“SNL” Highlights: The New Season

The venerable comedy show kicked off its 38th season this year. Take a look at what's going on at Saturday Night Live.

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Daniel Craig will host the October 6 episode of "SNL" while musical guest, British rock band Muse, will perform songs from their new album "The Second Law." Craig stars in the latest James Bond film "Skyfall" in theaters October 23. Click to see what else is in store for this season.
Muse is slated to perform as the musical guest on SNL's October 6 episode hosted by Daniel Craig.
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Actress Christina Applegate will host the October 13th show, 19 years after her last appearance on the program. The musical guest will be Passion Pit.
Passion Pit is set to grace the SNL stage on October 13th with host Christina Applegate.
Bruno Mars also landed a gig on SNL as host and musical guest on October 20th.
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Joseph Gordon-Levitt returned to host for his second time with music from Mumford & Sons on Saturday, Sept. 22. The "Looper" star was a hit when he hosted in 2009, winning praise for his boundless energy and enthusiasm. He's pictured here on the SNL set with Jason Sudeikis, left.
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During his opening monologue, Joseph Gordon-Levitt did a "Magic Mike"-inspired dance to "It's Raining Men" with "SNL" castmembers Jay Pharoah, Taran Killam, and Bobby Moynihan.
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It's election season and NBC is airing SNL live in primetime for two Thursdays: Sept. 20 and Sept. 27. The half-hour primetime shows will be anchored by the show's signature "Weekend Update" segment. Jay Pharoah portrayed Barack Obama in the season opener. Click to see more SNL highlights.
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Keyboardist Ben Lovett, vocalist/guitarist Marcus Mumford, guitarist Country Winston Marshall, and bassist Ted Dwane of Mumford & Sons were the musical guests for the season's second episode.
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From left, Taran Killam, Vanessa Bayer, and Bobby Moynihan portray Fox News analysts on the Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday on Sept. 20.
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NBC's "Saturday Night Live" entered its 38th season on September 15 with comedian Seth MacFarlane as host. Three new players were also added. Aidy Bryant, Tim Robinson and Cecily Strong were brought onboard following the departure last season of key players Kristin Wiig, Andy Samberg and Abby Elliott.
It doesn't get much better than having the creator of "Family Guy" and "Ted" kick off the new season of SNL.
Seth MacFarlane portrays Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte during the "Weekend Update" segment of the season premiere.
Frank Ocean was the musical guest for the season opener. Ocean's "Thinkin’ Bout You" was one of the unlikeliest hits of 2012 and he recently performed on the MTV Video Music Awards.
"SNL" creator and executive producer, for some 38 seasons, is Lorne Michaels. Throughout the show's history, "SNL" has been nominated for more than 80 Emmy Awards and has won 18. It has consistently been one of the highest-rated late-night television programs.
Last season's first host was Melissa McCarthy, fresh from her Emmy win for "Mike & Molly" and her breakout role in the hit comedy "Bridesmaids." Click through to see highlights from earlier seasons.
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Joining Melissa McCarthy last season were musical guests Lady Antebellum. The Nashville-based trio recently scored Song of the Year and Record of the Year Grammys for "Need You Now."
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Ben Stiller has hosted twice and was an "SNL" cast member in 1989.
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The musical guests for Stiller's show were "Foster the People" who appeared on "SNL" for the first time last season.
Anna Faris hosted "Saturday Night Live" for a second time last season, following her initial gig in 1998.
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Joining Faris was hip-hop star Drake, shown here cheering on the Miami Heat against the Chicago Bulls in the 2011 NBA playoffs.
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Now things get creepy. Back in 1998, then-cast member Jimmy Fallon's "A Christmas Carol"-themed skit predicted he'd "be a huge star in the future" and "host the show in 2011." Well, guess what? On Dec. 17th, he did just that—only 5 days off from his '98 prediction. (The skit predicted he'd host on 12, 2011.)
Grammy-winning Canadian crooner Michael Buble made his second appearance on SNL as the musical guest for Fallon.
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Alec Baldwin, seen here rehearsing with Bill Hader, kicked off the 37th season of "SNL" with his 16th hosting stint, making him the all-time celebrity leader and practically a member of the troupe.
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Baldwin's timing was perfect — so perfect that Ben & Jerry's caused a stir with its just-released ice cream flavor "Schweddy Balls," named for the classic sketch where Baldwin played culinary entrepreneur Pete Schweddy alongside Ana Gasteyer's and Molly Shannon's low-key NPR talk show hosts.
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Before Baldwin broke his record, Steve Martin held the record for guest-hosting SNL the most at 15 times. In an open letter to Eddie Murphy, Martin joked about Baldwin snapping his record—and warned Murphy against having a co-host.
Radiohead joined host Alec Baldwin in opening SNL's 37th season.
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Justin Timberlake hosted the season finale of "SNL" in 2011, drawing laughs with the digital short “3-Way (The Golden Rule),” in which he and cast member Andy Samberg reprised their roles as the romantic rappers from the “D**k in a Box” short.
Justin Timberlake may have hosted the show, but Lady Gaga stole it. Clad in a metallic headdress and knee-high boots, Gaga performed a soulful “Edge of Glory” that morphed into dance song “Judas" and later emerged from a capsule to perform “Born This Way.”
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Show veteran Seth Meyers camebback for his eleventh season as head writer and "Weekend Update" anchor. As the sole "Weekend Update" anchor, Meyers charms audiences as he lampoons top news stories and entertains fan-favorite guests.
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Since making her "SNL" debut in 2005, Kristen Wiig became a breakout star, landing roles in more than a dozen films. Recently Wiig starred in "Bridesmaids" as a woman overmatched by the demands of being maid of honor for her best friend, "SNL" alum Maya Rudolph.
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Kristen Wiig has now retired two of her recurring characters, the hair-twisting one-upper Penelope and the frizzy-haired troublemaker Gilly, pictured.
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That means future guest hosts will not have the pleasure of matching Wiig grin for grin like Drew Barrymore did, playing Gilly's Italian counterpart Gigli.
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Like Wiig, Andy Samberg joined "SNL" in 2005 and has distinguished himself with his instant classic digital shorts like "Lazy Sunday," "D**k in a Box" and "J**z in My Pants."
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"SNL" loves a good scandal. Blake Lively and Kenan Thompson played a fiercely threatening Elin Nordegren and a terrified Tiger Woods.
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Kenan Thompson, a former Nickelodeon star and the man who saved the day in "Snakes on a Plane," brought back his impersonations of Bill Cosby, Whoopi Goldberg and others for his eighth season.
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Bill Hader, who elbowed his way into the cast with a jaw-dropping Al Pacino impersonation, is headed into his ninth season on "SNL."
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Jason Sudeikis has been the show's go-to "everyman" since 2004 began his seventh season on the show. Since his debut he's also enjoyed a hilarious story arc as Liz Lemon's love interest on "30 Rock" and done the voice for a "Vice City" character.
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Of course, other people have gotten a chance to host on occasion. LIke Taylor Lautner. The "Twilight" and "Abduction" star opened his show with jokes about his age, being shirtless and a martial arts reenactment of what he "really" wanted to do to Kanye West after he upstaged Taylor Swift at the VMAs.
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Rockers Bon Jovi performed on an episode of "SNL."
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Taylor Lautner played a foreign student performing with the North East Middle School Sparkle Players Show Choir.
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He also played a nervous backup to the backup college quarterback who can't get comfortable in front of the camera.
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Rihanna rocked The "SNL" Stage With her hits "Cake", "Talk That Talk" & "Where Have You Been."
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"Gossip Girl" star Blake Lively played host during an episode of "SNL." Her monologue featured cast members dressed up as muppets.
One of Lively's memorable sketches imagined "Gossip Girl" with a change of setting: What if the show about pampered Upper East Siders were set in... Staten Island?
Blake Lively also played the booty-rolling stepdaughter of an overprotecting "Mama" played by Kenan Thompson.
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Former Vice-President Al Gore made a guest appearance during an episode of "SNL" as part of NBC's "Green Week." During the "Weekend Update," Gore said he would start "acting crazy" and "outcrazy the crazy" in order to call attention to issues of climate change. Gore was also featured on an episode of "30 Rock" earlier that week.
The former vice-president also played himself as a guest on a talk show called "What Up With That?" Kenan Thompson played a talk show host who can't stop himself from breaking into song every few minutes.
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Joseph Gordon-Levitt presented his monologue as host of an episode of "SNL."
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Dave Matthews Band performed on an episode.
During the sketch "The Mellow Show with Jack Johnson," populated by impersonations of jammy singer-songwriters, Andy Samberg played host Jack Johnson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt played Jason Mraz, Bill Hader played Dave Matthews and Dave Matthews himself played... Ozzy Osbourne.
January Jones, better known as Betty Draper to "Mad Men" fans, delivered the opening monologue during an episode.
Jason Sudeikis and January Jones, playing Jimmy Stewart and a flatulent Grace Kelly, reenacted (sort of) a classic scene from Alfred Hitchcock nail-biter "Rear Window."
The Black Eyed Peas went commando on Kathy Lee, played by a hidden Kristen Wiig, while January Jones played a representative from the San Diego Zoo.
The Black Eyed Peas performed on an episode of "SNL."
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Pop star Taylor Swift got revenge on Kanye in a big way during her "SNL" debut, poking fun at his storming the stage during her MTV Video Music Awards acceptance speech.
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"You might think that I'll say something bad about Kanye," she sang. "But everything's okay, and I have security lining the stage," she joked in the song, as two faux-security officers surrounded Swift toting a sketch of West.
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Swift starred as herself in another skit on an entertainment news parody, interviewing with Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader as two hosts of the made-up show "Hollywood Dish."
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In their riff on "Beauty and the Beast," Gerard Butler's Beast seemed to think that Kristen Wiig would be a better Beauty if she had a bigger booty.
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When he hosted "SNL," Gerard Butler spoofed both his movie "300" and the now-retired military policy of "don't ask, don't tell."
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Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson reprised his role as The Rock Obama, "much like Barack Obama, only stronger and more impulsive."
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Hip-shaking Colombian singer Shakira, fresh off the release of her new album "She Wolf," took the "SNL" stage to help generate buzz for her 2010 world tour.
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Alicia Keys performed as the musical guest shortly after the release of her album "The Element of Freedom.
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Bill Hader's Vinny thought he recognized the name of Drew Barrymore's movie "Whip It"—but he actually only knew the Devo song.
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Regina Spektor performed songs from her album "Far."
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Lady Gaga appeared on "SNL" along with host Ryan Reynolds and surprise guest Madonna.
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Lady Gaga and Madonna squared off in a name-calling, hair-pulling battle of the divas during a sexy staged catfight that ended in a smooch.
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The two singers appeared on stage together as musical guests on Kenan Thompson's mock MTV show "Deep Dish," strutting their stuff in barely-there leather duds.
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Host Ryan Reynolds appeared in a "Family Feud" sketch with "SNL" cast members Fred Armisen, Bobby Moynihan and Jenny Slate.
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The aptly named Megan Fox, she of the knee-buckling looks and genius for self-promotion, hosted the 2009 season premiere of "Saturday Night Live" on Sept. 26. So "Jennifer's Body" tanked, who cares?
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Megan Fox played a sex goddess in the first show of the 2009 season.
Newcomer Jenny Slate dropped the f-bomb in a sketch with veteran Kristen Wiig during the season opener.
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Fox appeared in a skit with "SNL" cast members Will Forte, Bill Hader and Fred Armisen.
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Fred Armisen imitated Libya's then-leader Moammar Khaddafy in 2009's season opener.
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U2 made its third "SNL" appearance—and its first in five years—in support of "No Line On The Horizon," its twelfth studio album. Half of the band was also busying itself penning the music for the Broadway musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark."
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"SNL" co-creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels returned for his 30th season heading up the show, bringing back most of last year's cast as well as a few newcomers, in 2009.
"SNL" alum Amy Poehler reunited with Meyers for the show, which served as a lead-in for her sitcom "Parks and Recreation."
Darrell Hammond, heading into his 15th season, has been with the show longer than anyone else in its history. It's a classic double-edged sword: good enough to stick, not good enough to go big time. Sort of like Crash Davis.
Fred Armisen, whose merciless riff on New York's then-Gov. David Paterson drew a great deal of criticism (mostly from Paterson), prepared for his eighth season on "SNL" by getting engaged to "Mad Men" star Elisabeth Moss.
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Marking his eighth year on the show, Will Forte had his first star turn in a feature film playing the titular role in "MacGruber."
Despite making a habit of stealing scenes in movies like "Paul," "Pineapple Express" and "Superbad," the chameleon-like Hader returns to "SNL" to revive fan favorite impressions and characters like the "Weekend Update" nightlife reporter Stefon and horror icon Vincent Price.
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Sophomore Bobby Moynihan could be poised for a breakout of his own with roles in the Ricky Gervais movie "The Invention of Lying" and the romcom "When in Rome," starring Kristen Bell.
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