|Premier:||September 27, 2014|
|Last episode:||May 16, 2015|
|Weekend Update anchor(s):|| Colin Jost|
Season 40 began in the fall of 2014. It marked a major change in style, with new show logos being rolled out. It also marked the beginning of SNL Vintage, the airing of one-hour edits of old episodes at 10 PM.
Cast member Nasim Pedrad did not return; Pedrad was on board former SNL writer John Mulaney's sitcom Mulaney, which Fox had picked up for the 2014-15 season. Mulaney was originally pitched to NBC for the 2013-14 season, but NBC declined it; Pedrad had stated her intent to leave SNL at that time if the series were picked up.
John Milhiser, Noël Wells, and Brooks Wheelan, all new hires for the previous season, were fired in July 2014. Mike O'Brien, a writer promoted to featured player for season 39, was moved back to the writers' room. Previous Weekend Update anchor Cecily Strong was dropped from her post prior to the start of the season; writer Michael Che was added to the cast and the Update desk. Also added to the cast was new featured player Pete Davidson. Leslie Jones, a writer who had auditioned to join the cast at Christmas break in the previous season, was added to the cast for the October 25 episode.
A fortieth anniversary special aired on February 15, 2015.
- Leslie Jones: First credited October 25 (appeared uncredited September 27 and October 11)
(2014 - 2015)