NBC Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
NBC Insider Late Night

The Saturday Night Live Season 2 Cast: Live from New York, It's Bill Murray

SNL's 1976-1977 season featured a notable cast addition: Bill Murray. 

By Elizabeth Logan

Season 2 of Saturday Night Live had no featured players, placing the main cast of Not Ready For Prime Time Players who'd joined the show the year prior front and center. When Chevy Chase departed midway through the 1976-1977 second season, the show added a future icon in his stead: Bill Murray, who'd been a performer on ABC's own short-lived sketch comedy show, Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell. (That rival show's title was the reason SNL went by NBC's Saturday Night for its first two seasons). 

How to Watch

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

The show also jettisoned segments featuring The Muppets, which had been a recurring feature in the first season. With more time to shine, the cast flourished.

As for SNL Season 2 Hosts, Steve Martin hosted for his first time in Season 2, Episode 5, and returned to the show so often and so successfully that many casual viewers mistakenly believe he was part of the early cast.

RELATED: SNL's Longest-Running Cast Members

In fact, the Only Murders in the Building star came back to host again later that season (Season 2, Episode 14). While the show basically never repeats hosts within a season these days, at the time they sometimes brought their favorites back: In addition to Martin, Eric Idle and Buck Henry hosted two apiece that year, while Lily Tomlin hosted her own episode in addition to appearing as a "special guest" in Martin's second.

Check out the full Saturday Night Live Season 2 cast below.

Who was in the Season 2 SNL cast? 

Gilda Radner

Gilda Radner Gilda Radner appears in Season 1 episode of Saturday Night Live

The first person ever to be cast on SNL, Gilda Radner broke out with characters like Baba Wawa and Roseanne Roseannadanna. 

RELATED: What Is Kate McKinnon Doing Now?

Dan Aykroyd

Dan Aykroyd appears in an SNL skit

Originally hired as a writer, Aykroyd joined the cast before the first season premiere, and was the youngest member of the Not Ready For Prime Time Players. 

Chevy Chase

Chevy Chase during the Weekend Update.

The original "Weekend Update" anchor left the show partway into its second season, but returned to make many surprise cameos and hosted eight times from 1978-1997. 

Bill Murray

Snl Bill Murray on Saturday Night Live Season 2 Episode 16

Murray was hired to replace Chase in the cast, and made his debut in January 1977. He is also among the show's most successful alumni, having starred in films like The Royal Tenenbaums and Groundhog Day.

After his tenure on the show, Bill Murray returned to host SNL five times—but hasn't hosted since 1999.

Bill Murray during the monologue on Saturday Night Live.

RELATED: Every Host of SNL Season 49

Jane Curtin

Jane Curtin during the Weekend Update.

A member of the cast since the show's beginning, Curtin got a promotion midway through its second season, taking over the Update desk after Chevy Chase's departure.

Garrett Morris

Garrett Morris in a sketch together on Saturday Night Live Season 2

A graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, Morris was a cast member on SNL until 1980.

Laraine Newman

Laraine Newman poses for publicity portraits for Season 1 of Saturday Night Live

Prior to joining the show, original Not Ready for Prime Time Player Laraine Newman was a founding member of The Groundlings. Over subsequent decades, the Los Angeles comedy troupe and training school would spawn future SNL cast members like Phil Hartman, Jimmy Fallon, Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph

John Belushi

John Belushi appears in a Season 1 episode of Saturday Night Live

The late John Belushi was one half of the Blues Brothers with Dan Aykroyd, and played a number of memorable characters on the show. Belushi died in 1982.