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SNL 1980s. Jean Doumanian took over the show for Season 6, hiring a completely new cast and new writers. It was shown to be a diasppointment by both critics and ratings Jean Doumanian was one of the only staff members of SNL who remained after season 5

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Snl 1980s

SNL 1980s

Jean Doumanian took over the show for Season 6, hiring a completely new cast and new writers


  • It was shown to be a diasppointment by both critics and ratings

  • Jean Doumanian was one of the only staff members of SNL who remained after season 5

  • There were huge budget cuts and she only had 2 months to find a new cast and crew for the show

  • She had barely any of the help and support that was promised to her when she accepted the job


New cast for season 6
New Cast for Season 6

  • 19 yrold Eddie Murphy (after begging for a shot to audition for SNL)

  • Charles Rocket (said to be the new break-out star for the show)

  • Denny Dillon

  • Gilbert Gottfried

  • Gail Matthius

  • Joe Piscopo

  • Ann Risley

  • Yvonne Hudson (SNL’s first Black female cast member)


  • ABC’s Fridays overtook Saturday Night in Ratings in 1981

  • Gave the impression that NBC might cancel the show

  • SNL was given one more chance—Dick Ebersol replaced Jean Doumanian

  • By the end of the season he fired the entire 1980’s cast except Murphy and Piscopo



  • From 1981 to 1984, SNL was basically a 2-man show with Murphy and Piscopo playing a majority of the lead characters

  • In 1984 Eddie Murphy left the show, as well as Piscopo, leaving Ebersol to rebuild his cast for season 10

  • Ebersol added new cast members, such as Billy Crystal, Martin Short, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer

  • It was the first time in the show’s history that big, well-known names were added to the cast





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