- Saturday Night Live (Season 27)
Saturday Night Live" aired its twenty-seventh season during the 2001-2002 television season on NBC. Eighteen days before the season started, the September 11, 2001 attackstook place in New York which devastated the country and raised questions on whether the season premiere would be delayed or whether the show's humor would suffer due to the tragic events. The season premiere (hosted by Reese Witherspoon) went on as scheduled, with a special cold opening featuring Rudy Giuliani, the Mayor of New York Cityat the time, along with the firefighters and police officers of New York, declaring that despite the terrorist attack, New York City will run as normal and "Saturday Night Live" will go on as planned (with Lorne Michaels asking Giuliani, "Can we be funny?" and Giuliani replying, "Why start now?").
Because of budget cuts, Chris Parnell was fired from the cast, only to be rehired in March after
Darrell Hammondleft the show for a few weeks to go to rehab due to his alcoholism and Will Ferrell was rarely seen in the show due to his budding movie career. Jerry Minor, however, didn't come back and was replaced by another African-American castmember Dean Edwards. Other castmembers to join were Amy Poehler(who was moved to repertory status mid-season, much like Eddie Murphy was in the 1980-1981 season), Seth Meyers, and Jeff Richards(a castmember from "Saturday Night Live"'s rival sketch show, " MADtv"). Also during the season, Ana Gasteyer became SNL's first female castmember who was pregnant while still a castmember. This was the final season for both Will Ferrell and Ana Gasteyer.
Chris Parnell(First episode: March 2, 2002)
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