Saturday Night Live Wiki

Paul Shaffer, CM (born November 28, 1949) is a Canadian-American musician, actor, voice actor, author, comedian and composer who was a cast member of Saturday Night Live from 1979 to 1980 with only one season (Season 5).

On SNL, Shaffer was known for becoming the first person to say "f*ck" on the show in 1979. That same year, SNL parodied The Troggs with a medieval musical sketch featuring Shaffer, Bill Murray, Harry Shearer and a special guest appearance by John Belushi (who had left the show the previous spring). In the middle of a long tirade which featured repeated use of the word "flogging," Shaffer inadvertently uttered the forbidden word. It not only escaped the censors in the live broadcast and the West Coast taped airing, but also reappeared in the summer rerun, and even in the syndicated versions of the show for several years. Shaffer also appeared as the director and vocalist of The Louisiana Gator Boys in the 2000 SNL musical comedy film Blue Brothers 2000.

After his retirement from SNL, Shaffer became well-known for being David Letterman's sidekick since 1982. Shaffer also hosted SNL on January 31, 1987 and made cameos on November 21, 1987 where he joined Cher in her performances of "We All Sleep Alone" and "I Found Someone" and on December 15, 2012 during the opening monologue.

He was also impersonated by Gary Kroeger on the September 25, 1982 and May 14, 1983 episodes, both during the "Late Night with David Letterman" sketch, by Mark McKinney on the January 11, 1997 and February 22, 1997 episodes, both during "The Late Show" sketch, and by Chris Kattan on the November 8, 1997 episode also during "The Late Show" sketch.



  • Artie


  • Boy George
  • Don Kirshner
  • Marvin Hamlisch
  • Robert Vesco

SNL Career[]

  • 1979-1980: Featured Player
  • January 31, 1987: Host
  • November 21, 1987: Cameo
  • December 15, 2012: Cameo