Saturday Night Live (season 15)

The fifteenth season of Saturday Night Live, an American sketch comedy series, originally aired in the United States on NBC between September 30, 1989 and May 19, 1990.[1]

Saturday Night Live
Season 15
The title card for the fifteenth season of Saturday Night Live.
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes20
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 30, 1989 (1989-09-30) –
May 19, 1990 (1990-05-19)[1]
Season chronology
← Previous
season 14
Next →
season 16
List of Saturday Night Live episodes

This season saw the first appearances of three frequent SNL hosts: John Goodman,[2] who auditioned to be a cast member on SNL during the 1980–81 season[3] and frequently appeared on SNL in the mid-1990s as Linda Tripp; Christopher Walken,[4] whose sketch "The Continental" had been a staple in six of the seven episodes hosted by Walken; and Alec Baldwin[5] (who later surpassed Steve Martin as the most frequent SNL host).[6]

A live special commemorating fifteen seasons of SNL was aired September 24, 1989, before the start of the season.[7]


Very few changes were made before and during this season. Mike Myers was upgraded to repertory status mid-season. This was the final season for Nora Dunn and Jon Lovitz.

Cast rosterEdit

bold denotes Weekend Update anchor



No. in
HostMusical guest(s)Original air date
2671Bruce WillisNeil YoungSeptember 30, 1989 (1989-09-30)

2682Rick MoranisRickie Lee JonesOctober 7, 1989 (1989-10-07)

  • Rickie Lee Jones performs "Satellites" and "Ghetto of My Mind".[8]
  • Mr Subliminal debuts on Weekend Update.
2693Kathleen TurnerBilly JoelOctober 21, 1989 (1989-10-21)

2704James WoodsDon HenleyOctober 28, 1989 (1989-10-28)

2715Chris EvertEurythmicsNovember 11, 1989 (1989-11-11)

2726Woody HarrelsonDavid ByrneNovember 18, 1989 (1989-11-18)

2737John Goodmank.d. langDecember 2, 1989 (1989-12-02)

2748Robert WagnerLinda Ronstadt & Aaron NevilleDecember 9, 1989 (1989-12-09)

2759Andie MacDowellTracy ChapmanDecember 16, 1989 (1989-12-16)

  • Tracy Chapman performs "Give Me One Reason",[8] which wouldn't be released until 1995, and "All That You Have".[8]
  • Al Franken's son Joe appears during Weekend Update in a take-off of Franken's "Al Franken Decade" bit, in which the 1990s are referred to as the "Joe Franken Decade".
  • Jon Lovitz portrays Hanukkah Harry.[9]
27610Ed O'NeillHarry Connick, Jr.January 13, 1990 (1990-01-13)

27711Christopher WalkenBonnie RaittJanuary 20, 1990 (1990-01-20)

27812Quincy JonesTevin Campbell
Kool Moe Dee
Big Daddy Kane
February 10, 1990 (1990-02-10)

  • Quincy Jones' monologue consists of a performance of Dizzy Gillespie's "Manteca" by an expanded SNL Band. Jones dedicated the performance to Nelson Mandala, who was released from prison in South Africa after 27 years the day after the airing.
  • Jones joins the musical guests in performing "Back on the Block" and "Wee B. Dooinit".[8]
  • Kool Moe Dee, Melle Mel, and Jones' son Quincy Jones III appear in the "Crown Heights" sketch.
  • This episode contains the largest number of musical guests in an episode, with a total of ten: Tevin Campbell, Kool Moe Dee, Big Daddy Kane, Melle Mel, Quincy Jones III, Andraé & Sandra Crouch, Siedah Garrett, Al Jarreau, and Take 6.
27913Tom HanksAerosmithFebruary 17, 1990 (1990-02-17)

28014Fred SavageTechnotronicFebruary 24, 1990 (1990-02-24)

28115Rob LoweThe PoguesMarch 17, 1990 (1990-03-17)

  • The Pogues performs "White City" and "The Body of an American".[8]
  • Chevy Chase appears during the goodnights.
28216Debra WingerEric ClaptonMarch 24, 1990 (1990-03-24)

28317Corbin BernsenThe SmithereensApril 14, 1990 (1990-04-14)

28418Alec BaldwinThe B-52'sApril 21, 1990 (1990-04-21)

28519Andrew Dice ClayJulee Cruise
Spanic Boys
May 12, 1990 (1990-05-12)

  • Julee Cruise performs "Falling".[8]
  • Spanic Boys performs "Keep On Walking".[8]
  • The show was broadcast on a seven second delay.[10]
  • Nora Dunn and scheduled musical guest Sinéad O'Connor boycotted this episode in protest of host Andrew Dice Clay's jokes about women. Julee Cruise and Spanic Boys both were quickly booked to replace Sinéad O'Connor. Nora Dunn's contract was not renewed at the end of the season.
28620Candice BergenThe Notting HillbilliesMay 19, 1990 (1990-05-19)


TitleOriginal air date
"15th Anniversary Special"September 24, 1989 (1989-09-24)
A special celebrating the 15th anniversary of the show. A long list of cast members, guest hosts, and other special people honor the show's anniversary. Chevy Chase and Garrett Morris appear in the cold open, debating about whether or not Chase is too old to open the show with a pratfall (as he had routinely done when he had been a cast member). Tom Hanks performed the opening monologue, which pokes fun at the cliches of SNL opening monologues in general. Prince[11] and Paul Simon perform. Vintage musical clips include performances from David Bowie and Elvis Costello.[11] John Belushi and Gilda Radner receive tributes in the special. Among the guest hosts was Robin Williams, Mary Tyler Moore and O. J. Simpson. This was the final appearance of Buck Henry on SNL, who was the most frequent host during the original 70s run of the show.


  1. ^ a b "Saturday Night Live - Official Order - Season 15 -". Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  2. ^ "SNL Season 15 Episode 07 - John Goodman, k.d. lang & The Reclines. -". NBC. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  3. ^ Renae, Kirstie. "14 celebrities who got rejected by 'Saturday Night Live' and went on to become famous in their own right". Insider. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  4. ^ "SNL Season 15 Episode 11 - Christopher Walken, Bonnie Raitt. -". NBC. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  5. ^ "SNL Season 15 Episode 18 - Alec Baldwin, The B-52's. -". NBC. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  6. ^ "Stars Who've Hosted SNL The Most Number of Times". Ranker. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  7. ^ Saturday Night Live: 15th Anniversary, retrieved 2019-12-06
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1994. pp. 124–127. ISBN 0-395-70895-8.
  9. ^ Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1994. pp. 120. ISBN 0-395-70895-8.
  10. ^ Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1994. pp. 264. ISBN 0-395-70895-8.
  11. ^ a b "September 1989" Rolling Stone magazine, 14–28 December 1989, page 120