"Saturday" Night Live Premiere
Updated: Jan 4, 2022
On October 11, 1975, Saturday Night Live (also known simply as SNL), an American late-night live television sketch comedy and variety show created by Lorne Michaels and developed by Dick Ebersol, premiered on NBC (under the original title NBC's Saturday Night). The show's comedy sketches, which often parody contemporary culture and politics, are performed by a large and varying cast of repertory and newer cast members. The original cast included eaturing Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, Garrett Morris, Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman. Each episode is hosted by a celebrity guest, who usually delivers the opening monologue and performs in sketches with the cast as with featured performances by a musical guest. An episode normally begins with a cold open sketch that ends with someone breaking character and proclaiming, "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!", properly beginning the show. George Carlin opening monologue from the premiere episode:
Many SNL cast members have found national stardom while appearing on the show, and achieved success in film and television, both in front of and behind the camera. Others associated with the show, such as writers, have gone on to successful careers creating, writing, and starring in television and film. Here is aTom Snyder interview of the original 1975 cast, filmed at Rockefeller Center:
Broadcast from Studio 8H at NBC's headquarters in the Comcast Building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, SNL has aired 890 episodes since its debut, and began its forty-fifth season on September 28, 2019, making it one of the longest-running network television programs in the United States. The show format has been developed and recreated in several countries, meeting with different levels of success. Successful sketches have seen life outside the show as feature films including The Blues Brothers (1980) and Wayne's World (1992). Here is a brief history of Saturday Night Live and how it has become an institution in American Pop Culture:
In 1980, Michaels left the series to explore other opportunities. He was replaced by Jean Doumanian, who was replaced by Ebersol after a season of bad reviews. Ebersol ran the show
until 1985. Since Michaels' return, he has held the job of show-runner.
In 2000, it was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. It was ranked tenth in TV Guide's "50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time" list, and in 2007 it was listed as one of Time "100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME."
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