Saturday Night Live (season 16)

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Saturday Night Live (season 16)
The title card for the sixteenth season of Saturday Night Live.
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 20
Original network NBC
Original release September 29, 1990 (1990-09-29) – May 18, 1991 (1991-05-18)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 15
Next →
Season 17
List of Saturday Night Live episodes

The sixteenth season of Saturday Night Live, an American sketch comedy series, originally aired in the United States on NBC between September 29, 1990, and May 18, 1991.

The 16th season of SNL was a transitional one: Several longtime cast members left, and a large number of additions were made to the roster. To ensure that he was not short on talent (and to avoid repeating Jean Doumanian's mistake—and Lorne Michaels's previous mistake in the case of the 1985-1986 cast—of hiring a cast of new, inexperienced cast members with little to no comedic chemistry), Michaels chose to retain most of the late 1980s cast while in the process of hiring the people that would make up the early 1990s cast. At one point during the season, sixteen people were listed as cast members or featured players.


Cast changes[edit]

Extensive changes occurred before the start of the season. Nora Dunn and Jon Lovitz were both dropped from the show. Following her boycott of the episode hosted by Andrew Dice Clay the previous season, Dunn was not in good standing with Lorne Michaels. Dunn's initial five-year contract expired at the end of the previous season, but Lorne Michaels chose not to extend it due to the boycott controversy.

Before the season began, Jon Lovitz requested time off so he could film Mom and Dad Save the World, which would cause him to miss the first several episodes of the season. Michaels refused, because he did not view this to be fair to the other cast members. Lovitz subsequently quit. However, he made several cameo appearances throughout the 16th season.[1]

With Dunn and Lovitz gone, Michaels was put in an awkward situation. Most of the cast had been on the show for five seasons. He did not want to be put in the spot of having to replace the entire cast all at once. Instead, Michaels promoted writers Rob Schneider and David Spade to the cast and hired Chris Farley, Chris Rock, and Julia Sweeney. He then hired Tim Meadows and Adam Sandler to the cast mid season.

Starting with this season, the cast was divided into three groups. A middle group was created, and this new category would be introduced with the word "with," following the introduction of the repertory players. The first cast members added to the new group were Farley and Rock, with Meadows and Sweeney added mid-season.

This would also be the final season for Jan Hooks, A. Whitney Brown, and Dennis Miller, who ended his consecutive six-year reign as Weekend Update anchor.

Cast roster[edit]

bold denotes Weekend Update anchor


Notable writers from season 16 included Jim Downey, Al Franken, Tom Davis, Jack Handey, Conan O'Brien, Rob Smigel and Bob Odenkirk.

Season 16 would prove to be the final year for O'Brien and Odenkirk as Saturday Night Live writers. O'Brien left to write for The Simpsons, and would later host NBC's Late Night and Tonight Show late night talk shows. Odenkirk would go on to write for future cast member Chris Elliott's Get a Life and The Dennis Miller Show as well as The Ben Stiller Show, for which he was also a cast member. In 1995, he would co-create and co-star on HBO's Mr. Show with Bob and David.[2]


No. in
Host Musical guest Original air date
287 1 Kyle MacLachlan Sinéad O'Connor September 29, 1990 (1990-09-29)
  • Chris Farley and Chris Rock's first episode as cast members.
  • Bad Idea Jeans TV advertisement parody with Bob Odenkirk.
  • Sinéad O'Connor performs "Three Babies" and "The Last Day of Our Acquaintance".[3]
288 2 Susan Lucci Hothouse Flowers October 6, 1990 (1990-10-06)
289 3 George Steinbrenner Morris Day & The Time October 20, 1990 (1990-10-20)
290 4 Patrick Swayze Mariah Carey October 27, 1990 (1990-10-27)
  • Swayze's wife, Lisa Niemi, appears during the monologue and dances with her husband.
  • Mariah Carey performs "Vision of Love" and "Vanishing".[3]
  • Rob Schneider's first episode as a cast member.
  • Episode contains the "Chippendales" sketch, where Swayze and Chris Farley play competing Chippendales dancers.[4]
291 5 Jimmy Smits World Party November 10, 1990 (1990-11-10)
292 6 Dennis Hopper Paul Simon November 17, 1990 (1990-11-17)
293 7 John Goodman Faith No More December 1, 1990 (1990-12-01)
294 8 Tom Hanks Edie Brickell & New Bohemians December 8, 1990 (1990-12-08)
  • Paul Simon, Steve Martin, and Elliott Gould make cameo appearances as members of the "Five Timer's Club"; Jon Lovitz cameos as a waiter, Conan O'Brien as a doorman, and Ralph Nader appears as a onetime former host trying to get into the club.[7] Nader also appears in the "Global Warming Christmas Special" sketch.
  • Tony Randall makes a cameo appearance in the "Game Beaters/Mr. Short Term Memory" sketch.
  • Edie Brickell & New Bohemians perform "Woyaho" and "He Said".[3]
295 9 Dennis Quaid The Neville Brothers December 15, 1990 (1990-12-15)
  • Jon Lovitz makes a cameo appearance during "Weekend Update" as his character "Annoying Man".
  • The Neville Brothers performs "Brother Jake" and "River of Life".[3]
296 10 Joe Mantegna Vanilla Ice January 12, 1991 (1991-01-12)
297 11 Sting Sting January 19, 1991 (1991-01-19)
298 12 Kevin Bacon INXS February 9, 1991 (1991-02-09)
299 13 Roseanne Barr Deee-Lite February 16, 1991 (1991-02-16)
300 14 Alec Baldwin Whitney Houston February 23, 1991 (1991-02-23)
301 15 Michael J. Fox The Black Crowes March 16, 1991 (1991-03-16)
302 16 Jeremy Irons Fishbone March 23, 1991 (1991-03-23)
  • Boxer Donovan "Razor" Ruddock makes cameo appearances during "Weekend Update" and the "Buzz Pen" sketch.
  • Fishbone performs "Sunless Saturday" and "Everyday Sunshine".[3]
303 17 Catherine O'Hara R.E.M. April 13, 1991 (1991-04-13)
304 18 Steven Seagal Michael Bolton April 20, 1991 (1991-04-20)
305 19 Delta Burke Chris Isaak May 11, 1991 (1991-05-11)
  • Madonna appears in a filmed cameo during the "Wayne's World" sketch.
  • Chris Isaak performs "Wicked Game" and "Diddley Daddy".[3] He also appears in the "Karaoke Bar" sketch.
  • This episode was released as part of the three-episode "Best of Saturday Night Live: Special Edition" VHS (1992).
306 20 George Wendt Elvis Costello May 18, 1991 (1991-05-18)


  1. ^ Daly, Steve. "Lovitz Discusses Movies, Leaving 'SNL'". Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  2. ^ IMDB page: "Bob Odenkirk Filmography by TV."
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1994. pp. 124–127. ISBN 0-395-70895-8. 
  4. ^ Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1994. p. 233. ISBN 0-395-70895-8. 
  5. ^ Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1994. pp. 241–242. ISBN 0-395-70895-8. 
  6. ^ Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1994. pp. 244–246. ISBN 0-395-70895-8. 
  7. ^ Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1994. p. 46. ISBN 0-395-70895-8. 
  8. ^ Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1994. pp. 248–249. ISBN 0-395-70895-8. 
  9. ^ Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1994. pp. 250–251. ISBN 0-395-70895-8. 
  10. ^ Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1994. pp. 252–254. ISBN 0-395-70895-8. 
  11. ^ Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1994. pp. 255–257. ISBN 0-395-70895-8.