Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

A Somewhat Obsessive Guide to All 36 Seasons of SNL Streaming on Netflix

With hundreds of episodes from each season of Saturday Night Live finally available on Netflix Instant Watch, we thought we'd put together a few of the highlights to help you get your bearings. Obviously, it's an overwhelming amount of material that's available, so this guide will help point you to interesting or historic episodes, notable guest hosts, and where the appearances are of classic characters.

It should be noted that a few of the seasons are still not yet available, specifically seasons 26-30. Netflix will presumably be adding those at some point, and we'll update this guide when they do. But until then, here's a somewhat obsessive guide to all of the seasons of SNL currently available to stream on Netflix.

Update: Netflix has added seasons 26-30, and I have added those seasons to the guide below, so this is now complete!

Historic Episodes

Season 1, Episode 1: The first episode — George Carlin hosts, Andy Kaufman makes a guest appearance.

Season 2, Episode 15: The first episode to be nominated for and to win an Emmy. Sissy Spacek hosts.

Season 3, Episode 18: Steve Martin hosts, the show includes Martin performing "King Tut," a Fenstrunk Brothers sketch, a Nerds sketch, and an appearance from the Blues Brothers. This one was nominated for an Emmy as well.

Season 5, Episode 14: The 100th episode! The show goes without a host to celebrate.

Season 5, Episode 20: The last episode Lorne Michaels produced until he came back to the show in 1985. Also the last episode for almost the entire season five cast.

Season 6, Episode 7: Eddie Murphy's first episode as a repertory cast member.

Season 10, Episode 1: First episode with Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Martin Short as cast members.

Season 11: Lorne Michaels returns as producer and brings back many of the shows original writers. He also adds veteran comics and a few new faces to the cast, such as Joan Cusack, Robert Downey Jr., Anthony Michael Hall, Jon Lovitz, Dennis Miller, Randy Quaid, Terry Sweeney, and Damon Wayans.

Season 12, Episode 1: Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, Victoria Jackson, and Kevin Nealon appear as cast members for the first time.

Season 16, Episode 1: First episode for Chris Farley, Chris Rock, and David Spade.

Season 23, Episode 10: Colin Quinn takes over as Weekend Update anchor.

Season 25, Episode 16: Christopher Walken hosts, the episode includes his "Behind the Music: Blue Oyster Cult" sketch, as well as an early appearance of Tiny Fey, and Dana Carvey as George H. W. Bush in the cold open.

Season 26Episode 1: Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey's first episode as anchors of Weekend Update.

Season 26Episode 12: Molly Shannon's last episode as a cast member.

Season 27Episode 1: The first episode to air after the attacks of September 11th. Rudy Giuliani and members of the New York City Fire Department appear during the cold open to introduce the episode and urge everyone to stay strong in the face of adversity.

Season 27Episode 20: Will Ferrell and Ana Gasteyer's final episode as cast members.

Season 28Episode 1: First episode featuring Will Forte and Fred Armisen.

Season 29Episode 20: Jimmy Fallon's final episode. Also the Olsen twins host! Great.

Season 30Episode 1: Amy Poehler appears as co-anchorer of Weekend Update for the first time.

Season 31, Episode 9: Digital short "Lazy Sunday" is featured.

Season 31, Episode 13: Natalie Portman hosts, and digital short "Natalie Raps" is featured.

Season 32, Episode 1: Seth Meyers takes over for Tiny Fey as co-anchor of Weekend Update.

Season 32, Episode 9: Justin Timberlake hosts, and digital short "Dick in a Box" is featured.

Notable Hosts

Season 1Episode 7 : Richard Pryor hosts and is put on a seven-second delay.

Season 1Episode 17: Ron Nessen, press secretary for Gerald Ford. (Gerald Ford also opens the show with, “Live from New York…”)

Season 2Episode 5: Steve Martin, the first of 15 hosting gigs.

Season 3Episode 11: Chevy Chase, the first former cast member to come back as a host.

Season 8Episode 7: Drew Barrymore, the youngest host at seven years old.

Season 8Episode 8: Eddie Murphy, the only person to host while still a cast member. Also during the cold open he announced, "Live from New York, it's the Eddie Murphy show!"

Season 15Episode 11: Christopher Walken hosts for the first time, debut of The Continental sketch.

Season 20Episode 4: Dana Carvey hosts and is joined by George H. W. Bush during the cold open.

Season 26Episode 3: Dana Carvey hosts.

Season 26Episode 6: Tom Green brought along his own writers for this episode. Also, during the monologue he asks Drew Barrymore, who is in the audience, to marry him on air that night. (She declines.)

Season 26Episode 14: Conan O'Brien hosts.

Season 27Episode 12: Brittany Spears hosts to promote Crossroads and brings with her, for a few sketches, fellowCrossroads and former SNL cast member Dan Aykroyd and then-boyfriend and future SNL host Justin Timberlake.

Season 28Episode 2: John McCain hosts, becoming the first and only active US Senator to host SNL.

Recurring Characters

Season 1, Episode 4: First appearance of Chevy Chase’s “Land Shark.” The character also appears in seasons two and three, and once during Weekend Update in the second episode of season 27.

Season 2, Episode 11: First appearance of the "Coneheads," who also show up in seasons three and four.

Season 3, Episode 1: First appearance of the "Fenstrunk Brothers."

Season 3, Episode 10: First appearance of the "Nerds" sketch.

Season 3, Episode 15: First "Point/Counterpoint" on Weekend Update.

Season 14, Episode 13: First appearance of "Wayne's World."

Season 14, Episode 15: First appearance of Mike Myers as Dieter in the "Sprockets."

Season 14, Episode 20: First appearance of "Toonces the Driving Cat."

Season 15, Episode 14: Host Fred Savage, dressed as the Church Lady, plays the Church Lady's niece, Enid.

Season 16, Episode 10: Debut of the "Superfans."

Season 16, Episode 11: The first reading of one of Jack Handey's "Deep Thoughts."

Season 17, Episode 7: First appearance of Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer.

Season 17, Episode 18:  Adam Sandler's first appearance as Opera Man.

Season 18, Episode 19: Chris Farley's first appearance as Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker, with Christina Applegate hosting.

Season 19, Episode 13: Adam Sandler, as Canteen Boy, is molested by his scoutmaster, Alec Baldwin.

Season 21, Episode 4: Molly Shannon's first appearance as Mary Katherine Gallagher.

Season 21, Episode 5: First appearance of Will Farrell and Cheri Oteri as the "Spartan Cheerleaders."

Season 21, Episode 16: First appearance of Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan as the "Roxbury Guys."

Season 22, Episode 1: First episode featuring Robert Smigel's "Saturday TV Funhouse," with an Ambiguously Gay Duo cartoon.

Season 22, Episode 8: First "Celebrity Jeopardy!"

Season 22, Episode 17: First appearance of Jim Breuer, Chris Kattan, and Molly Shannon's "Goth Talk."

Season 23, Episode 2: Tim Meadow's first appearance as the "Ladies Man."

Season 23, Episode 3: Chris Kattan's first appearance as Mango.

Season 27Episode 2: Chevy Chase makes an appearance during Weekend Update as the Landshark.

Season 28Episode 2: In Will Ferrell's absence, Chris Parnell takes over as George W. Bush.

Season 28Episode 8: Al Franken appears as Stuart Smalley in this Al Gore-hosted episode.

Season 29Episode 12: Will Forte's first appearance as George W. Bush.

Season 29Episode 17: Tracey Morgan returns to reprise his role as Brian Fellow.

Season 29Episode 18: Rachel Dratch's first appearance as Debbie Downer.

Season 30Episode 16: All promoting different projects, Jimmy Fallon, Drew Barrymore, and Justin Timberlake appear during a "Barry Gibb Talk Show" sketch.

Season 30Episode 18: Host Will Ferrell appears as Gene Frenkle ("More Cowbell!") in musical guest Queens of the Stone Age's performance of "Little Girl."

Season 31, Episode 6: Bill Hader appears as Vincent Price in "Vincent Price's Holiday Special."

Season 34, Episode 1: Tina Fey appears as Sarah Palin.

Season 34, Episode 5: Andy Samberg appears as Mark Wahlberg in "Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals."

Memorable Moments

Season 1, Episode 3: In lieu of a music guest, John Belushi, as Joe Cocker, performs “With a Little Help from My Friends.”

Season 1, Episode 18 and Episode 21: Lorne Michaels appears on the show and offers the Beatles $3,000 to perform three songs. He appears again to up the ante with hotel accommodations.

Season 2, Episode 16: Billy Murray, "urged," as he says, by Lorne Michaels, appeals directly to the audience to let them know that he doesn't think he's "making it on the show."

Season 4, Episode 13: Andy Kaufman plays the bongos. You know what we're talking about.

Season 5, Episode 10: Chevy Chase hosts and, during the monologue, brings Bill Murray on stage to sing a duet and make amends for fight they allegedly had backstage the previous time he hosted.

Season 7, Episode 5: William S. Burroughs performs spoken word, which is a weird thing.

Season 8, Episode 7: The audience is given a choice of whether or not Andy Kaufman would appear on the show again. Through viewers at home calling a 1-900 number, Andy Kaufman is banned from performing on Saturday Night Live.

Season 17, Episode 14: Madonna is a guest in the Coffee Talk sketch, Barbra Streisand makes a surprise appearance unknown by the panelists in advance.

Season 18, Episode 2: This is the one during which Sinéad O'Connor rips up the picture of the Pope.

Season 19, Episode 1: Mike Judge's "Office Space" cartoon premieres.

Season 22, Episode 6: Bob Dole shows up in the cold open to tell Norm McDonald to stop impersonating him after he lost the 1996 election.

Season 22, Episode 10: Monty Python's Michael Pail and John Cleese appear in the cold open and a few sketches, and perform the Monty Python sketch "Dead Parrot."

Season 26Episode 10: Janet Reno appears in a sketch with Janet Reno, played by Will Ferrell.

Season 27Episode 3: In the third episode back after September 11th, Colin Quinn appears during Weekend Update to give his "New Yorker's" take on the current events.

Season 29Episode 2: As a parody of all of the celebrities running for governor when the episode aired in 2003, Carl Weathers appears in a sketch announcing his candidacy as governor of any state.

Season 29Episode 8: Chris Kattan returns to make an appearance in host Elijah Wood's monologue, as Gollum.

Season 30Episode 8: TV Funhouse's "Blue Christmas" airs, in which Santa skips over the red states that reelected George W. Bush.

Season 33, Episode 4: Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama makes a cameo during the cold open.

Season 33, Episode 6: Then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton makes a cameo during the cold open.

Season 34, Episode 5: Sarah Palin makes an appearance during the cold open and Weekend Update.

Season 35, Episode 7: Host Joseph Gordon-Levitt performs Singin' In the Rain's "Make 'Em Laugh" during the opening monologue.

Okay, what'd I miss? Obviously this guide isn't complete, so leave any other gems you've found in the comments!

Kelly Conaboy writes a lot, but it's never about anything.

Sponsored Content
  • HereKitty

    Am I imagining things, or is the first episode after 9/11 not on this list?

    • http://splitsider.com Adam Frucci

      It's during Season 27, not yet available on Netflix as noted in the intro.

  • Travis Murray

    Season 2, "Episode 22" (really a special, which ran on Sunday). Live from Mardi Gras. Disastrous show which I don't think has ever been re-aired after it initially ran. A gem for any SNL fan.

  • Thechansen

    I would have figured that Baldwin would have been selected as a notable SNL host, he's tied with Steve Martin at 15 appearances and his hosting appearances set him for 30 Rock which some (at least I do) consider the sitcom spinoff of SNL.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Conrad/717620860 David Conrad

    Can't believe you left out Brian Fellow's Safari Planet. The character premiered on May 15, 1999 and appeared ten times in a ten year period. Personally, I thought it was one of Tracy Morgan's funniest moments. "That goat got devil eyes!"

    • Kelly Conaboy

      Oh jeeze, I can't believe I left that out either. I love Brian Fellow's Safari Planet! I will add it thank you!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Morgan-Evans/674961395 Morgan Evans


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sean-Goller/756346264 Sean Goller

    The Office Space cartoon in Season 19 episode 1 has been cut from the Netflix version.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-Cunningham/682047936 Matthew Cunningham

    I think Season 13 Episode 1 was the first appearance of Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon as Hans and Franz (Austrian weightlifting cousins of Arnold Schwarzenegger).

  • Splangy

    You forgot the "Who Shot J.R." season closer where Charles Rocket ends the show, the season, and most of the cast with: "I just want to know who the F*** shot me."

    Also, you forgot the other season closer where Lorne Michaels "kills" off most of the entire cast (including Robert Downey Jr.) via a burning dressing room. He keeps Lovitz but almost no one else.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Lieberman/1203315747 Bob Lieberman

    For recurring characters, how about the first Samurai sketch, and the time Belushi cut Buck Henry's eye in a later Samurai sketch? More recurring characters: the Killer Bees; Mr. Bill; Roseanne Rosanadana; Emily Latella; Nick the Lounge Singer; Belushi doing commentary on Weekend Update ("but nooooo!"); Fernando; Ed Grimley (although he started on SCTV). Historic: First show to be titled "Saturday Night Live" instead of the original "NBC's Saturday Night."

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Lieberman/1203315747 Bob Lieberman

    For recurring characters, how about the first Samurai sketch, and, for historic, the time Belushi cut Buck Henry near his eye in a later Samurai sketch? More recurring characters: the Killer Bees; Mr. Bill; Roseanne Rosanadana; Emily Latella; Nick the Lounge Singer; Belushi doing commentary on Weekend Update ("but nooooo!"); Fernando; Ed Grimley (although he started on SCTV). Historic: First show to be titled "Saturday Night Live" instead of the original "NBC's Saturday Night."

  • Matty K

    What about more important/memorable musical guests? When Belushi lobbied for Fear to appear and Ian MacKaye (then in Minor Threat) jumped on stage and yelled "New York Sucks". Rage Against The Machine, The Replacements, Elvis Costello getting banned. Sandler's performance of the Hannukah Song. Debut of Lazy Sunday Digital Short, that might fall under the seasons that aren't on Netflix yet.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-Jupin/46300083 Andrew Jupin

      The Netflix streams of these episodes don't come with any of the musical performances because of copyright issues.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-DaMour/656082055 Chris DaMour

    how about martin lawrence's performance in 19 ep 14 http://movies.netflix.com/WiPlayer?movieid=70152926&trkid=439131 they didn't even show it on the west coast it was so controversial, and they just skip it in all repeats.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bill-LaMonaca/1546641016 Bill LaMonaca

    How about when Milton Berle hosted? That was an episode the Lorne Michaels vowed never to show in reruns, which has made me want to see it for ages.

  • B.R. Gabriel

    Rachel Dratch's Debbie Downer, especially the one with Lindsay Lohan

  • Butterscotch Stalin

    It's "Festrunk."

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Siegler/709851157 Joe Siegler

    Sep 26, 1998. Season 24, Episode 1. Cameron Diaz as host. It's the final appearance of the Roxbury Guys on the show. It's notable for the fact that Steve Martin & Dan Ackroyd make an appearance in the Roxbury bit as the Festrunk brothers.

    This episode also has a couple of other classic bits (IMO). "Oprah 2002" where the people from the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal get together to reminisce. Also, a really hysterical bit like a kid's show called "Jingelheimer Junction", and a great episode of "The Ladies Man" where Meadows & Diaz recreate bits from the Starr Report.

    Great stuff this one, but the "significant" bit for me is the Roxbury sketch.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brandon-Griffiths/38804816 Brandon Griffiths

      Thanks man, that one is a classic – watching it now

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kenny-Johnson/500013082 Kenny Johnson

    Seasons 26-30 have just been added.

  • http://leequick.com Lee Quick

    Interesting article – but can you please fix misspellings: "Tiny Fey" (twice) and Michael "Pail" (Palin)…?

  • MatthewJ

    Nice list but a lot of these have been cut from the Netflix versions, including the post 9/11 cold open.

  • Adam

    In season 21, the episode hosted by Steve Forbes… There's a sketch they list that's not even on there called "Seattle Today." It's the one where Norm MacDonald is the unabomber sketch artist, who's not good at drawing eyes or hair. Great sketch and I can't find it anywhere.

  • Kalvin Goodlaxson

    Season 4 Episode 1 the Rolling Stones are both host and musical guest, the only band to host SNL to date.

    Season 8 Episode 1 when Chevy Chase is the first and only host to be via-satellite outside of New York. He was in Burbank, California when he hosted that episode and he couldn't get a flight to New York.

    Seson 12 Episode 5 Robin Williams hosts for the second time, while Paul Simon was musical guest (whom appeared in some sketches along with Williams that night), in a memorable sketch of Simon remembering everything in his mind except Art Garfunkel (who makes a cameo appearance in that sketch).

    Season 22 Episode 18 (with Pamela Lee hosted) Featured a memborable Ambigously Gay Duo Safety Tips cartoon.

    Season 25 episode 15 The Rock as hosts the first time. With Vince McMahon, Triple H, Big Show, and Mick Foley appear in some memorable sketches (including the cold opening, monologue, and Coffee Talk).

  • Jonathan Michaels

    Um, Tom Hanks joins the Five Timers Club?
    Jim Carrey as Jimmy Stewart beats up "Jim Carrey"?
    How about when U2 performs at the end and does multiple encores?

  • Ruth E.

    Nice list. Too bad Netflix got rid of all the SNL besides the 2010s seasons. I'm struggling to find seasons 7 through 30-ish anywhere. :'(