Saturday Night Live aired its thirty-first season in the 2005-06 television season on NBC. The season began on October 1, 2005, and ended on May 20, 2006, with 19 episodes in all. The season was cut one episode short due to the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. A 30th anniversary special for the show was planned, but the plan was scrapped due to budget cuts.

Before the start of the season, featured player Rob Riggle was let go from the show. Finesse Mitchell and Kenan Thompson were both promoted to repertory status while Jason Sudeikis remained a featured player.

The show then added three new cast members to the show. They included: Los Angeles-based sketch comedian Bill Hader, Andy Samberg and Kristen Wiig of The Groundlings. Wiig debuted on the show in November, in the episode hosted by Jason Lee. Samberg, Schaffer and Taccone would be a notable force for creating SNL Digital Shorts. One such short was "Lazy Sunday"; after it aired during the Jack Black episode it became an Internet phenomenon.

Tina Fey and Maya Rudolph missed a few episodes in this season due to both of them being pregnant and on maternity leave. Fey's place on Weekend Update was briefly taken over by Horatio Sanz until her return in the episode hosted by Catherine Zeta-Jones, making Sanz the first Hispanic Weekend Update anchor. Fey returned to the show before her maternity leave time was up. Maya Rudolph, however, appeared on the first episode of the new season, and then went on maternity leave and returned in February, in the episode hosted by Steve Martin.
19 Episodes
  • Steve Carell/Kanye West
    Steve Carell/Kanye WestEpisode 1
  • Jon Heder/Ashlee Simpson
    Jon Heder/Ashlee SimpsonEpisode 2
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones / Franz Ferdinand
    Catherine Zeta-Jones / Franz FerdinandEpisode 3
  • Lance Armstrong/Sheryl Crow
    Lance Armstrong/Sheryl CrowEpisode 4
  • Jason Lee/Foo Fighters
    Jason Lee/Foo FightersEpisode 5
  • Eva Longoria/Korn
    Eva Longoria/KornEpisode 6
  • Dane Cook/James Blunt
    Dane Cook/James BluntEpisode 7
  • Alec Baldwin/Shakira
    Alec Baldwin/ShakiraEpisode 8
  • Jack Black/Neil Young
    Jack Black/Neil YoungEpisode 9
  • Scarlett Johanson/Death Cab for Cutie
    Scarlett Johanson/Death Cab for CutieEpisode 10
  • Peter Sarsgaard/The Strokes
    Peter Sarsgaard/The StrokesEpisode 11
  • Steve Martin/Prince
    Steve Martin/PrinceEpisode 12
  • Natalie Portman/Fall Out Boy
    Natalie Portman/Fall Out BoyEpisode 13
  • Matt Dillon/Arctic Monkeys
    Matt Dillon/Arctic MonkeysEpisode 14
  • Antonio Banderas/Mary J. Blige
    Antonio Banderas/Mary J. BligeEpisode 15
  • Lindsay Lohan/Pearl Jam
    Lindsay Lohan/Pearl JamEpisode 16
  • Tom Hanks/Red Hot Chili Peppers
    Tom Hanks/Red Hot Chili PeppersEpisode 17
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus/Paul Simon
    Julia Louis-Dreyfus/Paul SimonEpisode 18
  • Kevin Spacey/Nelly Furtado
    Kevin Spacey/Nelly FurtadoEpisode 19
Cast of Season 31
  • Kenan ThompsonSelf - Various Characters
  • Amy PoehlerSelf - Various Characters
  • Seth MeyersSelf - Various Characters
  • Will ForteSelf - Various Characters
  • Maya RudolphSelf - Various Characters
  • Darrell HammondSelf - Various Characters
  • Chris ParnellSelf - Various Characters
  • Horatio SanzSelf - Various Characters
  • Rachel DratchSelf - Various Characters
  • Finesse MitchellSelf - Various Characters
  • Bill HaderSelf - Various Characters
  • Andy SambergSelf - Various Characters
  • Jason SudeikisSelf - Various Characters
  • Fred ArmisenSelf - Various Characters
  • Tina FeySelf - Various Characters

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