Saturday Night Live (season 35)

Saturday Night Live Season 35
File:Saturday Night Live Title Card.jpeg
The Saturday Night Live title card as seen in the opening credits of the 35th season.
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 22
Original channel NBC
Original run September 26, 2009 – May 15, 2010
Season chronology
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List of Saturday Night Live episodes

Saturday Night Live aired its thirty-fifth season during the 2009–2010 television season on NBC. This season began on September 26, 2009[1] and ended on May 15, 2010.

A total of 22 episodes were broadcast during the show's eight-month-long season, which included a two-week break in February due to the 2010 Winter Olympics. The season was accompanied by three prime-time episodes of Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday and three prime-time SNL clip shows.

Prior to the start of the season, many cast changes occurred. Darrell Hammond, the last cast member from the 1990s, left the show after a record 14 seasons in the cast.[2] Featured players Michaela Watkins and Casey Wilson were both let go from the show before the start of the season.[3]

To fill their absence the show brought in two new featured players, Nasim Pedrad and Jenny Slate.[4] Abby Elliott and Bobby Moynihan continued as featured players.

A notable moment of the season was when an internet campaign was created to get actress Betty White to host an episode of the show. The campaign was started in early 2010 on Facebook and the group was called "Betty White to Host SNL (please?)!"[5] The campaign was successful, and White became the oldest person ever to host the show. For White's episode, Lorne Michaels brought back former cast members Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Molly Shannon. The episode garnered its highest ratings in over a year. with a rating of 5.8 in the 18–49 rating, demographic and with 12.1 million viewers overall.[6]

This season would also be the last for longtime cast member Will Forte,[7] who had been on the show since 2002. This would also be the only season for featured player Jenny Slate, who was let go after the season ended.


  • bold denotes Weekend Update anchor only


Second City theater performer Mike O'Brien joins the writing staff. He would join the cast for the show's thirty-ninth season. Season 35 would prove to be the final season with Lonely Island member Jorma Taccone as a credited writer. He would make contributions to select Lonely Island sketches.


Saturday Night Live season 35 episodes
No. # Host(s) Musical guest(s) Original airdate
6591 Megan Fox U2September 26, 2009

U2 performed "Breathe", "Moment of Surrender" and "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)".

This episode is newly hired cast member Jenny Slate's first appearance on SNL, and Nasim Pedrad's first full episode.

A new opening sequence which mentions SNL's 35 years on-air debuts with this episode.

During the "Biker Chick Chat" sketch, Jenny Slate accidentally says, "You stood up for yourself, and I fuckin' love you for that!" Most of the sketch before and after consisted of everyone saying "Friggin'," "frickin'" or "freakin'". Slate quickly holds her breath after realizing her mistake.

Brian Austin Green cameoed in the Transformers Digital Short. 
6602 Ryan Reynolds Lady GagaOctober 3, 2009

Lady Gaga performed "Paparazzi" and a medley of songs including "Bad Romance", "LoveGame" and "Poker Face". As well, she appeared with Madonna in Deep House Dish, and in another sketch after her second performance.

Elijah Wood appeared in the SNL Digital Short.

Scarlett Johansson (Reynolds' then-wife) appeared in the "Porcelain Fountains" ad portraying the same Lexi character that she played during her two hosting appearances.

Darrell Hammond appears as California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger during Weekend Update
6613 Drew Barrymore Regina SpektorOctober 10, 2009

Regina Spektor performed "Eet" and "The Calculation".

Justin Long appeared as Matthew McConaughey in a sketch called "Celebrity Ghost Stories". He summarized the plot of McConaughey's movie, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
6624 Gerard Butler ShakiraOctober 17, 2009

Shakira performed "She Wolf" and "Did It Again".

Dwayne Johnson made a cameo reprising his role as "The Rock" Obama in the cold opening.

During the advertisements, outtakes from dress rehearsal from the 1990s and 2000s were shown.[8]

James Franco appeared as himself in the sketch "What Up With That". 
6635 Taylor Swift Taylor SwiftNovember 7, 2009

Taylor Swift performed "You Belong with Me" and "Untouchable".

Amy Poehler returned to do another "Really?! with Seth and Amy" during Weekend Update. Poehler also introduced Swift's second performance. 
6646 January Jones The Black Eyed PeasNovember 14, 2009

Black Eyed Peas performed "I Gotta Feeling", "Meet Me Halfway" and "Boom Boom Pow". The last song closed out the show and was played over the goodnights. They also appeared in the Today Show sketch.

Darrell Hammond cameoed as Lou Dobbs on Weekend Update
6657 Joseph Gordon-Levitt Dave Matthews BandNovember 21, 2009

Dave Matthews Band performed "You and Me" and "Shake Me Like a Monkey".

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's opening monologue is a song and dance tribute to Donald O'Connor's "Make 'Em Laugh" number in Singin' in the Rain.

Dave Matthews cameoed as Ozzy Osbourne in "The Mellow Show with Jack Johnson", while Bill Hader portrayed Matthews.

Al Gore cameoed in the "What Up With That" sketch and on Weekend Update, promoting NBC "Green Week" and his new book.

Mindy Kaling cameoed in "What Up With That" as the 2nd guest. 
6668 Blake Lively RihannaDecember 5, 2009

Rihanna performed "Russian Roulette" and "Hard" and appeared in the SNL Digital Short.

Young Jeezy performed with Rihanna for her second song.

On this episode's installment of Weekend Update, Abby Elliott appeared as actress-singer Brittany Murphy, following a report about Murphy's alleged firing from a recent film. This portion of Update was cut from reruns in light of Murphy's death later that month. 
6679 Taylor Lautner Bon JoviDecember 12, 2009

Bon Jovi performed "Superman Tonight" and "When We Were Beautiful".

This episode was dedicated to the memory of Heino Ripp, SNL's technical director from 1975 to 1983. 
66810 James Franco MuseDecember 19, 2009

Muse performed "Uprising" and "Starlight".

Mike Tyson and Jack McBrayer appeared during "What Up With That". 
66911 Charles Barkley Alicia KeysJanuary 9, 2010

Alicia Keys performed "Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart" and "Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down" and appeared in the SNL Digital Short.

The original east coast airing was delayed 35 minutes due to the Cowboys-Eagles NFC Wild Card game running long.

This episode attracted 10.4 million viewers, and was the second highest-rated episode of the season.[9] 
67012 Sigourney Weaver The Ting TingsJanuary 16, 2010

The Ting Tings performed "That's Not My Name" and "Shut Up and Let Me Go".

Darrell Hammond cameoed as Jay Leno in the cold open.

James Cameron cameoed as himself in the SNL Digital Short
67113 Jon Hamm Michael BubléJanuary 30, 2010

Michael Bublé performed "Haven't Met You Yet" and "Baby (You've Got What It Takes)" and appeared in the "Hamm and Bublé" sketch.

Sharon Jones sang with Michael Bublé for his second song. 
67214 Ashton Kutcher Them Crooked VulturesFebruary 6, 2010
Them Crooked Vultures performed "Mind Eraser, No Chaser" and "New Fang". As well, Dave Grohl appeared in a sketch after Them Crooked Vultures' second performance. 
67315 Jennifer Lopez Jennifer LopezFebruary 27, 2010
Jennifer Lopez performed "Until it Beats No More" and "Starting Over". 
67416 Zach Galifianakis Vampire WeekendMarch 6, 2010

Vampire Weekend performed "Cousins" and "Giving Up the Gun".

Brian Williams, Jack McBrayer, Jane Krakowski, Mehmet Oz, Anthony Anderson, and Jeremy Sisto all appeared during the SNL Digital Short, "Zach Drops by the Set".

Paul Rudd and Frank Rich appeared during "What Up With That".

Galifianakis shaved his beard before the last sketch of the show and wears a fake beard during the goodnights.[10] 
67517 Jude Law Pearl JamMarch 13, 2010

Pearl Jam performed "Just Breathe" and "Unthought Known" and appeared in the "Twilight Zone" Nightmare at 20,000 Feet parody.

Julian Casablancas sang "Boombox" with The Lonely Island in the SNL Digital Short.

Jerry Seinfeld cameoed on Weekend Update to do "Really?! With Seth and Jerry". 
67618 Tina Fey Justin BieberApril 10, 2010

Justin Bieber performed "Baby" and "U Smile" and appeared in two sketches. Bieber also appeared in Fey's monologue.

Mark Sanchez and Steve Martin made cameo appearances during Fey's monologue.

Fey reprised her impersonation of Sarah Palin on the fake commercial "The Sarah Palin Network."

Fey received a 2010 Emmy Award nomination as herself for Guest Actress in a Comedy.[11] 
67719 Ryan Phillippe Ke$haApril 17, 2010

Ke$ha performed "Tik Tok" and "Your Love Is My Drug".

Phillippe promoted the film MacGruber, the first new SNL movie in over a decade. 
67820 Gabourey Sidibe MGMTApril 24, 2010

MGMT performed "Flash Delirium" and "Brian Eno".

SNL writer John Mulaney appeared as himself in a Weekend Update commentary on girl scout cookies. 
67921 Betty White Jay-ZMay 8, 2010

In early 2010, an online campaign was created on Facebook to get White to host an episode of the show. The group was called Betty White to Host SNL (please?)![5] The movement was sparked by White's appearance in a Snickers commercial aired during Super Bowl XLIV. Because of this, White is the first person to ever host based on an internet movement created by fans. The commercial itself aired during one of the commercial breaks.

With this episode, White, at age 88, is the oldest person ever to host the show, surpassing Miskel Spillman, the winner of SNL's "Anyone Can Host" contest in 1977.[12]

For the first set, Jay-Z performed a medley of "Public Service Announcement", "On to the Next One", "99 Problems", "03 Bonnie and Clyde", and "Empire State of Mind," featuring back-up singer Bridget Kelly. During "99 Problems", Jay-Z's band samples "Points of Authority" by Linkin Park. For the second set, Jay-Z performed "Young Forever" with Mr Hudson, which he dedicated to White.

Former SNL cast members Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Molly Shannon appeared throughout the show. Gasteyer and Shannon reprised their characters from the The Delicious Dish sketches. Shannon also reprised her character Sally O'Malley during Weekend Update. Rudolph reprised her impression of Whitney Houston during Weekend Update. Fey and Poehler returned to Update as well, to participate in Really!?!.

This episode was nominated for seven 2010 Emmy Awards.

White won an Emmy for Guest Actress in a Comedy for hosting.[11] 
68022 Alec Baldwin Tom Petty and the HeartbreakersMay 15, 2010

Will Forte[13] and Jenny Slate's final episode as cast members.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performed "I Should Have Known It" and "Jefferson Jericho Blues", two songs from their 2010 album Mojo. Petty appeared in the SNL Digital Short.

Steve Martin made a cameo appearance in the opening monologue. 


# Special Original airdate
1 "Saturday Night Live Presents: A Very Gilly Christmas" December 17, 2009

Holiday-themed sketches from past episodes are aired, including Adam Sandler's "The Hanukkah Song", Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg's "Dick In A Box" Digital Short, Delicious Dish and many more.

Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin make guest appearances.

Kristen Wiig hosts as her character Gilly, with Will Forte, Kenan Thompson, Bobby Moynihan and Abby Elliott reprising their roles as the sketch's supporting characters. 
2 "Saturday Night Live Presents: Sports All-Stars" January 31, 2010

Will Forte and Jason Sudeikis host the show as Pete Twinkle and Greg Stink, their recurring ESPN Classic sports announcer characters.

Sketches featuring appearances by professional athletes including: Peyton Manning, Derek Jeter, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, Charles Barkley and others are shown (most of which previously appeared in last year's SNL clip show special about sports-related sketches). 
3 "Saturday Night Live in the 2000s: Time and Again" April 15, 2010

The special featured insight on the show during the 2000s: topics discussed include Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey as the new Weekend Update anchors after the departure of Colin Quinn, how SNL became popular for its spoofs on the 2000 United States presidential election, how the show's humor survived the 9/11 attacks and the anthrax scare, Will Ferrell's departure at the end of season 27 and the search for a replacement cast member to play George W. Bush, SNL's shaky years between seasons 28 and 30 due to Jimmy Fallon's and Horatio Sanz's cracking up on camera, Jimmy Fallon's departure from the show, Amy Poehler teaming up with Tina Fey for Weekend Update, the hiring of Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, and Kristen Wiig, and SNL regaining its popularity with the Digital Shorts, its return from the WGA strike of 2007–2008, the introduction of new fan-favorite hosts like Justin Timberlake and Jon Hamm, and the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election.

Fred Armisen, Alec Baldwin, Rachel Dratch, Abby Elliott, Jimmy Fallon, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Will Forte, Bill Hader, Darrell Hammond, Chris Kattan, Marci Klein, John McCain, Seth Meyers, Lorne Michaels, Tracy Morgan, Bobby Moynihan, Chris Parnell, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Andy Samberg, Horatio Sanz, Akiva Schaffer, Molly Shannon, Michael Shoemaker, Jason Sudeikis, Jorma Taccone, Kenan Thompson, Justin Timberlake, Christopher Walken and Kristen Wiig provided comments for the special. 

Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday

The second 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 show is hosted by Seth Meyers, Update's current host, and former Update co-host Amy Poehler. Like the sketch, the show is a parody of local news broadcasts and satirizes contemporary news stories and figures. As of June 2010, three episodes have aired. An additional three episodes were scheduled to air in spring 2010, but were scrapped.[14]

Episode number Original airdate Notes
Episode 1 September 17, 2009
Episode 2 September 24, 2009
Episode 3 October 1, 2009

MacGruber film

The first SNL film since 2000's The Ladies Man, MacGruber was released on May 21, 2010. The film, starring SNL cast members Will Forte and Kristen Wiig and former cast member Maya Rudolph, is based on the "MacGruber" sketches from the show. It received mixed reviews from critics and, in spite of a wide initial release, was a box office bomb. After a two-week opening commitment during which it was shown in 2,546 theaters, it was dropped from all but 177 theaters starting in its third week, a drop exceeded since 1982 only by Meet Dave and The Rocker.[15]


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