Saturday Night Live (season 43)

Saturday Night Live (season 43)
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes21
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 30, 2017 (2017-09-30) –
May 19, 2018 (2018-05-19)
Season chronology
← Previous
season 42
Next →
season 44
List of Saturday Night Live episodes

The forty-third season of the NBC comedy series Saturday Night Live premiered on September 30, 2017, during the 2017–2018 television season with host Ryan Gosling and musical guest Jay-Z, and concluded on May 19, 2018, with host Tina Fey and musical guest Nicki Minaj.[1][2] Like the final four episodes of season 42, season 43 was broadcast live in all four time zones within the contiguous United States, with the exception of the Natalie Portman/Dua Lipa episode due to the network's commitment to the NFL.[3]


Prior to the start of the season, Bobby Moynihan, Vanessa Bayer, and Sasheer Zamata left the show.[4][5]

As a replacement, the show hired three new cast members, who became featured players, they were Heidi Gardner of The Groundlings, iO Chicago alum Luke Null, and stand-up comedian Chris Redd, who previously did sketch comedy at Second City. Redd had been incorrectly reported as joining the cast during the previous season.[6][7]

With this announcement came the confirmation that the rest of the cast from the previous season would return, including guest star Alec Baldwin in his role as President Donald Trump.[8][9] With his return, Kenan Thompson surpasses Darrell Hammond's record as the longest-tenured cast member in the show's history, with a total of fifteen seasons compared to Darrell Hammond's fourteen seasons from 1995-2009.[10]

This was the only season for Luke Null, who was let go after the season's end.[11]

Cast roster[edit]

bold denotes "Weekend Update" anchor



Prior to the start of the season, the show added Liam Balaska, Steven Castillo, Andrew Dismukes, Claire Friedman, Sam Jay, Erik Marino, Nimesh Patel, and Gary Richardson to the writing staff.[6] Also prior to the season, head writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider departed the show.[12] On December 12, 2017, Jost and Che were named co-head writers, making Che the first African American head writer.[13] Jost was previously the head writer for 3 years from 2012 to 2015.


No. in
HostMusical guestOriginal air dateRatings/
8301Ryan GoslingJay-ZSeptember 30, 2017 (2017-09-30)4.5[14]

8312Gal GadotSam SmithOctober 7, 2017 (2017-10-07)4.4[14]

  • Sam Smith performs "Too Good at Goodbyes" and "Pray".
  • Jason Aldean performs "I Won't Back Down" in the cold open as a tribute to the victims of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting and to Tom Petty, who died earlier in the week.
  • As mentioned by Gadot herself on the monologue, this was the first episode to be broadcast live in Israel; until this night, it took a week for episodes aired in the US to appear on Israeli TV.
  • During the monologue, Gadot speaks a few sentences in Hebrew for the Israeli audience. The sentences are subtitled in English.
  • The "Safelite AutoGlass" sketch was subsequently pulled from rebroadcasts and the Internet after Safelite complained on Twitter that the sketch was offensive (and the humor in it would be considered in bad taste due to the influx of news at the time about male celebrities being outed as sexual offenders). Rebroadcasts of the show replaced the segment with a previously unaired, but released to the Internet, music video sketch called "The Last Fry".[15][16] As of 2019, Hulu has the original Safelite sketch and "The Last Fry" is no longer shown.
  • When the episode was rerun on August 18, 2018, a photograph of Aretha Franklin, who had died two days earlier (and was a musical guest on the show for the season six episode hosted by Ellen Burstyn and the season 19 episode hosted by Nancy Kerrigan), was shown in silence before the goodnights.
8323Kumail NanjianiP!nkOctober 14, 2017 (2017-10-14)4.6/11[17]

8334Larry DavidMiley CyrusNovember 4, 2017 (2017-11-04)4.7/11[19]

8345Tiffany HaddishTaylor SwiftNovember 11, 2017 (2017-11-11)4.3/10[21]

  • Taylor Swift performs "... Ready for It?" and an acoustic version of "Call It What You Want."
  • Larry David and Jason Sudeikis appear as Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, respectively, in the "DNC Commercial" sketch.
  • David, while in character, references the controversy that his monologue from the previous week generated, saying that any guy who makes jokes about concentration camps (himself) "should rot in hell".
  • A photo of SNL sound man George Corrado is shown in silence before the goodnights.
  • Haddish won an Emmy in 2018 for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for hosting.[20]
8356Chance the RapperEminemNovember 18, 2017 (2017-11-18)4.3/10[22]

  • Contrary to the usual format in which the musical guest perform two songs at two different segments, Eminem performs a single medley of "Walk on Water", "Stan",[n 1] and "Love the Way You Lie." Skylar Grey performs the entire medley with Eminem, but is not credited as a musical guest.
  • Questlove and Common appear in the pre-recorded "Rap History" sketch.
8367Saoirse RonanU2December 2, 2017 (2017-12-02)4.3/10[24]

  • U2 performs "American Soul" and "Get Out of Your Own Way."
  • Alec Baldwin appears as Donald Trump in the cold open.
  • Greta Gerwig appears in the pre-recorded "Office Race" sketch.
  • John McEnroe appears in the "Bachelor Auction" sketch.
  • The "Aer Lingus" sketch generated controversy for portraying Irish people in a stereotypical manner. Ronan defended the sketch, saying that it was written with her input.[23]
8378James FrancoSZADecember 9, 2017 (2017-12-09)4.5/10[25]

8389Kevin HartFoo FightersDecember 16, 2017 (2017-12-16)4.6/11[26]

83910Sam RockwellHalseyJanuary 13, 2018 (2018-01-13)4.6/10[29]

  • Halsey performs "Bad at Love" and "Him & I" with G-Eazy.
  • Fred Armisen and Bill Murray appear as Michael Wolff and Steve Bannon, respectively, in the cold open.
  • Stanley Tucci appears in the pre-recorded "Tucci Gang" sketch.[27]
  • Rockwell accidentally said "fucking" during the Science Room with Mr. Science sketch (when he tells the kid assistants played by Mikey Day and Cecily Strong "You can't be this fucking stupid"). During Weekend Update, both Colin Jost and Michael Che said "shithole" while discussing a comment President Trump made using that word and how NBC wanted them to tone it down, but openly defied it. All instances were censored for the West Coast feed, which is delayed by a few seconds. While the program airs during the safe harbor period in the Eastern and Central timezones, SNL has aired live coast to coast since the spring of 2017, meaning that in the Mountain and Pacific timezones, Rockwell's comment would have been heard between 9:30 and 10:00 PM or 8:30 and 9:00 PM, respectively, potentially subjecting network affiliates in those regions to FCC fines for indecency if it had not been censored.[28] The version of this episode available for streaming (and in all reruns, including Hulu's version) censors Rockwell saying "fucking", but not Jost's or Che's "shithole" lines.[citation needed]
84011Jessica ChastainTroye SivanJanuary 20, 2018 (2018-01-20)4.3/10[30]

84112Will FerrellChris StapletonJanuary 27, 2018 (2018-01-27)4.9/11[31]

  • Chris Stapleton performs "Midnight Train to Memphis" and "Hard Livin'". both with Sturgill Simpson.
  • Tracy Morgan appears in the pre-recorded "The House" sketch.
84213Natalie PortmanDua LipaFebruary 3, 2018 (2018-02-03)4.6/12[32]

84314Charles BarkleyMigosMarch 3, 2018 (2018-03-03)4.2/10[33]

84415Sterling K. BrownJames BayMarch 10, 2018 (2018-03-10)4.1/10[34]

  • James Bay performs "Pink Lemonade" and "Wild Love."
  • Vanessa Bayer appears as Dawn Lazarus on Weekend Update.
84516Bill HaderArcade FireMarch 17, 2018 (2018-03-17)4.5/10[35]

84617Chadwick BosemanCardi BApril 7, 2018 (2018-04-07)4.6/11[37]

84718John MulaneyJack WhiteApril 14, 2018 (2018-04-14)3.9/9[38]

84819Donald GloverChildish GambinoMay 5, 2018 (2018-05-05)4.1/10[39]

84920Amy SchumerKacey MusgravesMay 12, 2018 (2018-05-12)4.3/10[40]

  • Kacey Musgraves performs "High Horse" and "Slow Burn" and appears in the unaired "Spirituality Rap" sketch.
  • The mothers of Beck Bennett (Sarah), Aidy Bryant (Georgianne), Pete Davidson (Amy), Mikey Day (Sylvia), Colin Jost (Kerry), Kyle Mooney (Linda), Luke Null (Cindy), Chris Redd (Margaret), Kenan Thompson (Elizabeth), and Melissa Villaseñor (Lupe) appear in the cold open. Georgianne Bryant, Amy Davidson, Sarah Bennett, Elizabeth Thompson, and Linda Mooney have previously appeared on this show (in the season 40 Mother's Day episode hosted by Reese Witherspoon).
  • Melissa McCarthy appears on Weekend Update as Michael Che's stepmother.
85021Tina FeyNicki MinajMay 19, 2018 (2018-05-19)4.5/11[41]


TitleOriginal air dateRatings/
"The David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special"October 28, 2017 (2017-10-28)3.4/8[42]
21-minute animated special where David S. Pumpkins teaches a pair of siblings the true meaning of Halloween. Starring Tom Hanks as David S. Pumpkins, Mikey Day, Bobby Moynihan, and Streeter Seidell. Narrated by Peter Dinklage.
"SNL Presents: Halloween"October 28, 2017 (2017-10-28)3.1/9[42]

A collection of Halloween- and horror-themed sketches, including:


  1. ^ Eminem has previously performed "Stan" with Dido on October 7, 2000, the season premiere of the show's 26th season.


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