Saturday Night Live aired its third season during the 1977–1978 television season on NBC. The season began on September 24, 1977 and ended on May 20, 1978. The DVD for the entire season was released on May 13, 2008.
The entire cast from the previous season returned for season three. The show also introduced the concept of the "featured player." Writers Tom Davis and Al Franken became cast members.
The season is also notable for the contest, Anyone Can Host. During the start of the season the show advertised the contest for a non-celebrity to host the show. The winner was 80 year-old grandmother Miskel Spillman, the only non-celebrity to host an SNL episode. During Spillman's show the musical guest, Elvis Costello, halted his band, the Attractions, seven seconds into the song "Less Than Zero", launching into "Radio Radio", an as-yet unreleased song critical of mainstream broadcasting. The change angered Lorne Michaels, who banned future appearances on the show for a while.
Chevy Chase's hosted during the season, making him the first cast member to host after leaving the show. Backstage during the show Chase and Bill Murray engaged in a physical altercation that was broken up by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. Chase later accused Murray of trying to upstage him on set and for making explicit remarks about Chase's wife. Chase would host the show several times throughout the show's history, though he was unpopular with the cast and crew.
Steve martin returns to host the season premiere with musical guest Jackson Browne.
Madeline Kahn hosts with musical guest Taj Mahal. Special Appearance by Dame Edna.
Hugh Hefner hosts with musical guest Libby Titus.
Charles Grodin welcomes musical guest Paul Simon. Sketches include Coneheads Halloween, Mainway, Brownie, Samurai Dry Cleaners and special appearance by Art Garfunkel.
Ray Charles hosts. Musical Performances include “I Can See Clearly Now”, “What’d I Say”, and “Oh, What A Beautiful Morning”. Special Appearance by stand-up comedian Franklyn Ajaye.
Buck Henry hosts and kicks off Anyone Can Host contest where we meet the five finalists. Leon Redbone returns as musical guest.
Mary Kay Place is joined by Willie Nelson. Special Appearance by Andy Kaufman.
Anyone Can Host winner Miskel Spillman welcomes Elvis Costello (“Watching The Detectives” and “Radio, Radio”) for this SNL Christmas episode.
Steve Martin hosts with musical guests The Dirt Band. Sketch appearances by Roseanne Roseannadanna and the Coneheads on Family Feud.
Comedian Robert Klein hosts with musical performances by Bonnie Raitt (“Runaway” and “Give It All Up Or Let Me Go.”) Sketches include Greek Restaurant, Nick Winters, Nerd Rock and Attack of The Giant Lobsters.
Chevy Chase returns for his first time hosting with musical guest Billy Joel (“Only The Good Die Young” and “Just The Way You Are”).
O. J. Simpson hosts with performances by Ashford and Simpson (“So, So Satisfied” and “Don’t Cost You Nothing”). Sketches include Samurai Night Fever and E. Buzz Miller’s Animal Kingdom.
Art Garfunkel hosts and performs classic songs “All I Know” and “Scarborough Fair”. Also, musical performance by Stephen Bishop (“On And On”).
Jill Clayburgh returns to host with musical guest Eddie Money (“Two Tickets To Paradise” and “ Baby Hold On”.
Christopher Lee hosts with musical guests Meat Loaf (“All Revved Up With No Place To Go” and “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad”).
Monty Python alum, Michael Palin hosts with musical guest Eugene Record (“Have You Seen Her?” and “Trying To Get To You”).
Michael Sarrazin hosts with musical guest Keith Jarrett. Sketches include Judy Miller, E. Buzz Miller’s Exercises and Point/Counterpoint.
Steve Martin returns with The Blues Brothers (“Hey Bartender” and “I Don’t Know”). Sketches include Festrunk Brothers, Theodoric, Dancing In The Dark, King Tut, Nerds Science Fair and Point/Counterpoint.
Richard Dreyfuss hosts with musical guests JIMMY BUFFETT (“Son Of A Sailor”) and Gary Tigerman (“White Oaxacan Moon”.) Sketches include Cone Encounters and Nick Springs.
Buck Henry hosts with musical guest Sun Ra. Sketches include Nerd Prom, Samurai T.V. Repairman, Greek Restaurant, Stunt Puppy and Point/Counterpoint.