Season 39 began on September 28, 2013 and ran to May 17, 2014. Prior cast members Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, and Jason Sudeikis had left the show at the end of season 38, and Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers left mid-season on February 1st to prepare for his new job, hosting Late Night. Tim Robinson, who had joined the show as a cast member in the previous season, transferred to the writing staff.

This was the first season for Beck Bennett, Colin Jost, Kyle Mooney, and Sasheer Zamata as cast members, as well as the only season for John Milhiser, Mike O'Brien, Noël Wells, and Brooks Wheelan; Jost and Zamata were added at different points mid-season. Cecily Strong became co-anchor of Weekend Update at the beginning of the season.[1]

The season was more eventful than the last several. Kenan Thompson gave an interview to TV Guide in October, where he criticized the show's lack of black females on the cast, and publicly refused to continue to dress in drag on the show.[2] This was a point of humor in the November 2 show, hosted by Kerry Washington. With the flurry of press attention that followed, Lorne Michaels and NBC decided to add a black woman to the cast, leading to Sasheer Zamata joining after Christmas break.[3][4]

Also in the news was the shift in late night programming, an extension of the 2010 Tonight Show conflict, which meant SNL alum Jimmy Fallon moving from the 12:35 Late Night to the 11:35 Tonight Show, and current cast member Seth Meyers taking over the 12:35 show. The transition took place during the gap created by the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi; Meyers last show was February 1, his Late Night started in the last week of February, and when SNL resumed on March 1, Meyers was gone and head writer Colin Jost had joined the cast in his place. (Jost had been a writer since Season 31, and was head writer for seasons 38 and 39.) Jost joined Strong at the Weekend Update desk.

This season also ended up being the last for long-time announcer Don Pardo, who would die before the next season started. 



Portal 38 - Vanessa Bayer.jpg  Portal 38 - Aidy Bryant.jpg  Portal 38 - Taran Killam.jpg 

Portal 38 - Kate McKinnon.jpg  Portal 38 - Seth Meyers.jpg  Portal 38 - Bobby Moynihan.jpg 

Portal 38 - Nasim Pedrad.jpg  Portal 38 - Jay Pharoah.jpg  Portal 38 - Cecily Strong.jpg 

Portal 38 - Kenan Thompson.jpg 


Portal 38 - Beck Bennett.jpg  Portal 38 - Colin Jost.jpg  Portal 38 - John Milhiser.jpg 

Portal 38 - Kyle Mooney.jpg  Portal 38 - Mike O'Brien.jpg  Portal 38 - Noel Wells.jpg 

Portal 38 - Brooks Wheelan.jpg  Portal 38 - Sasheer Zamata.jpg 


Not Returning:




Date Image Host Music Guest
September 28, 2013 13ahost1.jpg Tina Fey Arcade Fire
October 5, 2013 13bhost1.jpg Miley Cyrus Miley Cyrus
October 12, 2013 13chost1.jpg Bruce Willis Katy Perry
October 26, 2013 13dhost1.jpg Edward Norton Janelle Monáe
November 2, 2013 13ehost3.jpg Kerry Washington Eminem
November 16, 2013 13fhost2.jpg Lady Gaga Lady Gaga
November 23, 2013 13ghost1.jpg Josh Hutcherson HAIM
December 7, 2013 13hhost1.jpg Paul Rudd One Direction
December 14, 2013 13ihost1.jpg John Goodman Kings of Leon
December 21, 2013 13jhost1.jpg Jimmy Fallon Justin Timberlake
January 18, 2014 13khost1.jpg Drake Drake
January 25, 2014 13lhost1.jpg Jonah Hill Bastille
February 1, 2014 13mhost1.jpg Melissa McCarthy Imagine Dragons
March 1, 2014 JimParson.jpg Jim Parsons Beck
March 8, 2014 13ohost2.jpg Lena Dunham The National
March 29, 2014 LouieCK04.jpg Louis C.K. Sam Smith
April 5, 2014 NBC-SNL-1658-BUMPER-PHOTOS-005.jpg Anna Kendrick Pharrell
April 12, 2014 SNL1659 BUMPER PHOTOS006.jpg Seth Rogen Ed Sheeran
May 3, 2014 Andrew Garfield.jpg Andrew Garfield Coldplay
May 10, 2014 Charlize Theron.jpg Charlize Theron The Black Keys
May 17, 2014 13uhost6.jpg Andy Samberg St. Vincent


  • Claire Mulaney, the younger sister of former writer John Mulaney,[5]and Groundlings member Mikey Day,[6] joined the writing staff.
  • Michael Che, a guest writer for the previous season, was hired full-time. 
  • This season's head writers are Seth Meyers, Colin Jost, and Rob Klein. As of March, Jost and Klein will continue as co-head writers.
  • Following the departure of Fred Armisen and Jason Sudeikis, Meyers, who was born in 1973, was the only cast member born before the premiere of the show on October 11, 1975. After Meyers left, everyone in the cast was younger than the show, with featured player Michael Patrick O'Brien being the eldest (O'Brien was born in 1976), and Jay Pharoah and Aidy Bryant being the youngest male and female, respectively.
  • LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones joined the writing staff in January of 2014, after both had auditioned in December to join the cast. 
  • Second City, Chicago theater alum Katie Rich joined the writing staff in December of 2013. 
  • This was Don Pardo’s final season. He died before the primere of the 40th season.



Preceded by:
Season 38
Season 39
(2013 - 2014)
Followed by:
Season 40
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