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Saturday Night Live Honored Dabney Coleman in the Season Finale: Watch His Monologue

The 9 to 5 and You've Got Mail star died on May 16 — and his prolific career including hosting SNL. 

By Samantha Vincenty

Dabney Coleman died on May 16, 2024, at age 92, according to NBC News. The late actor enjoyed a long and prolific career, as famous for his mustache as he was for playing a cranky boss. But if you watched Jake Gyllenhaal's May 18 Saturday Night Live season finale, you might've noticed an in memoriam tribute card for Coleman toward the end of the episode.

How to Watch

Watch Saturday Night Live Saturdays at 11:30/10:30c on NBC and next day on Peacock.  

You may have wondered, why did SNL honor Dabney Coleman?

Coleman's most famous role as that "cranky boss" archetype is in 9 to 5, where his character made the mistake of messing with Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin. But Coleman had something in common with Parton and Tomlin: They were all Saturday Night Live Hosts in the '80s.

RELATED: Why the First Saturday Night Live Cast Were Called The Not Ready for Prime Time Players

When did Dabney Coleman host Saturday Night Live

Coleman hosted SNL on October 31, 1987.

That was seven years after 9 to 5, and three years after he famously throttled Camilla the Chicken as (cranky) theater producer Martin Price in The Muppets Take Manhattan. But 1987 was a busy year for Coleman, and he'd just starred in the Dragnet movie with original SNL cast member Dan Aykroyd and SNL Five-Timers Club member Tom Hanks.

Dabney Coleman smiles in a grey suit and tie

Watch Dabney Coleman's SNL monologue and a sketch

Coleman was famous for playing blustery, egomaniacal men in movies like You've Got Mail and War Games. But he was somewhat self-deprecating in his SNL monologue, acknowledging the blessing in not finding success in Hollywood until was entering his fifties.

"It's really an honor to be here tonight — scary as hell, but hey, it's Halloween," Coleman said.

"When they ask you to host a Saturday Night Live show, it means you're doing pret-ty well," he continued, admitting that was currently true for him. "Course, it only took about half a century. But that's okay! In a way, I'm glad I had to wait for success until...early middle age." 

RELATED: Watch Colin Jost and Michael Che's Season Finale "Joke Swap" 

Coleman's stacked show featured The Cars as Musical Guest, and a seasonally-appropriate appearance from horror icon Elvira.

Watch the 1987 monologue above, and watch his "Marriage Counselor" sketch co-starring Kevin Nealon and Nora Dunn below. Rest in peace to a late-blooming icon.

"Marriage Counselor" with Dabney Coleman