Saturday night live over

Unless you have late-night plans this Saturday night, there won’t be any big reason to stay up extra late: There’s isn’t a new Saturday Night Live episode airing on NBC this weekend.

While it’s definitely a bummer, you’ll likely be pumped about who is hosting SNL when the comedy series does come back in late January. Per Deadline, Star Wars actor Adam Driver will host the first SNL episode of the new year on Saturday, January 25, 2020. What’s more, Halsey will be the musical guest (her third time doing so on the sketch series).

Yay, can’t wait! But why is there no new episode of SNL tonight?

The show’s month-long break is pretty typical and doesn’t necessarily mean any crazy drama is happening behind the scenes. While the true reason why SNL takes breaks is unknown, it could, as one Redditor cleverly noted, have to do with the number of episodes that NBC orders per season.

For the past five years, the network has issued 20–22 episodes each season. The seemingly random breaks help stretch the show over the course of roughly eight months (end of September to mid-late May) — a typical time frame for most big network shows to run. Just like how This Is Us or A Million Little Things goes on a hiatus (usually during the holiday season), SNL has to break up their season too. Then, like most big shows that premiere in the fall, SNL is off for the entire summer.

Beyond that reasoning, the occasional breaks may also benefit the show’s writers and comedians and provide the rest of the crew plenty of time to rehearse, make sets and costumes, and more.

All in all, breaks can be a good thing, especially when it means that viewers will be rewarded with talent like Adam and Halsey when the wait is over. Also, we could all catch up on our sleep, right?

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Kayla Keegan News and Entertainment Editor Kayla Keegan covers all things in the entertainment, pop culture, and celebrity space for Good Housekeeping.

Season 45
Premier: September 28, 2019
Last episode: TBA
Episodes: TBA
Weekend Update anchor(s): Colin Jost
Michael Che
Previous Season 44
Next Season 46

The 45th season of Saturday Night Live began September 28, 2019.

Cast

The season began on a controversial note. Three new cast members were announced in mid-September: Chloe Fineman, Shane Gillis, and Bowen Yang. However, shortly after the announcement, comments by Gillis were unearthed that included racial and homophobic slurs. Amidst growing outrage and a flurry of articles and angry social media posts, NBC dropped Gillis from the upcoming cast. Gillis’ tenure lasted a mere five days, breaking the record for the shortest tenure on SNL.

Changes

Not Returning Promoted New
  • Leslie Jones
  • Heidi Gardner
  • Chris Redd
  • Chloe Fineman
  • Bowen Yang

Repertory

Featured

Episodes

Episode
Number
Season
Number
Date Host(s) Musical Guest(s)
872 1 September 28, 2019 Woody Harrelson Billie Eilish
873 2 October 5, 2019 Phoebe Waller-Bridge Taylor Swift
874 3 October 12, 2019 David Harbour Camila Cabello
875 4 October 26, 2019 Chance The Rapper
876 5 November 2, 2019 Kristen Stewart Coldplay
877 6 November 16, 2019 Harry Styles
878 7 November 23, 2019 Will Ferrell King Princess
879 8 December 7, 2019 Jennifer Lopez DaBaby
880 9 December 14, 2019 Scarlett Johansson Niall Horan
881 10 December 21, 2019 Eddie Murphy Lizzo
882 11 January 25, 2019 Adam Driver Halsey
883 12 February 1, 2020 J.J. Watt Luke Combs
884 13 February 8, 2020 RuPaul Justin Bieber

Notes

  1. Shane Gillis was announced as a cast member, but was dropped before the season began
Preceded by:
Season 44
Season 45
(2019 – 2020)
Followed by:
Season 46

Seasons

1 • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • 7 • 8 • 9 • 10 • 11 • 12 • 13 • 14 • 15 • 16 • 17 • 18 • 19 • 20 • 21 • 22 • 23 • 24 • 25

26 • 27 • 28 • 29 • 30 • 31 • 32 • 33 • 34 • 35 • 36 • 37 • 38 • 39 • 40 • 41 • 42 • 43 • 44 • 45 • 46 • 47 • 48 • 49 • 50

Should Saturday Night Live fans expect to see a brand new episode tonight on NBC?

We are officially into 2020, late night fans. It may be the start of a new year and a new decade but Saturday Night Live is right in the middle of its 45th season.

And season 45 has been one that often looks backwards more than to the future. Former cast members Will Ferrell and Eddie Murphy have returned as have hosts like Kristen Stewart, Jennifer Lopez and Woody Harrelson.

Then there are the cameos. Throughout this season, we’ve seen Saturday Night Live alumni like Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph, Jason Sudeikis and Rachel Dratch appear on the show. SNL friends like Larry David, Jason Momoa, and Jon Hamm have also surprised audiences.

It’s hard to imagine that trend changing in 2020. With more Democratic debates on tap and the campaign season heating up, expect more cameos as SNL brings in talented performers to portray the top politicians.

So what should Saturday Night Live fans expect to see tonight? Will it be another cameo-packed episode to kick of the new year? Or is SNL still on its holiday break?

Sorry, folks but it is bad news if you were looking for a new show. There will not be a new episode of Saturday Night Live tonight.

The show remains on hiatus following the record-setting Dec. 21 episode hosted by Eddie Murphy. Murphy’s return to SNL after 35 has been the season’s high mark and it seems unlikely that anything will top it.

The first episode of 2020 is set for Jan. 25. It will be hosted by Marriage Story and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker star Adam Driver. The musical guest will be Halsey.

It will be Driver’s third time hosting, including a turn last season, meaning that SNL is once again looking to its past. But the good news is that Driver has always brought something different to the show and has been one of the best hosts in recent history.

What do you hope is Saturday Night Live‘s New Year resolution for 2020? What do you want to see change, or stay the same, in the rest of season 45? Tell us in the comments and keep checking Last Night On for more updates.

Putting together an episode of Saturday Night Live involves a six day work week involving the host, cast, writers, and producers. The week begins at 9:00am Monday with a sketch pitch meeting and ends at 1:02am Saturday Night with the live production.

Work WeekEdit

MondayEdit

A production week begins at 9:00am Monday with a free form pitch meeting between the host, cast, writers, and producers. The meeting takes place in Lorne Michaels’s office in the second floor of the studio. In this meeting, the cast pitches sketch ideas to the host, who gives their opinion on the sketch and decides if they want it to be written into the show’s lineup. The host is also invited to pitch sketch ideas, too. The meeting takes a little over two hours, and about 30-40 sketches are pitched and put into a cold lineup of the schedule posted on Michael’s wall.

TuesdayEdit

Tuesday is the day purely dedicated to writing scripts for the sketches. This is longest day in a week. Extending from 9am all the way through the following morning. Sketches may not be written until 8pm, depending on the time to brainstorm the sketch.

WednesdayEdit

At 5pm on Wednesday, the cast reads the sketches in a round-table meeting in the writer’s room attended by the writers and producers. The lead pianist for the Saturday Night Live Band may show up to accompany music for any sketches involving singing. Around 40 sketches are read, lasting upwards 3 hours. After the read-through is completed, the host, head writer, and producers move to Michael’s office to decide the layout of the show and make a decision on which sketches make the cut. Afterwards, the cast and writers are invited in to see the layout of the show and to see which sketches made the cut.

ThursdayEdit

Thursday is the day to develop the sketches. Sets are built, costumes are made, makeup is done, and sketches are rewritten. More sketches are cut late-Thursday; any sketch surviving past Thursday will make it to Friday and Saturday rehearsals, and will be performed in the 8pm dress rehearsal.

Friday & SaturdayEdit

Friday and Saturday are pure rehearsal days. Pretaped sketches are rehearsed and taped first on Friday, and may take up until 4pm until the live sketches are rehearsed.

At 8pm on Saturday a Dress Rehearsal is performed in front of a live audience. The live audience is used as a test monkey to determine which sketches and jokes are funny enough to make it to the live show later that night. The Dress Rehearsal takes about two hours, and the sketches and Weekend Update jokes that received less grace are cut until the show meets the 90 minute length.

At 11:29:30pm the live show begins broadcasting on live TV. The show runs approximately 92 minutes, ending just before 1:02am. All Cast Members are clocked out after 1:02am, though many head to after-parties in New York City that last throughout late Sunday Morning.

Weekend UpdateEdit

Throughout the week, three to four writers are dedicated to write Weekend Update jokes for the week. On Thursday Evening, they are read by the anchors of Update, who contribute to the script if necessary. Cast Members must pitch their characters for Update on Monday, who then write the monologue for their character on Tuesday with everyone else.

In the Beginning

In January of 1974, Gary Austin announced that he wanted to create a theatre company. Taking its name from the group of lower class audience members who stood on the ground in front of the stage to watch plays in Shakespeare’s day, “The Groundlings” was officially incorporated as a non-profit organization. There were about fifty founding members of the company (membership at that time required only that you pay $25 to attend workshops), who would develop material in the workshops and then perform the best work in the weekend shows. The first show as “The Groundlings” was in the 30-seat basement of the Oxford Theatre (now The Met) near the corner of Santa Monica Blvd and Western Ave. Esteemed LA Times theatre critic, Sylvie Drake, was in the audience that first weekend and wrote a rave review saying “This could be the start of something big,”.

As the buzz about the new company increased, the entertainment industry started taking notice. Comedian Lily Tomlin was a regular in the audience, and she hired several Groundlings to perform on “The Lily Tomlin Show.” Later that year, Lorne Michaels, who produced Tomlin’s TV special, asked Foundling Groundling Laraine Newman to be a cast member for his new late-night comedy series “Saturday Night Live.”

Before long, membership in the company grew to 90 performers. Auditions became required to join. Phil Hartman, who then was a graphic designer and not an actor, attended the first audition. He got in, but because of the stiff competition, it would be over a year before he could start performing in the shows. With such a large company, workshops seven days a week, and sold-out shows going up three nights per weekend, it became clear that The Groundlings needed their own permanent home.
The Groundlings Theatre at 7307 Melrose Avenue (previously an interior decorator’s studio, a furniture showroom, a gay bar, and then a ‘massage parlor’) was acquired by the company in 1975. Original Groundlings member Archie Hahn oversaw the ominous project. First step: Throw out all the soiled mattresses that littered the building. Through lots of sweat equity and with the use of personal funds, Groundlings members set out to modernize the building and turn it into a performance space. Hooray! New theatre, right? Not so fast. It would be four years of battling red tape, building codes, and parking restrictions before any shows would appear on that stage. During that time, The Groundlings performed their revues at a handful of theatres all over town, including The Improv, The Matrix, The Hollywood Canteen, and the White House. Finally, in April of 1979, the revitalized 99 seat theatre was finally able to open its doors to audiences.
In November of 1979, Gary Austin stepped down as Artistic Director. Tom Maxwell was voted in as his successor, and he would remain at the helm for the next ten years. In 1989, The Groundlings began the enduring tradition of having Groundlings or Groundlings Alumni direct each new revue. The Main Company (now capped at 30 members) collectively acted as the organization’s artistic director, democratically making business and creative decisions as a group. This remains true to this day.
The Groundlings School officially began in 1979 with only 17 students and original staff members Gary Austin, Tom Maxwell, Phyllis Katz, and Tracy Newman as its teachers. The Sunday Company was formed by Suzanne Kent in 1982 to further develop the talent coming through the school. After ascending through the curriculum and honing their improv and writing skills, the cream of the crop were voted on by The Groundlings to decide if they were to join The Sunday Company. After further demonstration of their abilities in the weekly Sunday Show, the members were voted on once again in the hopes of becoming a Groundling. The Groundlings school is very proud of the fact that many former students and Sunday Company Alumni have gone on to very successful entertainment careers. Among them are Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Liz Feldman, Fortune Feimster, Rita Wilson, Tyra Banks, Dax Shepard, Oscar Nunez, Kaitlin Olsen, and Nasim Pedrad.
The Groundlings Revue (now commonly referred to as the Main Show) was the first show performed by the Main Company as they established the Groundlings improv, character, and sketch comedy style. In 1981, the Revue was given a title, “L.A. 200, Groundlings 3”. From that point on, every Revue would have its own name, and always with the word “Groundlings” in it somewhere. Initially, there would be one or two Revues a year. By the 1990’s, three shows a year was the norm. And in 2007, the company decided to do four shows per year, in addition to a special holiday show in December.
Starting in 1981, alternative format shows were added to the monthly line up. The first was “The Pee-Wee Herman Show” created by Paul Rubens as a showcase for his Pee Wee character, which he created in Groundlings workshops and Revues. Pee Wee and his friends (played by fellow Groundlings Phil Hartman, Lynne Stewart, John Paragon, Edi McClurg, and John Moody) performed every Saturday at midnight, after the regular Revues. Quickly, the show became a huge LA hit, transferred to a theatre on Sunset Blvd, and was filmed for an HBO special. In the following years, Pee Wee became a pop culture icon, spawning films, toys, and a children’s television show. An updated revival of that original stage show (with many of the original Groundlings reprising their roles) enjoyed a successful Broadway run in 2011/2012.

Another wildly popular late night show was “Elvira: Mistress of the Dark” created and performed by Groundling Cassandra Peterson, which is still performed to sold-out houses all over the country every Halloween.

Since then, other alternative format shows would play the theatre: “Waco,” “On the Road With Guy DiSimone” (Tim Stack), “Olympic Trials: A Chick Hazard Mystery” (an improv mystery starring Phil Hartman that represented LA in the 1984 Olympic Games Arts Festival), “Mea Culpa” & “Mea’s Big Apology” (Julia Sweeney), “Casual Sex” (inspired the film), “Ladies Room” (basis for the film “Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion”), “Holiday Dinner,” “Your Very Own TV Show”, “The 48 Hour Show”, and “Beverly Winwood Presents The Actor’s Showcase”, to name a few. In 1992, Melanie Graham created “Cooking With Gas”, a weekly short-form improv show performed by Groundlings, Groundlings Alumni, Sunday Company members, and special celebrity guests. The show continues every Thursday night, and is now the longest running improv show in LA. It was followed in 2001 by the long-form improv “Crazy Uncle Joe Show”, which still runs every Wednesday night.
In 1998, the Groundlings were given their own improv television program on the F/X network called “Instant Comedy with The Groundlings,” which introduced the theatre to a larger national audience. As a group, the Groundlings have also been featured on such shows as “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” “The Merv Griffin Show” and “The Today Show”. But the biggest imprint that the Groundlings have made on pop culture is through the work company members have taken from the Groundlings stage to television, films, or the internet. Groundlings who have gone onto “Saturday Night Live” (Laraine Newman, Jon Lovitz, Phil Hartman, Julia Sweeney, Cheri Oteri, Will Ferrell, Chris Kattan, Ana Gasteyer, Chris Parnell, Maya Rudolph, Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Michaela Watkins, Taran Killam, Mikey Day and Heidi Gardner) and “Mad TV” (Mike McDonald, Phil LaMarr, Mary Scheer, Mike Hitchcock, Christian Duguay, and Danielle Gaither) often turn their scenes and characters created at Groundlings into TV audience favorites. In 2006, on the heels of the invention of You Tube, Groundlings Michael Naughton and Mikey Day filmed their main show sketch “David Blaine Street Magic” with Mitch Silpa in the alley behind the theatre. That video, and its sequels has been viewed over 50 million times by people all over the world, broken YouTube records, and helped launch a wave of internet comedy videos. With the help of new and old Media, The Groundlings comedy continues to expand its reach beyond the four walls of 7307 Melrose and in 2018 launched the Groundlings Originals series – short films of sketches created on The Groundlings stage.

The Groundlings School landed its own 5000 square foot home in 2015, on the corner of Melrose Avenue and Poinsettia. With over 8000 improv and sketch comedy students per year, The Groundlings has become the pre-eminent training ground for comedy in Los Angeles and beyond.