Saturday Night Live (season 13)

The thirteenth season of Saturday Night Live, an American sketch comedy series, originally aired in the United States on NBC between October 17, 1987 and February 27, 1988.

Saturday Night Live
Season 13
The title card for the thirteenth season of Saturday Night Live.
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes13
Original networkNBC
Original releaseOctober 17, 1987 (1987-10-17) –
February 27, 1988 (1988-02-27)
Season chronology
← Previous
season 12
Next →
season 14
List of Saturday Night Live episodes

Although the changes to the cast were minimal there were, however, major events that impeded the show's production. During production of the season premiere, a fire broke out near Studio 8H during dress rehearsal.

Despite plans to cancel the show for the week, Steve Martin (the episode host) pushed the cast to carry on with the show, making the Steve Martin/Sting episode the only episode without a dress rehearsal.[1]

On March 7, 1988, the Writers Guild of America went on strike, cancelling many planned episodes (and ultimately cutting the season short), including one originally planned to be hosted by original cast member Gilda Radner. (After Radner discovered that her ovarian cancer had returned by the end of 1988, she would never get the chance to host the show as she died the following May [the day of the following season's finale] from the disease.) The host for the March 12, 1988 broadcast (the first episode to be cancelled due to the strike of 1988) was never confirmed.


Minimal changes occurred before the beginning of the season. Kevin Nealon was promoted to repertory status.

Cast rosterEdit

bold denotes Weekend Update anchor


New hires this season were Greg Daniels, Conan O'Brien and Bob Odenkirk.

The writers for this season included A. Whitney Brown, Tom Davis, Greg Daniels, Jim Downey, Al Franken, Jack Handey, Phil Hartman, George Meyer, Lorne Michaels, Conan O'Brien, Bob Odenkirk, Herb Sargent, David Borowitz, Rosie Shuster, Robert Smigel, Bonnie Turner, Terry Turner and Christine Zander. The head writer, like the previous season, was Jim Downey.


No. in
HostMusical guest(s)Original air date
2341Steve MartinStingOctober 17, 1987 (1987-10-17)

2352Sean PennLL Cool J
Michael Penn
October 24, 1987 (1987-10-24)

  • LL Cool J performed "Go Cut Creator Go".[2] and appeared in the opener.
  • Michael Penn, older brother of host Sean, performed "This and That" with his band The Pull.[2]
2363Dabney ColemanThe CarsOctober 31, 1987 (1987-10-31)

2374Robert MitchumSimply RedNovember 14, 1987 (1987-11-14)

  • Simply Red performs "Suffer" and "The Right Thing".[2]
2385Candice BergenCherNovember 21, 1987 (1987-11-21)

2396Danny DeVitoBryan FerryDecember 5, 1987 (1987-12-05)

2407Angie DickinsonBuster Poindexter
David Gilmour
December 12, 1987 (1987-12-12)

  • Buster Poindexter performs "Hot Hot Hot".[2]
  • David Gilmour performs "Ah, Robertson, It's You"[2] and an instrumental guitar jam with the SNL house band called "Song For My Sara".
2418Paul SimonLinda RonstadtDecember 19, 1987 (1987-12-19)

2429Robin WilliamsJames TaylorJanuary 23, 1988 (1988-01-23)

  • James Taylor performs "That Lonesome Road", "Sweet Potato Pie" and "Never Die Young".[2]
24310Carl WeathersRobbie RobertsonJanuary 30, 1988 (1988-01-30)

  • Robbie Robertson performs "Somewhere Down the Crazy River" and "Testimony".[2]
  • BoDeans and Maria McKee appeared in both performances.
24411Justine BatemanTerence Trent D'ArbyFebruary 13, 1988 (1988-02-13)

24512Tom HanksRandy TravisFebruary 20, 1988 (1988-02-20)

24613Judge Reinhold10,000 ManiacsFebruary 27, 1988 (1988-02-27)

Canceled episodes with booked guestsEdit

Airdate Host Musical Guest Comments
May 14, 1988 Gilda Radner U2 Gilda Radner was an original cast member. She was planned to host, but her episode was cancelled due to the 1988 Writers Guild of America Strike. She would never get a chance to host, due to her death in 1989. This episode would have marked the first time a female cast member came back to host, a milestone that didn't happen until Julia Louis-Dreyfus hosted on May 13, 2006. U2 would perform on the show on December 9, 2000.


  1. ^ Shales, Tom; Miller, James Andrew (7 October 2002). Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live (1st ed.). Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 978-0-3167-8146-6.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1994. pp. 124–127. ISBN 0-395-70895-8.
  3. ^ Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1994. pp. 220–223. ISBN 0-395-70895-8.