"Live From New York, It's Saturday Night" . . . we first heard those iconic words on October 11, 1975 spoken by Chevy Chase . . . 40 years ago today.
Technically, we can thank Johnny Carson for the birth of so many stars who have come out of the television show. At the time, The Best of Carson was aired on Saturday nights. In 1974, Johnny Carson asked that the weekend shows be pulled and saved. Why did he care? He wanted them aired on weeknights so he could take more time off. From there, Saturday Night Live was born.
Some of our generation's beloved stars came from SNL. They range from Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd, Eddie Murphy, John Candy, Billy Crystal, Martin Short, Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, Will Ferrell, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Rock, David Spade . . . need I go on?
In my opinion, the most memorable characters and sketches were Father Guido Sarducci, Mr. Bill, Two Wild and Crazy Guys, Emily LaTella, Roseanne Roseanna Danna, The Coneheads, Billy Crystal with his "you look maaaavelous" spoof of Fernando Lamas, The Church Lady, Cheeseburger Cheeseburger Pepsi (No Coke), Andy Kaufman's lip-synch of the Mighty Mouse Theme . . . Here I Come To Save The Day!, The French Chef, Pat and Wayne's World.
George Carlin was the first host, Candice Bergen was the first female host three episodes later. As of September 2011, Alec Baldwin hosted the most shows, taking the record from Steve Martin. As of May 2012, Dave Grohl was the most frequent musical guest. The debut show featured two musical guests, Billy Preston and Janice Ian.
Back in the day, we had Saturday Night Live Parties. At the time, I was hanging around with a crowd of employees from The Tampa Tribune. Every week, the number of guests at the party grew and grew. Those parties were considered "an event" since the newspaper employed hundreds of young professionals who were very cool people. For the longest time, the party was the thing to do on Saturday night. Great memories! I had forgotten about those parties!
I hope this article brought back some great memories for you too :)