Season 31
Premier: October 1, 2005
Last episode: May 20, 2006
Episodes: 19
Weekend Update anchor(s): Amy Poehler
Horatio Sanz(eps. 1-2)
Tina Fey(eps. 3-19)
Previous Season 30
Next Season 32

Saturday Night Live's thirty-first season premiered on October 1, 2005 and concluded its 19 episode season on May 20, 2006. The season aired at its usual time slot, Saturdays at 11:30 PM on NBC.

Only a few changes occured before the start of the season. At the end of the previous season, featured player Rob Riggle was let go in order to make way for new cast members. In the wake of his departure Finesse Mitchell and Kenan Thompson were promoted to repertory status while Jason Sudeikis remained a featured player. Hired at the start of the season were two new cast members, Los Angeles based comedian Bill Hader and Andy Samberg of The Lonely Island group (his two friends and fellow Lonely Island members Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone were also hired to the writing staff). Later in the season, Kristen Wiig was added to the cast, starting in the episode hosted by Jason Lee.

The Lonely Island would be responsible for bringing about the SNL Digital Shorts including the popular short Lazy Sunday which appeared at Christmas in the episode with Jack Black as host, the short would go on to become an internet phenomenon and would bring popularity to Andy Samberg and The Lonely Island.

Tina Fey and Maya Rudolph would both miss many episodes this season due to being on maternity leave. Fey missed the first 2 episodes and then returned in the episode with Catherine Zeta-Jones as host, while Rudolph appeared in the season premiere and then missed the next 10 episodes returning in the episode with Steve Martin as host. Rudolph would then miss another 2 episodes for undisclosed reasons. Other cast members who missed episodes this season would be Darrell Hammond, Chris Parnell and Horatio Sanz.

This season was notable for the people who hosted it starting with the return of Alec Baldwin who last hosted in 2003, Steve Martin who last hosted in 1994 and Tom Hanks who last hosted in 1996. Another notable host this season was Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who is the first female cast member to come back and host the show (Gilda Radner did not get a chance during season 13 as the writer's strike prematurely ended the season).

This season saw the death of another former cast member as Charles Rocket committed suicide. A still of him was shown during the October 22, 2005 episode to honor his memory.

This season was the first to broadcast in HD format after 30 years of broadcasting in analog.

This would be the last season for longtime cast members Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, Chris Parnell and Horatio Sanz, as well as the last season for Finesse Mitchell. Fey and Dratch both departed the cast at the end of the season to work on Fey's new sitcom 30 Rock, while Mitchell, Parnell and Sanz were all let go due to budget cuts. This is also the last season for longtime director Beth McCarthy-Miller she would leave at the end of the season because she felt like she couldn't bring the show into HD properly.



Portal 30 - Fred Armisen  Portal 30 - Rachel Dratch  Portal 30 - Tina Fey 

Portal 30 - Will Forte  Portal 30 - Darrell Hammond  Portal 30 - Seth Meyers 

Portal 30 - Finesse Mitchell  Portal 30 - Chris Parnell  Portal 30 - Amy Poehler 

Portal 30 - Maya Rudolph  Portal 30 - Horatio Sanz  Portal 30 - Kenan Thompson 


Portal 30 - Bill Hader  Portal 30 - Andy Samberg  Portal 30 - Jason Sudeikis 

Portal 30 - Kristen Wiig 


  • Kristen Wiig: First November 12


 Aired   Scheduled 

Date Image Host Music Guest
October 1, 2005 05ahost1 Steve Carell Kanye West
October 8, 2005 05bhost1 Jon Heder Ashlee Simpson
October 22, 2005 05chost1 Catherine Zeta-Jones Franz Ferdinand
October 29, 2005 05dhost1 Lance Armstrong Sheryl Crow
November 12, 2005 05ehost1 Jason Lee Foo Fighters
November 19, 2005 05fhost1 Eva Longoria Korn
December 3, 2005 05ghost1 Dane Cook James Blunt
December 10, 2005 05hhost1 Alec Baldwin Shakira
December 17, 2005 05ihost1 Jack Black Neil Young
January 14, 2006 05jhost1 Scarlett Johansson Death Cab for Cutie
January 21, 2006 05khost1 Peter Sarsgaard The Strokes
February 4, 2006 05lhost1 Steve Martin Prince
March 4, 2006 05mhost1 Natalie Portman Fall Out Boy
March 11, 2006 05nhost1 Matt Dillon Arctic Monkeys
April 8, 2006 05ohost1 Antonio Banderas Mary J. Blige
April 15, 2006 05phost1 Lindsay Lohan Pearl Jam
May 6, 2006 05qhost1 Tom Hanks Red Hot Chili Peppers
May 13, 2006 05rhost1 Julia Louis-Dreyfus Paul Simon
May 20, 2006 05shost1 Kevin Spacey Nelly Furtado



Preceded by:
Season 30
Season 31
(2005 - 2006)
Followed by:
Season 32
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