|Premier:||October 1, 2005|
|Last episode:||May 20, 2006|
|Weekend Update anchor(s):|| Amy Poehler|
Horatio Sanz(eps. 1-2)
Tina Fey(eps. 3-19)
Only a few changes occured before the start of the season. At the end of the previous season, featured player Rob Riggle was let go in order to make way for new cast members. In the wake of his departure Finesse Mitchell and Kenan Thompson were promoted to repertory status while Jason Sudeikis remained a featured player. Hired at the start of the season were two new cast members, Los Angeles based comedian Bill Hader and Andy Samberg of The Lonely Island group (his two friends and fellow Lonely Island members Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone were also hired to the writing staff). Later in the season, Kristen Wiig was added to the cast, starting in the episode hosted by Jason Lee.
The Lonely Island would be responsible for bringing about the SNL Digital Shorts including the popular short Lazy Sunday which appeared at Christmas in the episode with Jack Black as host, the short would go on to become an internet phenomenon and would bring popularity to Andy Samberg and The Lonely Island.
Tina Fey and Maya Rudolph would both miss many episodes this season due to being on maternity leave. Fey missed the first 2 episodes and then returned in the episode with Catherine Zeta-Jones as host, while Rudolph appeared in the season premiere and then missed the next 10 episodes returning in the episode with Steve Martin as host. Rudolph would then miss another 2 episodes for undisclosed reasons. Other cast members who missed episodes this season would be Darrell Hammond, Chris Parnell and Horatio Sanz.
This season was notable for the people who hosted it starting with the return of Alec Baldwin who last hosted in 2003, Steve Martin who last hosted in 1994 and Tom Hanks who last hosted in 1996. Another notable host this season was Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who is the first female cast member to come back and host the show (Gilda Radner did not get a chance during season 13 as the writer's strike prematurely ended the season).
This season was the first to broadcast in HD format after 30 years of broadcasting in analog.
This would be the last season for longtime cast members Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, Chris Parnell and Horatio Sanz, as well as the last season for Finesse Mitchell. Fey and Dratch both departed the cast at the end of the season to work on Fey's new sitcom 30 Rock, while Mitchell, Parnell and Sanz were all let go due to budget cuts. This is also the last season for longtime director Beth McCarthy-Miller she would leave at the end of the season because she felt like she couldn't bring the show into HD properly.
- Kristen Wiig: First November 12
- With this season, Rachel Dratch surpasses Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon as the longest serving female cast member.
- With this season, Tina Fey surpasses Dennis Miller as the longest serving Weekend Update anchor.
- She is also the longest serving female Update anchor.
(2005 - 2006)