
- This season debuted a new animated feature voiced by former SNL cast members, called "Greetings from American America", created by former SNL head writer and cast member Fred Wolf. The series only lasted two episodes ("Dog in Purse with David Spade" and "I, Hippie" with Dana Carvey). A third one called "Girls in a Truck" only aired during dress rehearsal.
- 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.
- Former cast member Amy Poehler hosted the season premiere. Poehler was the fourth female former cast member of SNL to return as a host, the third to have worked under Lorne Michaels, and the second one to have been a Weekend Update anchor. She was also the 26th former cast member to return to host.
- With this season, Jeff Bridges surpassed Sigourney Weaver's record for longest gap between hosting appearances (Weaver's gap was 24 years between her first appearance in 1986 and her second appearance in 2010; Bridges has a 27-year gap between his first appearance in 1983 and his second appearance in 2010).
- Also, with this season, Elton John holds the record for longest gap between musical guest appearances. John was the musical guest for a Dick Ebersol-era episode in 1982 (hosted by Johnny Cash), making his appearance gap roughly 29 years (though Leon Russell, who appeared with Elton John on the episode John was hosting, has also broken a record between musical guest appearances. Leon Russell first appeared on SNL in 1976 on a season one episode hosted by Dyan Cannon and his recent appearance in 2011 makes it 35 years since he's appeared on an SNL episode).
- This season marked Eminem's fifth appearance on the show, making a member of the Five-Timers Club.
The opening remains the same as the last two seasons. However, as of the Channing Tatum/Bon Iver episode, featured player Paul Brittain is no longer shown in the featured player montage, as he left the cast after the Daniel Radcliffe/Lana Del Rey episode. New featured player Kate McKinnon was added to the featured player montage as of the Sofia Vergara/One Direction episode.
- Nasim Pedrad was promoted to repertory status.
- Alec Baldwin hosted the season premiere for a record 16th time as a host, attaining the record for SNL's most frequent host and breaking the tie he once held with Steve Martin (coincidentally, the two frequent hosts are now the only two hosts to have appeared in season premieres, season finales, and Christmas episodes). Baldwin's episode is also the first time he has hosted a season premiere.
- Charles Barkley is now the only professional basketball player (active or inactive) who has hosted SNL more than once (he has hosted 4 times; in seasons 19, 35, 37, and 43)
- Featured player Paul Brittain left midway through the season to explore other projects following the episode hosted by Daniel Radcliffe. Starting with the Channing Tatum episode, his image was removed from the opening credits.
- Maya Rudolph is now the fifth former female cast member to come back and host, as well as the fourth female cast member who worked under Lorne Michaels, the third female cast member who was never a Weekend Update anchor (joining Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Molly Shannon), the first black female cast member to host, and the only biracial (Rudolph had an African-American mother and a white-Jewish father) cast member to host.
- Featured player Kate McKinnon (a former cast member on Logo's The Big Gay Sketch Show) joins mid-season, making her first appearance in April, on the episode hosted by Sofia Vergara. McKinnon is SNL's first openly gay female cast member, the second lesbian cast member hired (after Danitra Vance in 1985, though Vance's sexual orientation wasn't known until she died in 1994), the second cast member hired to be openly gay (after Terry Sweeney, who like Danitra Vance, was also from the 1985–86 season), and the first white lesbian cast member hired. McKinnon is also the first cast member from The Big Gay Sketch Show to be a cast member on SNL (and the second cast member from The Big Gay Sketch Show to cross over to a mainstream sketch comedy show. Erica Ash, from MADtv's 14th and final season, is the first).
- This is the final season for cast members Kristen Wiig (whose departure was celebrated on the season 37 finale hosted by Mick Jagger with a sketch where Wiig "graduates" from "high school" and dances with all the cast members and Lorne Michaels), Andy Samberg (who announced two weeks after the season finale that he wasn't going to come back to SNL), and Abby Elliott (who had been on the show since mid-2008).
The opening montage introduced in the season 38 premiere features still photos of each cast member interspersed among a New York City background. The cast photos are edited to look like separate images merging to form one picture. The photo of the host features it over a crowded street, while the photo of the musical guest is over the Brooklyn Bridge. As of the Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Mumford & Sons episode, the opening was slightly modified, Jason Sudeikis and Kate McKinnon's photos were also changed and the photos of the host and musical guest had switched places. (photo of the host behind the Brooklyn Bridge, the musical guest behind the city street).
The bumper format for this season is similar to that of the 2006–07 season. The guests' pictures are heavily shadowed with variously colored silhouettes behind them. The bumpers also do not utilize many colors; the typical colors being black, white, blue, and yellow with the occasional red and green.
- Prior to the start of the season, three new cast members were hired: Chicago improv comedians Aidy Bryant, Tim Robinson and Cecily Strong.
- Vanessa Bayer, Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah have been promoted to repertory status.
- This season revived Weekend Update Thursday for two election-themed episodes, lampooning the 2012 presidential election. The specials aired September 20 and September 27, 2012.
- With Kristen Wiig not in the current cast, the only cast members born before or on 1975 are male: Fred Armisen (born 1966), Seth Meyers (born 1973), and Jason Sudeikis (born 1975). There are no current female cast members born before 1975 (Vanessa Bayer and Nasim Pedrad were born in 1981, Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong were born in 1984, and Aidy Bryant was born in 1987).
- With Kristen Wiig and Abby Elliott gone, Nasim Pedrad is now the longest-tenured female in the current cast (Pedrad has been on the show since the 2009–10 season).
- Some hosting milestones:
- Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck both become members of the Five-Timers Club with this season.
- Kristen Wiig becomes the sixth female cast member to come back and host, the fifth female cast member who has worked under Lorne Michaels, and the fourth one who hasn't done work as a Weekend Update anchor.
- This is the final season for Bill Hader (who had been on the show since 2005), Jason Sudeikis (who had been on the show since 2003, first as a writer then as a cast member in mid-2005) and Fred Armisen (who had been with the show since 2002) and the only season for first-year feature player Tim Robinson, who remained on the show as part of the writing staff.
The opening montage is the same as last season's, only Cecily Strong's photo was changed, Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, Tim Robinson (who is now on the writing staff), and Jason Sudeikis have been removed (and later, Seth Meyers after the Melissa McCarthy/Imagine Dragons episode), and the new cast members were added, starting with Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, Noël Wells, John Milhiser, Michael Patrick O'Brien (credited as "Mike O'Brien"), and Brooks Wheelan on the Tina Fey/Arcade Fire episode, Sasheer Zamata on the episode with Drake as host and musical guest, and Colin Jost on the Jim Parsons/Beck episode.
The bumper format remains the same as last season's. Some bumpers showcase the musical guest(s), or host, moving.
- On May 12, 2013, NBC announced that Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers (who had been a cast member since 2001, and Weekend Update anchor since 2006), would be the new host of Late Night in 2014, succeeding Jimmy Fallon as he takes over as the new host of The Tonight Show. Meyers remained as Update anchor for the first half of the season, then left in February 2014, to host his incarnation of Late Night. On September 16, 2013, it was announced that Cecily Strong would be Meyers' co-anchor on Weekend Update.
- With the departures of Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis and now Seth Meyers, Kenan Thompson is the longest-tenured current male cast member.
- Also, with Armisen and Sudeikis' departures, Meyers was the only cast member born before SNL's premiere on October 11, 1975 (Meyers was born in 1973). In the wake of his departure, the entire season 39 cast all have birth years after SNL's 1975 premiere year.
- Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong are all promoted to repertory status while Tim Robinson from last season is let go of his job as a cast member and rehired as a writer.
- Six new cast members have been hired, Upright Citizens Brigade performers Beck Bennett, John Milhiser, Kyle Mooney, and Noël Wells, stand-up comedian Brooks Wheelan (who originally was hired as a writer until Tim Robinson was chosen instead), and four-year writer Michael Patrick O'Brien (credited as "Mike O'Brien"). This is the highest number of cast members hired since season 21 (1995–96) and, with the addition of Sasheer Zamata, this season has the most female cast members with seven, surpassing the number of six in the 1991–92 (season 17) cast.
- With Seth Meyers' departure, Mike O'Brien (born in 1976) became the oldest cast member, at 37 years of age.
- Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett are the first male cast members to be born in 1984.
- John Milhiser's inclusion in the cast is now the second time in SNL's history that an openly gay male comedian has been hired (joining another short-lived cast member: Terry Sweeney from the 1985-1986 season). Milhiser's inclusion also marks the second time in SNL history that a cast has had both a gay male cast member and a lesbian cast member.
- Noël Wells is half Tunisian and a quarter Mexican, making her the second cast member (after the Iranian-born Nasim Pedrad) to have family lineage in an Islamic country, as well as the first Hispanic female cast member, and the third Hispanic cast member overall (after the Chilean-born Horatio Sanz and the half-Venezuelan Fred Armisen).
- In the early part of this season, the show came under fire by critics, other African-American sketch comedians, and cast members Kenan Thompson and Jay Pharoah for its lack of racial diversity, specifically, hiring all white people as new feature players (even though Noël Wells is the first female Hispanic cast member) and no black female cast members. This was mentioned and satirized on the cold opening of the episode hosted by Kerry Washington in which Washington is forced to play Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Beyoncé Knowles because of this. In response to this, Lorne Michaels held auditions exclusively for a black female cast member (one of which included Erica Ash from former rival sketch show MADtv). On January 6, 2014, it was announced that Sasheer Zamata from the Upright Citizens Brigade sketch troupe (New York City division) has been chosen as SNL's newest cast member, making this season the first time since season 31 that SNL has had more than two black cast members, and the first time since 2007 that a black female cast member has been featured. In addition, LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones, both of whom were part of the December casting call for a new black female cast member, were hired as writers. By the season's end, Tookes left the show while Leslie Jones would stay and eventually become a cast member, following her memorable, yet controversial Weekend Update segment about how America's perception of African-American beauty has changed and how Jones' love life would have been better if she were a breeding slave.
- This is the final season for Nasim Pedrad (who had been on the show since 2009), who quit so she can be on the new Fox sitcom Mulaney, and the only season for Brooks Wheelan (who humorously tweeted "Fired from New York, it's Saturday Night!" in response to this), Noël Wells, John Milhiser and Mike O'Brien. O'Brien, despite not being a cast member as of season 40, remained on the show as a writer.
- Some hosting milestones:
- Bruce Willis, who hosted back in 1989, returned to host this season after 24 years.
- John Goodman, who hosted from 1989 to 2001, returned to host this season after 12 years for his thirteenth time.
- Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey, both former cast members, are the first Weekend Update anchors to host the same season since season 36, when Amy Poehler and Tina hosted.
- Andy Samberg is the third former cast member to host a season finale (the first two were Dan Aykroyd and Will Ferrell) and the first hosting cast member who was born after 1975 (Samberg was born in 1978).
- This season marks the first time the season premiere, the midpoint Christmas episode, and the season finale were hosted by former cast members (Tina Fey, Jimmy Fallon, and Andy Samberg).
- This season is the last with Don Pardo as the announcer. A month after his death, former cast member Darrell Hammond became the new announcer.
The opening montage introduced in the season 40 premiere is in the same vein as the 2009–12 opening, in which we see the cast members engage in various locations of New York City. In addition, there is a completely new logo as well as a revamped theme song, which is a hybrid of the 2009 and 2012 themes.
The bumper colors for this season are mainly black and white with occasional lighter colors. Also, some bumpers feature photos of the host and musical guest either hanging around Studio 8H or outside NBC Studios. Those photos are also black and white either with hints of color or without.
- Three new cast members were hired:
- Stand-up comedian Pete Davidson, who is the first to have been born in the 1990s (Davidson was born in 1993) and is currently the youngest member of the current cast, beating out both Jay Pharoah and Aidy Bryant (and later, Aidy Bryant and Melissa Villaseñor).
- Former writer Michael Che, returns to SNL to co-anchor Weekend Update, replacing Cecily Strong, who remains on the show. Che had initially left the show at the end of last season to be a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He becomes Weekend Update's first African-American anchor. He and returning co-anchor, head writer Colin Jost, also became the first all-male anchor team.
- On October 25, 2014, after making a handful of appearances (starting with her controversial appearance on Weekend Update on the Andrew Garfield/Coldplay episode from season 39), writer Leslie Jones was promoted to the cast as a featured player, and made her official debut as a cast member in the Jim Carrey/Iggy Azalea episode, making this the first season in SNL history to hire two African-American female cast members (as they kept Sasheer Zamata from last season), and the first season to have more than three African-American cast members.
- Jones is also the oldest cast member ever hired at 47 years old (beating out Michael McKean who was 46 when he joined the cast in 1994) and at the time, was the only cast member to be born before the show debuted in 1975 (Jones was born in 1967).
- Darrell Hammond, a cast member for 14 seasons (from 1995 to 2009), becomes the new announcer, replacing Don Pardo, who died in August 2014 at age 96. Pardo had been the announcer for all but one of its previous 39 seasons (and the 400th episode in season 21 hosted by Elle MacPherson and a few others). Hammond, who had filled in for Pardo numerous times in the past, is the first new announcer since 1981. Instead of imitating Pardo, he uses his own voice.
- With the departure of Nasim Pedrad (who joined SNL in 2009), Vanessa Bayer (joined SNL a year later) is currently the longest-tenured female cast member.
- Also, with Nasim's departure, Kenan Thompson and Bobby Moynihan became the only cast members who were hired in the 2000s to still be on the show. (Kenan was hired in 2003, and then Bobby was hired 5 years later in 2008). Additionally, with Seth Meyers' departure in the previous season, Thompson and Moynihan became the longest-tenured current cast members.
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