On October 11 1986, Madonna made a surprise appearance on NBC-TV’s Saturday Night Live, opening the show’s 12th season. It marked her second appearance on the program, having served as host for the premiere of the 11th season in 1985.
On November 9 1985, Madonna hosted the 1985-86 season premiere of NBC-TV’s Saturday Night Live.
The musical guest was Simple Minds. Simple Minds performed Alive and Kicking and Satisfy Yourself.
During the SNL skits, Madonna performed Take On Me, La Bamba and Lionel Richie’s Three Times A Lady.
For the eleventh season of SNL, Lorne Michaels returned as executive producer after a five-year absence. Michaels wanted his own cast so the entire cast from the previous season was fired.
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Say what you will about Madonna’s acting chops, but the icon has always had our backs and never been afraid to push the envelope. Take, for example, her only hosting stint on Saturday Night Live back in 1985 when she was indisputably the most famous
entertainer woman on the planet. In the sketch, which was clearly inspired by the anxiety and, in some cases, furor that surrounded an episode of Dynasty. Superstar actor Rock Hudson had joined the cast as a love interest to series regular Linda Evans. In one episode Hudson kissed Evans on the mouth. Not a big deal, you’re thinking but by the time the episode aired Hudson was revealed to be battling AIDS and had known at the time it was filmed but hadn’t disclosed the information to his costar. It was a different era, friends, an AIDS diagnosis was thought to be a death sentence and there were even tabloid reports that Evans had contracted the disease from a mere smooch. Evans, for the record, bore no grudge against the late superstar.
Anyway, in the skit titled Pinklisting, Madge dons a dark wig to resemble Evans’ other costar Joan Collins and a clipped British accent (a harbinger of things to come!) to play a TV actress unwilling to do scenes with a costar “she doesn’t know” due to her fear of AIDS. The joke, if it can be referred to as one, is that the costar is played by Terry Sweeney (still the only openly gay male SNL player), as a super-femme gay actor who tries to butch it up but he loses his cool when confronted by a snarky Judy-Liza headline.
While the sketch isn’t exactly a rib-tickler it’s surprising in hindsight that it was a comic skit built around AIDS at a time when it was still considered a fatal disease, and broadcast in November 1985, less than a month after Hudson’s death. While that may seem insensitive, remember that this was the year Larry Kramer’s landmark AIDS-themed play The Normal Heart was first produced — and President Reagan hadn’t even uttered the word in public. So let’s hear it again for Madonna, forever at the forefront of progress, bringing a public discourse on the disease into the homes of millions of TV viewers.
On February 22 1992, Madonna made a surprise guest appearance on NBC-TV’s Saturday Night Live, where she lovingly spoofed longtime publicist Liz Rosenberg (and herself as well) in the recurring skit “Coffee Talk” alongside her favorite SNL alum Mike Myers and host Roseanne.
But the biggest surprise turned out to be reserved for Madonna, Myers and Roseanne when the subject of their adoration in the skit, Barbra Streisand, made a rare public appearance by sauntering on-set as they were finishing up the sketch.
On January 16 1993, Madonna was musical guest on NBC-TV’s Saturday Night Live, performing Fever and Bad Girl. She also appeared in the show’s opening skit – a humorous homage to Marilyn Monroe – alongside the late comedians Phil Hartman and Jan Hooks.
Perhaps a little too into character or, more likely, a little too nervous – she managed to flub the show’s signature intro tag line during the live broadcast, with the mistake being subsequently edited out of all repeated airings of the episode.
Fortunately any nervous energy quickly dissipated once Madonna took to the musical stage, where she delivered a stunningly confident and nuanced vocal performance backed by an equally impressive new band (which included several members that would be recruited for her Girlie Show tour later in the year). It was Madonna’s only live performance of Bad Girl to date, and despite many appearances on SNL, her only inclusion as featured musical guest.
The episode was hosted by Harvey Keitel, who was only weeks away from working with Madonna again in the film Dangerous Game (then known as Snake Eyes) which began shooting in February.
Would you like to see Madonna return to SNL as musical guest?
On May 11 1991, the Wayne’s World Madonna Fantasy on Saturday Night Live aired. The sketch ranked #4 among the Top 50 Greatest ‘Saturday Night Live’ Sketches of All Time!
From Rollingstone: “It was terrifying,” Mike Myers has said of kissing Madonna. And no wonder: In 1991, there was no more intimidating star than the just-banned-from-MTV Material Girl. Her fantasy rendezvous with Wayne and Garth was probably SNL‘s most perfect pop culture convergence ever: One of the most famous people on earth, writhing in the black-and-white world of Justify My Love, the most controversial video of all time, speaking in the dopey slang (“No way!” “Way!”) of the most popular recurring characters since the Blues Brothers. And we were only approaching Waynemania, which would peak in 1992 with their feature film. During shooting, Myers and Dana Carvey had a personal falling-out, and were never quite able to re-capture the magic – though that didn’t stop Lorne Michaels from producing a sequel or doing the sketch seven more times.