|Premier:||October 1, 2016|
|Last episode:||May 20, 2017|
|Weekend Update anchor(s):|| Colin Jost|
Season 42 of Saturday Night Live premiered on October 1, 2016 starring Margot Robbie with her guest The Weeknd and concluded on May 20, 2017 starring Dwayne Johnson with Katy Perry, ending with 21 episodes and 3 specials. The season reduced ads by 30%, removing two commercial breaks to increase episode content. Much of the season's content centered around the 2016 Presidential Election. The season was also notable for having three episodes in which the host was joining the Five-Timers Club, with Scarlett Johansson, Melissa McCarthy, and Dwayne Johnson all hosting for the fifth time.
Beginning on the April 15th Episode, episodes began to air live in all four time zones, rather than running live in the East and Central time zones, while being tape-delayed in the Mountain and Pacific Time Zones.
During the era, Season 7 cast member Tony Rosato died on January 7, 2017 due to a heart attack. The season also acknowledged the deaths of NBC-Universal Employee John Homer, actress Carrie Fisher, and comedian Don Rickles.
Season 41 cast members Taran Killam, Jay Pharoah, and Jon Rudnitsky were let go after the end of the previous season. Joining the cast were Mikey Day (promoted from the writers' room), Alex Moffat, and Melissa Villaseñor. Michael Che, Pete Davidson, and Leslie Jones were promoted to repertory status. Though not a cast member, Alec Baldwin would take over playing the role of Donald Trump from Darrell Hammond, who continued as the show's announcer.
|Title||Original Air Date||Ratings/Share|
|The 2016 SNL Election Special||November 7, 2016||2.1/7|
|Recent political sketches involving the 2016 US presidential election, hosted by Tom Brokaw.|
|Saturday Night Live Thanksgiving||November 23, 2016||1.6/5|
|Thanksgiving-themed comedy from the Saturday Night Live crew is presented.|
|Saturday Night Live Christmas||December 14, 2016||1.6/5|
|Holiday-themed comedy from Saturday Night Live is presented.|
(2016 - 2017)