Will Ferrell and Ana Gasteyer did not return from the previous season; Fred Armisen and Will Forte debuted in their place. This is the final season for Chris Kattan, Tracy Morgan, and Dean Edwards. Dan Aykroyd made his long-anticipated first hosting appearance for the season finale with musical guest, Beyoncé Knowles.
The opening montage is changed, with the repertory players having their names on screen, while the featured players don’t have their names on screen. This is also the final season with the set were the on-air sign flashing above the audience appeared in every episode, and the door that says 25 on it since Season 21.