Saturday Night Live
Season 44
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes21
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 29, 2018 (2018-09-29) –
May 18, 2019 (2019-05-18)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 43
Next →
Season 45
List of episodes

The forty-fourth season of the NBC comedy series Saturday Night Live premiered on September 29, 2018, during the 2018–19 television season with host Adam Driver and musical guest Kanye West[1][2] and concluded on May 18, 2019, with host Paul Rudd and musical guest DJ Khaled.[3]


Prior to the start of the season, Luke Null (who joined the cast during the previous season) was let go from the show.[1] Upright Citizens Brigade alum Ego Nwodim joined the cast as a featured player, with Nwodim becoming the seventh African-American female cast member in the show's history.[4]

Mikey Day, Alex Moffat, and Melissa Villaseñor were upgraded to repertory status while Heidi Gardner and Chris Redd remained featured players.

Aside from Null, all other cast members from the previous season returned to the show, including guest star Alec Baldwin in his role as President Donald Trump.[5]

This would be the final season for Leslie Jones, who departed after five seasons in the cast in favor of focusing on her movie career. Her departure was announced on August 27, 2019.[6][7]

Cast roster

bold denotes "Weekend Update" anchor


Main article: List of Saturday Night Live writers § season 44 (2018–19)

Prior to the start of the season, the show added Alison Gates, Alan Linic, Eli Mandel, and Bowen Yang to the writing staff,[4] while co-head writer Bryan Tucker was designated a senior writer, leaving Colin Jost, Michael Che, and Kent Sublette as the show's remaining head writers.[8]


Main article: List of Saturday Night Live episodes

No. in
HostMusical guest(s)Original air dateRatings/
8511Adam DriverKanye WestSeptember 29, 2018 (2018-09-29)4.8/11[11]

8522AwkwafinaTravis ScottOctober 6, 2018 (2018-10-06)4.2/10[12]

8533Seth MeyersPaul SimonOctober 13, 2018 (2018-10-13)4.4/10[14]

8544Jonah HillMaggie RogersNovember 3, 2018 (2018-11-03)4.4/10[15]

8555Liev SchreiberLil WayneNovember 10, 2018 (2018-11-10)4.0/10[17]

  • Lil Wayne performs "Can't Be Broken" with Halsey and "Uproar" with Swizz Beatz, and appears in the pre-recorded "Booty Kings" sketch.
  • Robert De Niro appears as Robert Mueller in the cold open.
  • Future appears in the pre-recorded "Booty Kings" sketch.
  • Dan Crenshaw appears on Weekend Update opposite Pete Davidson, referencing a controversial joke Davidson made about him the previous week.[16]
8566Steve CarellElla MaiNovember 17, 2018 (2018-11-17)4.4/11[20]

8577Claire FoyAnderson .PaakDecember 1, 2018 (2018-12-01)4.1/10[21]

8588Jason MomoaMumford & SonsDecember 8, 2018 (2018-12-08)4.3/10[22]

8599Matt DamonMark Ronson & Miley CyrusDecember 15, 2018 (2018-12-15)4.8/12[26]

  • Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus perform "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart" and a cover of "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)". For the latter song, Ronson and Cyrus are joined by Sean Lennon, son of original artists John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
  • In a break with tradition in which the host introduces the musical guests, Pete Davidson introduces Ronson and Cyrus's second performance. It was Davidson's only live appearance on the show (though he did appear in one pre-recorded sketch). Earlier in the day, a post on Davidson's Instagram sparked public concern that he was suicidal.[23][24]
  • Alec Baldwin, Robert De Niro, and Ben Stiller appear as Donald Trump, Robert Mueller, and Michael Cohen, respectively, in the cold open. Additionally, Baldwin appears in the "Cop Christmas" sketch.
  • This episode attracted negative reactions from Donald Trump, both when the episode originally broadcast, as well as when the episode rebroadcast on March 16, 2019.[25]
86010Rachel BrosnahanGreta Van FleetJanuary 19, 2019 (2019-01-19)4.5/11[27]

86111James McAvoyMeek MillJanuary 26, 2019 (2019-01-26)4.1/10[28]

86212HalseyHalseyFebruary 9, 2019 (2019-02-09)4.7/11[29]

86313Don CheadleGary Clark Jr.February 16, 2019 (2019-02-16)4.3/11[30]

  • Gary Clark Jr. performs "Pearl Cadillac" and "This Land".
  • Alec Baldwin appears as Donald Trump in the cold open.
  • Before the goodnights, a photo of former stage manager Joe Dicso is shown in silence.
86414John MulaneyThomas RhettMarch 2, 2019 (2019-03-02)4.7/11[31]

  • Thomas Rhett performs "Look What God Gave Her" and "Don't Threaten Me With a Good Time".
  • Bill Hader and Ben Stiller appear as Jim Jordan and Michael Cohen, respectively, in the cold open. Additionally, Hader appears in the "What's That Name?" sketch.
  • Before the goodnights, a photo of wardrobe department member Margaret Karolyi is shown in silence.
86515Idris ElbaKhalidMarch 9, 2019 (2019-03-09)4.5/11[32]

  • Khalid performs "Talk" and "Better".
  • Gwyneth Paltrow appears as Fifer James on Weekend Update.
  • The episode's rerun on August 3, 2019, aired the originally Cut for Time sketch "New Cast Member", a short film where Kyle Mooney plays an unknown relative who appears as an unnoticed Saturday Night Live cast member. Also, before the goodnights of this rerun, a photo of former lighting director Phil Hymes was shown. Hymes had died on the Monday of that week.
86616Sandra OhTame ImpalaMarch 30, 2019 (2019-03-30)4.1/10[33]

86717Kit HaringtonSara BareillesApril 6, 2019 (2019-04-06)4.4/11[34]

86818Emma StoneBTSApril 13, 2019 (2019-04-13)3.9/10[35]

86919Adam SandlerShawn MendesMay 4, 2019 (2019-05-04)4.8/12[38]

  • Shawn Mendes performs "If I Can't Have You" and "In My Blood" and appears in the "Sandler Family Reunion" sketch.
  • Chris Rock appears in the opening monologue with Sandler and Pete Davidson, singing an original song called "I Was Fired".
  • Jimmy Fallon, Kristen Wiig, and frequent Sandler collaborator Allen Covert appear in the "Sandler Family Reunion" sketch. Additionally, Wiig appears in the "Last Call" sketch.
  • Prior to the goodnights, Sandler performs an unplugged musical tribute to Chris Farley that was originally performed in his 2018 stand-up special Adam Sandler 100% Fresh.
    • Sandler also does a short impersonation of Farley during the opening monologue.
    • He also reprises his character as Opera Man during Weekend Update.
  • Former SNL writers Tim Herlihy, Steve Koren, and Robert Smigel guest-wrote on this episode.[36]
  • With this episode, Sandler ties Dan Aykroyd's record for the longest gap between being a cast member and returning to host the show. The gap for both actors stands at nine days shy of 24 years.[37] Both actors made guest appearances on the show during the time period after leaving the cast and before returning to host. This record was beaten December 21, 2019 by Eddie Murphy whose gap was 35 years.
87020Emma ThompsonJonas BrothersMay 11, 2019 (2019-05-11)4.2/10[39]

  • Jonas Brothers perform "Sucker" and a medley of "Cool" and "Burnin' Up" and appear in the "Judge Court" sketch.
  • Tina Fey and Amy Poehler appear in the opening monologue.
  • In honor of Mother's Day, Pete Davidson's mother, Amy Davidson, appears on Weekend Update alongside her son.
  • Jon Hamm appears during the goodnights. His name came up during the aforementioned Weekend Update appearance by the Davidsons.
87121Paul RuddDJ KhaledMay 18, 2019 (2019-05-18)4.0/10[40]


  1. ^ Simon had previously performed "Bridge over Troubled Water" on November 20, 1976, the eighth episode of the show's second season.


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