Saturday Night Live (season 38)

Saturday Night Live (season 38)
The title card for the thirty-eighth season of Saturday Night Live.
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes21
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 15, 2012 (2012-09-15) –
May 18, 2013 (2013-05-18)
Season chronology
← Previous
season 37
Next →
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]


Prior the start of the season, many cast changes occurred. Featured player Paul Brittain left mid-season after being on the show for just two seasons and long-time cast members Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg decided not to return following the end of the previous season.[3][4] As well, before the start of the season, Abby Elliott was let go after four seasons on the show.[5] Vanessa Bayer, Taran Killam, and Jay Pharoah were upgraded to repertory status, while Kate McKinnon remained a featured player.

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 Second City, he performed on their Mainstage and was also part of their National Touring Company. Like Robinson, Strong had also performed as part of the National Touring Company and trained at the iO Theater".[6]

This was the last season for longtime cast members Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, and Jason Sudeikis. 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.

Cast roster[edit]

bold denotes Weekend Update anchor


Seth Meyers and Colin Jost are the season's co-head writers. This was also the last season for writer John Mulaney who had been there since 2008. Prior to the start of the season, Upright Citizens Brigade Theater performers Josh Patten and Neil Casey joined the writing staff.[7] [8]


No. in
HostMusical guest(s)Original air dateRatings/
7251Seth MacFarlaneFrank OceanSeptember 15, 2012 (2012-09-15)4.8/12[10]

7262Joseph Gordon-LevittMumford & SonsSeptember 22, 2012 (2012-09-22)5.0/12[11]

7273Daniel CraigMuseOctober 6, 2012 (2012-10-06)4.5/11[12]

7284Christina ApplegatePassion PitOctober 13, 2012 (2012-10-13)4.6/11[13]

7295Bruno MarsBruno MarsOctober 20, 2012 (2012-10-20)5.4/14[14]

7306Louis 3, 2012 (2012-11-03)5.0/12[15]

7317Anne HathawayRihannaNovember 10, 2012 (2012-11-10)5.0/12[16]

7328Jeremy RennerMaroon 5November 17, 2012 (2012-11-17)5.1/12[17]

7339Jamie FoxxNe-YoDecember 8, 2012 (2012-12-08)4.6/11[18]

73410Martin ShortPaul McCartneyDecember 15, 2012 (2012-12-15)5.1/12[19]

73511Jennifer LawrenceThe LumineersJanuary 19, 2013 (2013-01-19)4.9/12[20]

73612Adam LevineKendrick LamarJanuary 26, 2013 (2013-01-26)5.0/12[21]

73713Justin BieberJustin BieberFebruary 9, 2013 (2013-02-09)4.9/12[22]

  • 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.
73814Christoph WaltzAlabama ShakesFebruary 16, 2013 (2013-02-16)4.6/12[23]

  • Alabama Shakes performs "Hold On" and "Always Alright".
73915Kevin HartMacklemore and Ryan LewisMarch 2, 2013 (2013-03-02)4.8/12[24]

74016Justin TimberlakeJustin TimberlakeMarch 9, 2013 (2013-03-09)5.9/15[26]

74117Melissa McCarthyPhoenixApril 6, 2013 (2013-04-06)4.8/12[27]

74218Vince VaughnMiguelApril 13, 2013 (2013-04-13)4.6/12[28]

  • Miguel performs "Adorn" and "How Many Drinks?"
  • Steve Jones appears in the pre-recorded "History of Punk" sketch.
74319Zach GalifianakisOf Monsters and MenMay 4, 2013 (2013-05-04)4.4/11[29]

74420Kristen WiigVampire WeekendMay 11, 2013 (2013-05-11)4.6/12[30]

74521Ben AffleckKanye WestMay 18, 2013 (2013-05-18)4.7/12[33]


TitleOriginal air dateUS viewers
"Saturday Night Live Christmas"November 28, 2012 (2012-11-28)7.36[34]
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 ""The Chanukah 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: Schweddy Balls", "Mary Katherine Gallagher 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 focused on the United States presidential election. The show was hosted by Seth Meyers, Update's then current host.[1]

TitleOriginal air dateUS viewers
"Season 3, Episode 1"September 20, 2012 (2012-09-20)5.15
"Season 3, Episode 2"September 27, 2012 (2012-09-27)4.67


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