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Saturday Night Live Season 13
Series Saturday Night Live
Country of origin  United States
Network NBC
Original run October 17, 1987 – February 27, 1988
No. of episodes 13
Previous season 12
Next season 14

Saturday Night Live aired its thirteenth season during the 1987-1988 television season on NBC. Except for Kevin Nealon moving from featured player to repertory player, there were no major cast changes. There were, however, major events that impeded the show's production. During production of the season premiere, a fire broke out near Studio 8H during dress rehearsal. Despite plans to cancel the show for the week, Steve Martin (the episode host) pushed the cast to perform, making the Steve Martin/Sting episode the only episode without a dress rehearsal. On March 7, 1988, the Writers Guild of America went on strike, cancelling many planned episodes, including one originally planned to be hosted by former "Not Ready for Primetime" player Gilda Radner. Radner, however, would never get the chance to host due to her death from ovarian cancer the following year. The host for the March 12, 1988 broadcast (the first episode to be cancelled due to the strike of 1988) was never confirmed.

Season 13 started on October 17, 1987 and ended (abruptly) on February 27, 1988.



Repertory cast members

Featured cast members


Episode # Air Date Host(s) Musical Guest(s) Remarks
234 (13.1) October 17, 1987 Steve Martin Sting
  • This is the only episode that did not have a dress rehearsal[citation needed]. A fire near Studio 8H caused everyone to evacuate before rehearsal could begin. Steve Martin convinced everyone to go on with the show instead of cancelling it.
  • Al Franken rejoins the cast after a one year hiatus.
  • Presidential candidate Bruce Babbitt appears on Weekend Update
235 (13.2) October 24, 1987 Sean Penn LL Cool J

The Pull

  • Michael Penn, younger brother of host Sean, performed "This and That" with his band The Pull (making it the only time in SNL's history that one brother hosts the show while another serves as a musical guest). He would later have a hit with the song as a solo artist.
  • LL cool J performs Go Cut Creator Go.
236 (13.3) October 31, 1987 Dabney Coleman The Cars
237 (13.4) November 14, 1987 Robert Mitchum Simply Red
238 (13.5) November 21, 1987 Candice Bergen Cher
239 (13.6) December 5, 1987 Danny DeVito Bryan Ferry
240 (13.7) December 12, 1987 Angie Dickinson Buster Poindexter

David Gilmour

  • The music in the Drunk Man sketch would later be used as the intro music to "Weekend Update with Norm MacDonald".
  • David Gilmour's appearance on SNL marked the first time a member of Pink Floyd played live on US television (Pink Floyd, without Gilmour and with his predecessor Syd Barrett, appeared 20 years earlier on American Bandstand miming to "Apples and Oranges"). He played an otherwise unreleased instrumental guitar jam with the SNL house band called "Song For My Sara" (which was mistakenly called "Aah Robinson It's You" on many Gilmour ROIOs), and he plays lead guitar using a Steinberger electric guitar instead of his famed Fender Stratocaster.
241 (13.8) December 19, 1987 Paul Simon Linda Ronstadt
  • Namesake U.S. Senator Paul Simon made a cameo in the monologue.
  • Paul Simon (the musician) is the only musical guest to promote the same album on SNL three times.
242 (13.9) January 23, 1988 Robin Williams James Taylor
243 (13.10) January 30, 1988 Carl Weathers Robbie Robertson
244 (13.11) February 13, 1988 Justine Bateman Terence Trent D'Arby
  • D'Arby performed "Wishing Well" and "Under My Thumb."
245 (13.12) February 20, 1988 Tom Hanks Randy Travis
246 (13.13) February 27, 1988 Judge Reinhold 10,000 Maniacs
  • Don Pardo says in the closing credits of the original broadcast: "We will return on March 12", even though the Writers' Guild of America's 1988 strike would not end until five months later.


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