Dick Ebersol brought Saturday Night Live back from the brink of cancellation during the 1981-1982 season. His first full season of SNL had its share of volatility, particularly with Michael O'Donoghue's mid-season firing, but by the end of the season the show had been stabilized. For the following year, Ebersol and producer Bob Tischler retreated a bit from the calculated risks the show took in 1981-82: Don Pardo was back in the announcer's booth, the "live from New York" phrase opened some (but not all) of this season's shows, and hosts once again did monologue segments following the opening montage.
Once again, the cast was anchored by Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo, now heading into their third season with the show, while third-year writers Barry Blaustein and David Sheffield were promoted to script supervisors for the new season. Most of the ensemble from last year was kept on, save for Christine Ebersole, Tony Rosato and Brian Doyle-Murray. The writing staff had a bit more turnover: Rosie Shuster, Nelson Lyon, Terry Southern, Joe Bodolai and Mark O'Donnell did not return for 1982-83, while O'Donoghue, Marilyn Suzanne Miller and Pam Norris had already left before season's end. (Norris would rejoin the show in February 1983).
To fill some of the void, Ebersol brought aboard the entire cast of The Practical Theatre Co.'s 1982 revue "The Golden 50th Anniversary Jubilee": Brad Hall, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Gary Kroeger were added to the cast, while Paul Barrosse was hired as a writer. (For more information about the PTC at SNL, check out this part of Paul Barrosse's History of The Practical Theatre Co.). The other vacancies in the writing staff were filled by Ellen L. Fogle (later of Square One TV and Married With Children), Tracy Torme (later to create Sliders), and Andrew Kurtzman. Murphy, Piscopo, and Robin Duke all received writer's credits this season, joining fellow castmember Tim Kazurinsky as dual writer-performers.
Like with 1980-81, and 1981-82, I will be doing sketch-by-sketch reviews of the episodes this season. If anyone has information to contribute about the episodes, such as who wrote what, writer cameos, etc., I welcome it and will acknowledge my source in the sketch review.
- September 25, 1982: Chevy Chase / Queen
- October 2, 1982: Louis Gossett Jr. / George Thorogood & The Destroyers
- October 9, 1982: Ron Howard / The Clash
- October 23, 1982: Howard Hesseman / Men At Work
- October 30, 1982: Michael Keaton / The New Joe Jackson Band
- November 13, 1982: Robert Blake / Kenny Loggins
- November 20, 1982: Drew Barrymore / Squeeze
- December 4, 1982: Tom & Dick Smothers / Laura Branigan
- December 11, 1982: Eddie Murphy / Lionel Richie
- January 22, 1983: Lily Tomlin / "Pervis Hawkins"
- January 29, 1983: Rick Moranis & Dave Thomas / The Bus Boys
- February 5, 1983: Sid Caesar / Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes
- February 19, 1983: Howard Hesseman / Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
- February 26, 1983: Beau & Jeff Bridges / Randy Newman
- March 12, 1983: Bruce Dern / Leon Redbone
- March 19, 1983: Robert Guillaume / Duran Duran
- April 9, 1983: Joan Rivers / Musical Youth
- April 16, 1983: Susan Saint James / Michael McDonald
- May 7, 1983: Stevie Wonder
- May 14, 1983: Mayor Ed Koch / Kevin Rowland & Dexy's Midnight Runners