News/Talk Show
Oct. 11, 1975
Returning Series
90 min.
NBC TV Network

Top Contributors

Saturday Night Live tv show photo

Saturday Night Live

"Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!" Saturday Night Live is a sketch comedy show that has run since the fall of 1975. Many now-famous actors and actresses such as Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Paul Shaffer, Eddie Murphy, Joe Piscopo, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Martin Short, Damon Wayans, Joan Cusack

Trivia Facts | Top Quotes | Goofs/Mistakes
  • There have been three sets of brothers who have been cast members on Saturday Night Live, John Belushi and Jim Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and Peter Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Brian Doyle-Murray.
  • The word "fuck" has been said several times live on the air: George Carlin hosted the first show, in 1975, and performed his "Seven words you can't say on TV.", in 1980, Paul Shaffer said "fuckin'" instead of "floggin'"; in 1981, Charles Rocket, said "I'd like to know who the fuck did it" during a "Who Shot JR?" parody and on the same night Prince sang the lyric "Fightin' war is such a fuckin' bore"; in 1990, singer Morris Day of The Time said "Where the fuck this chicken come from?" and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith sang "feedin' that fuckin' monkey on my back" during their performances; in 1994, Michael Stipe of R.E.M. sang "Don't fuck with me" and Adam Horovitz of Beastie Boys sang "So won't you fuckin' listen" in their performances and in 1997, Norm MacDonald accidentally said, "The fuck was that?" after flubbing a line during "Weekend Update". James Hetfield of Metallica sang "Fuck 'em man, white knuckle tight" during their performance in 1997. In 2009, Jenny Slate accidentally said, "You know what, you stood up for yourself and I fucking love you for that."
  • Christopher Reeve appeared as himself as an audience member in a skit, a few weeks before he hosted the show.
  • Janeane Garofalo was a cast member during the 1994-1995 season. She left before the end of the season due to creative differences.
  • Darrell Hammond holds the record for the number of seasons as a cast member, fourteen (1995-2009), the oldest cast member (fifty-three in his final season), and the number of times saying "Live from New York, it's Saturday night!" (seventy). Hammond continued to make guest appearances in the 2009-2010 season, and also on "Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Thursday" (2008).
  • The shows that were hosted by Louise Lasser and Milton Berle have never been seen in reruns since their original air date, at Lorne Michaels' insistence. Lasser refused to do all skits, and locked herself in her dressing room just before airtime, coming out just in time to do the opening monologue. Berle called everyone "Booby", and impressed no one, but John Belushi with his mugging, racist jokes, and egomania.
  • Don Pardo's announcing booth was located in the exact same spot on which legendary Conductor Arturo Toscanini's podium once stood, when he conducted the NBC Symphony Orchestra in his famous and long-running series of radio concerts.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Steve Martin was never a cast member on the show. The misconception stems from the fact that he has hosted the show fifteen times, in addition to doing occasional surprise appearances.
  • Tim Meadows and Chris Parnell (ii) are the only cast members to be fired and then rehired the following season (Meadows was fired between seasons and didn't miss any episodes). Jim Belushi was fired during his tenure, but was rehired the following month. Announcer Don Pardo was also fired before the seventh season, in an effort to revitalize the show. He was replaced by Mel Brandt, but Pardo was rehired the following season.
  • Lorne Michaels left the show after the fifth season, as did the remaining cast members. For the 1980-1981 season, the show was revamped, with a new cast and new Producer Jean Doumanian. The sixth season was so disastrous, that NBC President Fred Silverman called in Programming Executive Dick Ebersol (one of the creative masterminds of the original show) to save the show. Ebersol fired Doumanian and the rest of the cast, except Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo. He hired a new cast, and the show eventually regained its ratings, mainly due to Murphy's popularity. When Michaels returned in the 1985-1986 season, he wanted his own cast, so the remaining members were fired. This season was low-rated, putting the show on the brink of cancellation. But Michaels convinced Executive Brandon Tartikoff that he could revive the show with a better cast. The show regained popularity, and Michaels has stayed with the show ever since. He later claimed that leaving the show was the biggest mistake of his life.
  • When the show first debuted, it did not air every weekend. The news magazine show Weekend aired "the first Weekend every month" (except when it was delayed one week for Eric Idle's first Saturday Night Live appearance).
  • Several episodes were not performed in Studio 8H in Manhattan. On October 16, 23, and 30, 1976, the show moved to a Brooklyn studio, because the NBC News election unit used Studio 8H for 1976 election coverage. Several episodes in 1984 were produced in RCA Bldg Studios 8G and 3A, due to election coverage. The February 20, 1977 episode was performed live in New Orleans on a Sunday.
  • Ray Romano was originally scheduled to host the show for the second time in April 2002, but had to drop out due to a busy schedule. He was replaced by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
  • Steve Martin is the only person to host a season premiere, a season finale, and a Christmas show, and is the only person to host the show three times in a single season.
  • Will Ferrell became the highest paid cast member in Saturday Night Live history, in 2001. He received a salary of three hundred fifty thousand dollars (one hundred five thousand dollars in 1975 prices) for the 2001-2002 season.
  • Tina Fey is the first female head writer in the show's history.
  • John Goodman hosted the show eleven years in a row.
  • John Goodman, a frequent guest host had auditioned for the show in 1980, when he was starting out as an actor.
  • All of the main cast members of Friends, except Matt LeBlanc, hosted the show.
  • The show has only had four directors in its history: Dave Wilson, Paul Miller, Beth McCarthy-Miller, and Don Roy King
  • In 2001, NBC aired two live thirty-minute special episodes in primetime slots, to fill airtime. Jennifer Lopez, who was hosting the regular show that week, made a cameo in the second special. In 2003, a live "Weekend Update" special was aired during Super Bowl XXXV halftime.
  • Mike Myers' English character Simon was a spoof of the UK television children's series "Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings" (1976). His character of Linda Richman was based on his mother-in-law.
  • The balcony level studio audience seats in Studio 8H, from where Saturday Night Live is broadcast, are actually seats on-loan from Yankees Stadium in Bronx, New York. New York Yankees owner George M. Steinbrenner III loaned them out in 1975, with the assumption that Saturday Night Live wouldn't stay on the air long (they were expected back upon cancellation of the show). Partly out of both tradition and superstition, the seats are still in use to this day. Since then, NBC has had to pay out annual fines to the city of New York (a relatively minor business expense, all things considered). In addition, any time repair work is needed, repair people are sent directly to the studio to do work there, which is more expensive than taking seats to a repair shop.
  • Anthony Michael Hall was the youngest member of Saturday Night Live (1975), at seventeen years old.
  • 'Conan OBrien appeared uncredited in many sketches from 1988 to 1991, while he was a writer for Saturday Night Live. Writer, and former cast member, Tom Davis appeared uncredited in many sketches from 1988 to 1994.
  • Beginning in 1995, the Saturday Night Live logo used the abbreviation SNL, which became how the show was known.
  • Despite the show's core theme of live comedy, on a few rare occasions, stand-up segments weren't truly "live", but broadcast on a seven second tape delay: December 13, 1975 (Richard Pryor), November 15, 1986 (Sam Kinison), and May 12, 1990 (Andrew Dice Clay), each time to allow censoring any "accidental" expletives.
  • When Eric Idle hosted on October 20, 1979, a clip was shown from Idle's project Rutland Weekend Television (UK) of his Beatles parody The Rutles. The success of the clip led to Lorne Michaels co-producing the movie version, The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash (1978) (TV), which includes appearances by numerous Saturday Night Live alums and regulars.
  • Jim Henson created new adult Muppets who appeared in every episode of the first season. The Muppets sketches were unpopular with the audience and the writing staff, so they were dropped.
  • Prior to the 1983-1984 season, Eddie Murphy agreed to appear in ten live broadcasts, and via a taped sketch in ten others. Those ten sketches were taped in September of 1983, and were alternated with Eddie Murphy's live appearances throughout the season.

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