watchworthy presents

The Best Episodes from Season 45 of 'Saturday Night Live' 

Molly Gander
Updated March 10, 2020 217 votes 61 voters 15 items

List Rules Vote up the overall best episodes, considering the quality of sketches, musical guest, and surprise appearances.

All Saturday Night Live Season 45 episodes, ranked by fans of the long-running NBC sketch comedy series. The new 2019-20 season also sees two new cast members: Bowen Yang and Chloe Fineman. Although Leslie Jones left the cast, other long-standing favorite SNL cast members such as Kate McKinnon, Colin Jost, and the rest of the gang remain, although Pete Davidson was absent the first few episodes of the season due to his Suicide Squad filming obligations. Once more, Saturday Night Live's fourth decade continues to bring the late-night laughs.

Kicking off with huge musical guests like Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish, and Chance the Rapper doing double duty as host and musical guest, the year is already off to an unforgettable start. Which episodes have been the best? This list of new SNL episodes has all the info on sketches, performances, impressions, and surprise cold open guests. Whether you think the series is past its prime or entering a new era of comedy gold, vote up the top Season 45 SNL episodes of 2019-2020 below. Then, check out the best sketches cut for time.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
1
Ep. 10 Eddie Murphy / Lizzo
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Date: December 21, 2019

Who Says "Live from New York": The cast and surprise guests as the 2020 Presidential candidates.

Monologue: Eddie Murphy makes his first return to SNL in 35 years to talk about being a dad, Bill Cosby, his new film Dolomite, and to critique the work of the friends and former SNL cast members interrupting him.

Notable Sketches: Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood, North Pole News Report, Black Jeopardy: Velvet Jones, Holiday Baking Championship, Masked Singer, Home for the Holidays.

Surprise Guests: Usher appears during the goodnights; Dave Chappelle, Tracy Morgan and Chris Rock appear in the opening monologue; Fred Armisen (Michael Bloomberg), Alec Baldwin (Donald Trump), Larry David (Bernie Sanders) Rachel Dratch (Amy Klobuchar), Maya Rudolph (Kamala Harris), and Jason Sudeikis (Joe Biden) appear in the cold open.

Lizzo Performs: "Truth Hurts" and a holiday remix of "Good as Hell."

Is this a great episode?
2
Ep 6. - Harry Styles
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Date: November 16, 2019

Who Says "Live from New York": Kate McKinnon as Rudy Giuliani's twin.

Monologue: Harry Styles and SNL have taken things to the next level, and Styles spells out his priorities as "music, then fantastic hair, then comedy, then family, then friends," before taking his monologue to the piano to prove his seriousness as a musician.

Notable Sketches: Joan Song, Lunch Run, Funeral DJs, Baby Faye and Her Newsboys, Childbirth Class, Airline Pilots, That's The Game.

Surprise Guests: Jon Hamm appears as William B. Taylor Jr. in the cold open and introduces Styles's second performance.

Harry Styles Performs: "Lights Up" and "Watermelon Sugar."

Is this a great episode?
3
Ep 3. - David Harbour / Camila Cabello
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Date: October 12, 2019

Who Says "Live from New York": Woody Harrelson as Joe Biden, with the rest of the cast from the Equality Town Hall cold open.

Monologue: David Harbour is more than his character on Stranger Things and does a "walk around the studio" monologue.

Notable Sketches: Court Show, Grouch (Joker Parody), Peter, Paula & Murray, Sauce, Little Miss Teacher's Pet, Father-Son Podcasting Microphone, SoulCycle.

Surprise Guests: Woody Harrelson as Joe Biden, Lin-Manuel Miranda as Julian Castro, Billy Porter, Lorne Michaels.

Camila Cabello Performs: "Cry for Me" and "Easy."

Is this a great episode?
4
Ep 4. - Chance the Rapper
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Date: October 26, 2019

Who Says "Live from New York": Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump and Fred Armisen as Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Monologue: Chance the Rapper supports the Chicago teachers strike and performs a song about Chicago, the Second City, and other second-best things. 

Notable Sketches: E-Sports Reporter, Tasty Toaster Tarts, Judge Barry, Spooky Song, Space Mistakes.

Surprise Guests: Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump, Darrell Hammond as Bill Clinton, Fred Armisen as Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Jason Momoa.

Chance the Rapper Performs: "Zanies and Fools" and "Handsome" with Megan Thee Stallion.

Is this a great episode?