!!The show as a whole contains examples of:
* AcceptableTargets: Used with varying degrees of intensity: the more the writers hate it, the meaner they'll be. So far, everything has been ripe for parody.
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: At this point, is Darrell Hammond's Creator/SeanConnery on Celebrity {{Series/Jeopardy}} for any reason ''other'' than [[RefugeInAudacity repeatedly and proudly]] making YourMom jokes to Creator/WillFerrell's Alex Trebek?
* AwesomeMusic: In the second season episode broadcast on Oct. 2, 1976, the musical guest was singer Music/JoeCocker. At one point, he started singing "Feelin' Alright". Then, for the second verse, he was joined by Creator/JohnBelushi...as Joe Cocker. The result was a highly memorable duet.
* BestKnownForTheFanservice:
** ChanningTatum's first time hosting (who actually ''was'' a stripper for a year before becoming an actor), [[http://snltranscripts.jt.org/11/11mmono.phtml the monologue especially]]. The only non-stripper bits people remember from this episode is the ''Newt Gingrich: Moon President'' cold opening and the Weekend Update segment with KristenWiig as Music/LanaDelRey trying to defend herself against claims that her performance on ''SNL'' was a disaster because of her atonal caterwauling and inability to move around.
** Inverted in the monologue as Tatum (the stripper) remembers all of his customers (an allegedly religious woman named Denise, a married woman named Bridget [whom Tatum remembers as "Flithy Bridget" because of all the filthy things she would ask for], a man named Leslie [who ends up dying when Tatum uses his stripper moves to refresh his memory], and Leslie's doctor, Dr. Matthews), much to their chagrin.
** The episode hosted by Creator/AlecBaldwin and his wife at the time Creator/KimBasinger on February 12, 1994 will forever be remembered as the episode that had the "Canteen Boy Gets Molested" sketch (and the episode after that, hosted by Creator/MartinLawrence, will be remembered for Martin's raunchy monologue about women's hygiene [which was so tasteless, it nearly got everyone on the show fired and is often cut in reruns and replaced with title cards explaining the gist of the monologue and why it can't be shown on TV anymore]).
* BrokenBase:
** Dick Ebersol's era. Some regard it as the high point of the show after the original cast; others think of it as a bastardized version of the original concept, designed to pimp Creator/EddieMurphy and Joe Piscopo (and later, Martin Short, Billy Crystal, and Creator/ChristopherGuest) at the expense of everyone else. [[TakeAThirdOption And there are those who say that it may not be as great as]] Creator/LorneMichaels' [[TakeAThirdOption original cast, but it is worlds better than what Jean Doumanian turned out in her short stint as executive producer]].
** Every season after the first five years has a BrokenBase (save for the seasons that were universally bad -- season 6, season 11 [[note]]though it does have some fans, if only for Creator/DennisMiller as Weekend Update anchor, and much like season 6, is viewed today as "It sucks, but it's not as bad as everyone else says."[[/note]], and season 20).
** The Creator/AndrewDiceClay episode, which got a ton of controversy from them even picking Dice Clay to host it (hell, it even was one of the deciding factors for Nora Dunn to not seek contract renewal, as she was the most disgusted by the personality Clay is known to have). It was a polarizing choice for both the cast and fans for the penultimate episode of the 15th season. This is ironic because a good bit of fans seemed to have mixed feelings about Dunn, and there have been stories about how she was viewed by the cast (not to mention that she is somewhat still vocal about her time on SNL to this day, and some bad feelings still linger).
* CreatorsPet: Not so much in the past, but these days, Lorne most definitely has his favorites. Some of these favorites include Creator/JimmyFallon, Creator/TinaFey, Creator/AmyPoehler, Fred Armisen, Creator/WillForte, Creator/KristenWiig, Taran Killam and Kate [=McKinnon=]. There were surely some from the past, but it seems even more blatant now.
** For Dick Ebersol, Creator/EddieMurphy was his pet UpToEleven, and he wasn't shy about letting you know that. SNL was basically the Eddie Murphy Show from Season 7 to 9 (until Murphy left). After that it became the Billy Crystal / Creator/ChristopherGuest / Martin Short show. Ebersole definitely thought in terms of "This person/people are the lead(s), and everyone else is backup."
* FollowTheLeader: Creator/NormMacDonald has admitted that "Celebrity Jeopardy" was inspired by the recurring "Half Wits" sketch on ''{{Series/SCTV}}'', but says that he got Martin Short's blessing before debuting it.
* FridgeBrilliance: Hillary Clinton (the openly gay Kate [=McKinnon=]) noting to bartender Val (the actual Hillary Clinton) that they could've been quicker to promote LGBT rights.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: [[FunnyAneurysmMoment/SaturdayNightLive Has its own page.]]
* HilariousInHindsight: [[HilariousInHindsight/SaturdayNightLive Also has its own page.]]
* JustHereForGodzilla: Most people who watch the show only watch it just to see one thing (be it a favorite sketch/recurring character/cast member/favorite host) and cite it as the main reason to watch the show. Weekend Update is commonly cited as the best example of this, since the simplicity of the sketch means it can be consistent even as the rest of the show wobbles.
* MemeticMutation: Nearly every other sketch has spawned a meme. See the MemeticMutation page for more details.
* NostalgiaFilter: As noted on the main page, those who grew up with the show are among the most vocal critics of its current shape. Also, because 60-minute cable reruns and video compilations have trimmed a lot of the weaker material from the older shows, it's easy to forget that even during its good seasons ''SNL'' had bad moments (from lousy hosts and musical guests to recurring characters and sketches that suffer from being underdeveloped and/or annoying though this can apply to the stuff that people actually remember or have currently seen). The DVD box sets of uncut and complete seasons of the show, in the original order and from the beginning, may be helping to undercut this.
* NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity:
** While the episode hosted by Donald Trump opened to terrible critical reviews and resulted in an InternetBackdraft, it was one of the more successful episodes in terms of ratings.
** After Trump bashed the show for its SeinfeldIsUnfunny reputation due to an episode that parodied a debate during the 2016 Presidential Election, complete with a steady stream of [[TakeThat Take Thats]] against him, the show's reputation ended up rising massively and finally [[{{Irony}} broke out of said reputation]]. Under his very controversial presidency, the shows' newfound reputation continued to rise.
* OvershadowedByControversy: The Tim Robbins episode from season 18 is remember almost exclusively for being the notorious episode in which Music/SineadOConnor ripped UsefulNotes/PopeJohnPaulII's photo and screamed, "Fight the real enemy!"
* PanderingToTheBase: When Bill Hader hosted the show in 2014, a new Puppetry 101 skit with his puppet Tony was done, as Bill had appeared on Creator/HowardStern's show shortly before that episode, and Stern told him that the previous skit with Tony was his favorite of all time. Bill even hinted that Tony may make a comeback when he hosts, and even said if he did, people could thank Howard Stern for it.
* ThePollyanna: Willie, Kenan Thompson's recurring character on Weekend Update. His whole shtick is recounting horrific memories of his life to Michael Che, his neighbor. And yet, he never once complains about them and is always so undyingly optimistic that you just want to give the guy a hug. Also counts as an IronWoobie.
* RetroactiveRecognition: Did you know that Creator/GilbertGottfried was a cast member (and probably more jarring, Gottfried's voice had some semblance of volume control. You can hear the screechy, obnoxious voice he's currently known for, but for the most part at that time, Gottfried actually was soft-spoken)? How about Anthony Michael Hall (''SNL'''s youngest cast member at 17 years old), Creator/HarryShearer, Randy Quaid, Creator/RobertDowneyJr (his uncle is Jim Downey, a one-time feature player and a former writer on the show), Creator/JoanCusack, Creator/SarahSilverman (who sadly, wasn't given a chance to showcase her sweet, yet horribly un-PC humor when she was on ''SNL''), Creator/JaneaneGarofalo (who left the show due to backstage tensions and refuses to talk about her time on the show), Creator/JuliaLouisDreyfus, Creator/BenStiller, and Damon Wayans (who was fired from his short stint as feature player due to making a minor character he was playing sound CampGay, of which Lorne Michaels didn't approve. Coincidentally, that CampGay voice he used for his character is the same one he would later use on "In Living Color"'s "Men on Film" sketches)?
** ''Series/{{MADtv}}'' fans might be surprised to discover that Jeff Richards and Taran Killam (two feature players who only spent one year on ''[=MADtv=]'' before leaving) were/are on this show. Jeff Richards was on ''Series/{{MADtv}}'' from 2000-01 before crossing over to ''SNL'', where he stayed from 2001 to the early half of 2004. Taran Killam also appeared on ''[=MADtv=]'' in 2001 (becoming the youngest cast member on that show at age 19) and was let go a year later. Nine years after appearing on ''[=MADtv=]'', he became one of four new feature players for ''SNL''.
*** Killam had started in sketch comedy even before that, appearing as Spalding in ''Series/TheAmandaShow'' sketch "Moody's Point".
** [[WesternAnimation/KaBlam Noah Segan]] (Henry from ''WesternAnimation/KaBlam'') was on a few episodes in the 1990s episodes when the sketch called for a real child and not a [[DawsonCasting 20- or 30-something cast member dressed as a kid]].
** Maraka, the ''WesternAnimation/DoraTheExplorer'' parody on the episode hosted by Peyton Manning, voiced [[WesternAnimation/{{Doug}} Judy Funnie]].
** Creator/StephenColbert ([[Series/TheColbertReport yes]], [[Series/TheDailyShow that one]]) wrote for the show and did voicework for ''The AmbiguouslyGay Duo'' (and appeared as Brain-io on the live-action version of ''The Ambiguously Gay Duo'').
** Yes, 1980s-1990s kids' show lovers. The Kenan Thompson who is on ''SNL'' is the same Kenan Thompson who was on Nickelodeon's ''Series/AllThat'' and ''Series/KenanAndKel''.
** Featured player Kate [=McKinnon=], much like Erica Ash on ''Series/{{MADtv}}'', used to be a cast member on Logo's ''The Big Gay Sketch Show'' and did voiceowrk on a lot of animated shows, including ''WesternAnimation/UglyAmericans'' and ''WesternAnimation/{{Robotomy}}'' (on ''Robotomy'', she was the voice of Miss Crunshine, the Sunshine Class teacher).
** Creator/JimCummings (voice actor for many of the cartoons you probably remember from your childhood: ''Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers'', ''WesternAnimation/TazMania'', ''WesternAnimation/GoofTroop'', etc) voiced Gargamel on the TV Funhouse cartoon parodying ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'' and ''The Anna Nicole Show''.
* TheScrappy: Colin Jost, one of the current Weekend Update anchors. Unlike the other cast members, he only appears in Weekend Update and has drawn numerous criticism for being wooden and unfunny. When it was announced that the show was changing Weekend Update for the 40th season, people were thrilled... until it was revealed that they were removing EnsembleDarkhorse Cecily Strong from the desk and keeping Jost. His banter with Michael Che has been well-received, however.
* SeasonalRot:
** Just like in the NostalgiaFilter entry, there are former fans who believe the show hasn't been the same since whenever the last time they saw it usually, it's Seasons 1-5 (Fall 1975 to Spring 1980), but there have been other claims of when ''SNL'' started to seasonally rot, like when a fan favorite cast member (such as Creator/DanAykroyd, Creator/JohnBelushi, Creator/EddieMurphy, Creator/WillFerrell, Creator/TinaFey, etc.) leaves. The transitional periods between old casts and new ones are usually low periods, with Season 6 (1980-81), the first without any original cast members, widely considered the most disastrous in the show's history. Season 20 (1994-95) is also infamous due to the departure of Phil Hartman, reports of backstage tension between cast members, and the weak ideas for sketches (most of them were about the O.J. Simpson murder trial).
** Season 11 from 1985-86 also counts, since this was when Lorne Michaels came back and tried to assemble a cast of semi-famous people to be cast members[[note]]Though Season 11 did have a few carryover cast that survived to season 12 (Creator/NoraDunn, Creator/JonLovitz, and Creator/DennisMiller. A Whitney Brown continued to be a "featured" cast member up to season 13, as well).[[/note]], only to almost get canned due to plummeting Nielsen ratings. According to the book "Live From New York: The Uncensored History of ''Saturday Night Live''", a lot of the staff (including Creator/AlFranken and then-future ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' writer George Meyer) view Season 11 as terrible because the first episode hosted by {{Music/Madonna}} wasn't well-received, which led to plummeting ratings and reviews stating that ''SNL''[='s=] new cast at the time wasn't funny, the writing was too weird and thin, and the show as a whole has run its course and needed to end.
** Season 35 is an unusual example in that it wasn't seen as ''too'' bad while airing, but several years later, the writing does seem very unusual and geared towards certain cast members (usually Fred Armisen and KristenWiig). Some other seasons are usually seen as of low quality as well, such as seasons 28 (due to Creator/JimmyFallon's constant cracking up and the absence of Creator/WillFerrell), 30 (had very mediocre political sketches during the 2004 election, the Ashlee Simpson lip-synching fiasco had people asking if the show was even live anymore, and everything just seemed kinda slow and dull. The upside of season 30 was that Creator/TinaFey and Creator/AmyPoehler did a good job on Weekend Update), 33 (but only because the Writers Guild strike caused a lot of potentially good episodes to go unwritten), season 38 (the Music/JustinBieber ValentinesDayEpisode, too much reliance on Bill Hader and Fred Armisen), and (to some extent) season 39 (criticism for not having a more ethnically diverse cast, the sketch-writing quality is too unbalanced, pretaped sketches seem to dominate over the live ones, absence of Bill Hader and Fred Armisen, too many new cast members who aren't seasoned to be on the show[[note]]though Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, Noel Wells, and Sasheer Zamata have been commended for their performances. John Milhiser is slowly improving, Colin Jost just started as a Weekend Update anchor, and not that many people care much for Mike O'Brien or Brooks Wheelan, though Brooks is starting to be featured more in sketches and not just as a background character[[/note]]. Basically, if a fan-favorite cast member leaves, then the show will go through what's called a "rebuilding season," which means that the show's humor quality will either be mixed to in the toilet. See "TheyChangedItNowItSucks" below.
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: One of the show's many curses (the curse of not being considered an edgy sketch show, thanks to the many DuelingShows that always try to one-up the humor the biggest offenders being ''Fridays'', ''Series/InLivingColor'', and ''Series/{{MADtv}}''), besides the "cast members dying" curse and the {{Funny Aneurysm Moment}}s it's accrued over the years.
* ShallowParody: Zigzagged. Some sketches (particularly the ''Film/HarryPotter'' parodies) are fleshed-out and on-point; others are just there to serve as the backdrop for an ''SNL'' recurring character to interact with other fictional characters, to be a DeconstructiveParody, or [[WriterOnBoard to speak out on a certain topic]].
* SignatureScene: Creator/KateMcKinnon's emotionally charged cover of "Hallelujah" for Season 42. It even got a big CallBack in the season finale's cold open.
* SpecialEffectsFailure: Zigzagged. ''SNL'' has always been known for flimsy sets, cheap costumes, and obvious StockFootage (LorneMichaels even said on an ''E!'' special about ''SNL'''s history that the show had this problem), especially in the 1970s and 1980s episodes. This doesn't happen so much in the episodes of the 1990s and 2000s, and the 20-Teens have been [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a57SeLZFLj0 fairly good with the visual effects given the close deadlines]], but it still does crop up occasionally. More recent seasons have occasionally added in bad {{Chroma Key}}ing as well. Some sketches have used this and ended with the cheap set getting destroyed in some way.
* TearJerker: [[http://classicajays.tumblr.com/post/7734859743/so-here-it-is-everyone-the-steve-martin-monologue Steve Martin remembering Gilda Radner the very day she died from ovarian cancer.]]
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks: The near-constant changing of writers and cast members is one of the most common reasons why fans have a love/hate relationship with the show.
* WinBackTheCrowd: After a long period of being seen as [[SeinfeldIsUnfunny stale and worn-out]], the show massively regained its lost popularity during the 2016 Presidential Elections and the Trump Administration, likely due to the heated political climate during the former and the massive controversy surrounding the latter. This in turn ended up getting the show [[http://www.avclub.com/article/saturday-night-live-enjoying-its-highest-ratings-o-249926 its highest ratings in over 20 years]].
* WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs: A lot of ''SNL'''s sketches from the 1970s were drug-influenced (such as one that had an Abraham Lincoln portrait calling Richard Nixon a "dip.") and a lot of the writers and cast members at the time were high as kites. These days, the writers and cast members aren't like their 1970s counterparts (at worst, they get high from sleep deprivation in writing and planning the show; at best, some of the cast and crew members smoke weed, but only in their off-hours), but there are some crazy sketches and characters that seem like they're the product of a drug-influenced mind (''Toonces, The Cat Who Can Drive a Car'', WillFerrell's impression of Harry Caray, Bill Hader's Stefon[[note]]who is heavily implied to be on cocaine, meth, prescription pills, and possibly ecstacy, according to [[WordOfGod Bill Hader]][[/note]], just to name a few).
* TheWoobie: Creator/KateMckinnon as Olya Povlatsky, a Russian woman from a small village that's basically a death sentence with an area code. It goes well beyond just a HilariouslyAbusiveChildhood, as she's shown to be a DeathSeeker at times.
-->"This is how I wake up every single morning, just watch." (mimes sleeping, then CatapultNightmare and sobbing uncontrollably)
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