The Info List - Saturday Night Live

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Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
(SNL) is an American late-night live television variety show created by Lorne Michaels
Lorne Michaels
and developed by Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC
on October 11, 1975, under the original title NBC's Saturday Night. The show's comedy sketches, which parody contemporary culture and politics, are performed by a large and varying cast of repertory and newer cast members. Each episode is hosted by a celebrity guest, who usually delivers an 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. 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. Many of SNL's cast 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. Broadcast from Studio 8H at NBC's headquarters in the Comcast Building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, SNL has aired 845 episodes since its debut, and began its forty-third season on September 30, 2017, 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
The Blues Brothers
(1980) and Wayne's World (1992). The show has been marketed in other ways, including home media releases of "best of" and whole seasons, and books and documentaries about behind-the-scenes activities of running and developing the show. Throughout four decades on air, Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
has received a number of awards, including 64 Primetime Emmy Awards,[1] four Writers Guild of America Awards,[2] and two Peabody Awards.[3] 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 magazine's "100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME". As of 2017, it has received 231 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, the most received by any television program. The live aspect of the show has resulted in several controversies and acts of censorship, with mistakes and intentional acts of sabotage by performers as well as guests.


1 Development 2 Cast and crew

2.1 Cast 2.2 Writers 2.3 Announcers 2.4 Hosts and musical guests 2.5 The SNL Band

3 Production

3.1 The studio 3.2 Creating an episode 3.3 Post-production 3.4 Filming and photography

4 Broadcast

4.1 International 4.2 Delays

5 Reception

5.1 Accolades 5.2 Electoral effect

6 Controversies 7 In other media

7.1 Home media 7.2 Books 7.3 Films 7.4 Music 7.5 Other

8 References

8.1 Notes 8.2 Bibliography

9 Further reading 10 External links


History of Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live

1975–80 (seasons 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) 1980–85 (seasons 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) 1985–90 (seasons 11, 12, 13, 14, 15) 1990–95 (seasons 16, 17, 18, 19, 20) 1995–2000 (seasons 21, 22, 23, 24, 25) 2000–05 (seasons 26, 27, 28, 29, 30) 2005–10 (seasons 31, 32, 33, 34, 35) 2010–15 (seasons 36, 37, 38, 39, 40) 2015–present (seasons 41, 42, 43) Weekend Update

From 1965 until September 1975, NBC
ran The Best of Carson reruns of The Tonight Show, airing them on either Saturday or Sunday night at local affiliates' discretion (originally known as The Saturday/Sunday Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson). In 1974, Johnny Carson
Johnny Carson
announced that he wanted the weekend shows pulled and saved so that they could be aired during weeknights, allowing him to take time off.[4] In 1974, NBC
president Herbert Schlosser approached his vice president of late night programming, Dick Ebersol, and asked him to create a show to fill the Saturday night time slot.[citation needed] At the suggestion of Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
executive Barry Diller, Schlosser and Ebersol then approached Lorne Michaels. Over the next three weeks, Ebersol and Michaels developed the latter's idea for a variety show featuring high-concept comedy sketches, political satire, and music performances that would attract 18- to 34-year-old viewers.[5][6] By 1975 Michaels had assembled a talented cast, including Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, Laraine Newman, Michael O'Donoghue, Gilda Radner,[5] and George Coe.[7] The show was originally called NBC's Saturday Night, because Saturday Night Live was in use by Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell
Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell
on the rival network ABC.[8] NBC
purchased the rights to the name in 1976 and officially adopted the new title on March 26, 1977.[9] Debuting on October 11, 1975,[6] the show quickly developed a cult following,[10] eventually becoming a mainstream hit and spawning (in 1978) "Best of Saturday Night Live" compilations that reached viewers who could not stay awake for the live broadcasts. But during the first season in 1975 and 1976, according to a book about the show authored by Doug Hill and Jeff Weingrad, some NBC
executives were not satisfied with the show's Nielsen ratings and shares.[11] Lorne Michaels
Lorne Michaels
pointed out to them that Nielsen's measurement of demographics indicated that baby boomers constituted a large majority of the viewers who did commit to watching the show, and many of them watched little else on television.[12] In 1975 and 1976, they were the most desirable demographic for television advertisers, even though Generation X
Generation X
was the right age for commercials for toys and other children's products. Baby boomers far outnumbered Generation X
Generation X
in reality but not in television viewership with the exception of Michaels' new show and major league sports, and advertisers had long been concerned about baby boomers' distaste for the powerful medium. NBC
executives eventually understood Michaels' explanation of the desirable demographics and they decided to keep the show on the air despite many angry letters and phone calls that the network received from viewers who were offended by certain sketches.[13] They included a Weekend Update segment on April 24, 1976, the 18th episode, that ridiculed Aspen, Colorado murder suspect Claudine Longet and warranted an on-air apology by announcer Don Pardo
Don Pardo
during the following episode.[14] Herminio Traviesas, a censor who was vice president of the network's Standards and Practices department, objected to cast member Laraine Newman's use of the term "pissed off" in the March 13, 1976 episode with host Anthony Perkins, according to the book by Hill and Weingrad, and was in the process of placing the show on a permanent delay of several seconds, instead of live, but he changed his mind after Newman personally apologized to him.[15] Chevy Chase
Chevy Chase
left the show in November of the second season and was replaced a few months later by the then-unknown comic actor Bill Murray. Aykroyd and Belushi left the show in 1979 after the end of season four. In May 1980 (after season five), Michaels—emotionally and physically exhausted—requested to put the show on hiatus for a year to give him time and energy to pursue other projects.[16] Concerned that the show would be cancelled without him, Michaels suggested writers Al Franken, Tom Davis, and Jim Downey as his replacements. NBC
president Fred Silverman disliked Franken, and was infuriated by Franken's Weekend Update routine called "Limo for a Lame-O", a scathing critique of Silverman's job performance at the network and his insistence on traveling by limousine at the network's expense. Silverman blamed Michaels for approving this Weekend Update segment.[17] Unable to get the deal he wanted, Michaels chose to leave NBC
for Paramount Pictures, intending to take his associate producer, Jean Doumanian, with him. Michaels later learned that Doumanian had been given his position at SNL after being recommended by her friend, NBC
vice president Barbara Gallagher.[18] Michaels' departure led to most of the cast and writing staff leaving the show.[19] The reputation of the show as a springboard to fame meant that many aspiring stars were eager to join the new series. Doumanian was tasked with hiring a full cast and writing staff in less than three months, and NBC
immediately cut the show's budget from the previous $1 million per episode down to just $350,000. Doumanian faced resentment and sabotage from the remaining Michaels staff, particularly males who did not appreciate a woman believing she could take Michaels' place.[20] The season was a disaster; ratings plummeted, and audiences failed to connect to the original cast's replacements, such as Charles Rocket and Ann Risley.[19] Doumanian's fate was sealed when, during a sketch, Rocket said "fuck" on live television.[21] After only ten months, Doumanian was dismissed.[22][23] Although executives suggested that SNL be left to die, network chief Brandon Tartikoff
Brandon Tartikoff
wanted to keep the show on the air, believing that the concept was more important to the network than money. Tartikoff turned to Ebersol as his choice for the new producer. Ebersol previously had been fired by Silverman. Ebersol gained Michaels' approval in an attempt to avoid the same staff sabotage that had blighted Doumanian's tenure.[24] Ebersol's tenure saw commercial success, but was considered lackluster compared to the Michaels era, except for the breakout of cast member Eddie Murphy.[25] Murphy, the main draw of the cast, left in 1984 to pursue his already successful film career, and Ebersol decided to again rebuild the cast. He broke with history by hiring established comedians such as Billy Crystal
Billy Crystal
and Martin Short
Martin Short
who could bring their already successful material to the show.[24] Ebersol's final year with this new cast is considered one of the series' funniest, but had strayed far from the precedent-shattering show that Michaels had created.[26] After that season, Ebersol wanted a more significant revamp, including departing from the show's established "live" format.[citation needed] Following unsuccessful forays into film and television, in need of money, and eager not to see Tartikoff cancel the show,[27] Michaels finally returned in 1985 after Ebersol opted not to. The show was again recast, with Michaels borrowing Ebersol's idea, and seeking out established actors such as Joan Cusack
Joan Cusack
and Robert Downey, Jr.[28] The cast and writers struggled creatively, and in April 1986, Tartikoff made the decision to cancel the show, until he was convinced by producer Bernie Brillstein to give it one more year.[29] The show was renewed but for the first time in its history, for only thirteen episodes instead of the usual twenty-two.[30] Michaels again fired most of the cast and, learning his lesson from the previous seasons, sought out unknown talent such as Dana Carvey and Phil Hartman
Phil Hartman
instead of known names.[30] The show ran successfully again until it lost Carvey and Hartman, two of its biggest stars, between 1992 and 1994. Wanting to increase SNL's ratings and profitability, then- NBC
West Coast president Don Ohlmeyer and other executives began to actively interfere in the show, recommending that new stars such as Chris Farley
Chris Farley
and Adam Sandler
Adam Sandler
be fired because Ohlmeyer did not "get" them, and critiquing the costly nature of performing the show live. The show faced increasing criticism from the press and cast, in part encouraged by the NBC executives hoping to weaken Michaels' position.[31] Michaels received a lucrative offer to develop a Saturday night project for CBS
during this time, but remained loyal to SNL.[32] By 1995, Farley and Sandler were fired, and Mike Myers, another popular cast member, had left for a film career, but a new cast waited to replace them, featuring the likes of Will Ferrell, Jimmy Fallon, and Tina Fey.[33] The show focused on performers, and writers were forced to supply material for the cast's existing characters before they could write original sketches.[34] By 1997, Ohlmeyer renewed his focus on limiting Michaels' independence, forcing the removal of writer Jim Downey and cast member Norm Macdonald.[35] Cast and crew[edit] Cast[edit] Main article: Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
cast members

The original 1975 cast, from left to right: Laraine Newman, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris, and Chevy Chase

The original 1975 cast of SNL, officially known on-air as "The Not Ready For Prime-Time Players",[36][37] a term coined by writer Herb Sargent,[38] included Laraine Newman, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris, and Chevy Chase. Radner was the first person hired after Michaels himself. Although Chase became a performer, he was hired on a one-year writer contract, and refused to sign the performer contract that was repeatedly given to him, allowing him to leave the show after the first season in 1976.[39] Newman was brought aboard after having a prior working relationship with Michaels.[40] Morris was initially brought in as a writer, but attempts to have him fired by another writer led Michaels to have Morris audition for the cast, where he turned in a successful performance.[41] Curtin and Belushi were the last two cast members hired.[40] Belushi had a disdain for television and had repeatedly turned down offers to appear on other shows, but decided to work with the show because of the involvement of Radner, and writers Anne Beatts and Michael O'Donoghue.[42] Michaels was still reluctant to hire Belushi, believing he would be a source of trouble for the show, but Beatts, O'Donoghue, and Ebersol successfully argued for his inclusion.[42] After Chase left the show, he was replaced by Bill Murray, whom Michaels had intended to hire for the first-season cast, but was unable to because of budget restrictions.[43] When Chase returned to host in 1978, he found the remaining cast resentful at his departure and his success, particularly Belushi. Murray, goaded by the rest of the cast, and Chase came to blows shortly before the show.[44] Chase's departure for film made Michaels possessive of his talent; he threatened to fire Aykroyd if he took the role of D-Day in the 1978 comedy Animal House, and later refused to allow SNL musician Paul Shaffer to participate in The Blues Brothers
The Blues Brothers
(1980) with Aykroyd and Belushi after they left in 1979 to pursue film careers.[45][46] Michaels began to struggle to hold the remaining cast together in the wake of Chase, Aykroyd, and Belushi's independent successes. Radner had a one-woman Broadway show and Murray starred in the 1979 comedy Meatballs.[47] In 1980, Michaels chose to leave the series to pursue other interests and was replaced by Doumanian, who wanted to give the show a fresh start with a new cast and writing staff.[48] Michaels was followed by the remaining original cast, Curtin, Newman, Radner, Morris, Murray, and additional cast members.[46] The Doumanian-era cast faced immediate comparison to the beloved former cast and were not received favorably.[22] Ebersol fired the majority of her hires, except for two unknown comedians: Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo.[49] Talent coordinator Neil Levy claimed Murphy contacted and pleaded with him for a role on the show, and after seeing him audition, Levy fought with Doumanian to cast him instead of Robert Townsend. Doumanian wanted only one black cast member and favored Townsend, but Levy convinced her to choose Murphy. Doumanian also claimed credit for discovering Murphy and fighting with NBC executives to bring him onto the show.[50] Even so, Murphy would languish as a background character until Ebersol took charge,[51] after which Murphy was credited with much of that era's success.[52][53] Murphy's star exploded, and he quickly appeared in films such as 48 Hrs.
48 Hrs.
and Trading Places, before leaving for his film career in early 1984. Much of the Ebersol cast departed after the 1983–84 season and were replaced with established comedians who could supply their own material, but at an inflated cost; Billy Crystal and Martin Short
Martin Short
were paid $25,000 and $20,000 per episode respectively, a far cry from earlier salaries.[24] Michaels' return in 1985 saw a cast reset that featured established talent such as Robert Downey Jr., Jon Lovitz
Jon Lovitz
and Dennis Miller.[54] The season was poorly received, and another reset followed in 1986. Learning his lesson from the previous season, Michaels avoided known talent in favor of actual ability. He kept Lovitz, Miller and Nora Dunn, and brought in new, untested talent such as Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, and Jan Hooks, who together would define a new era on the show into the early 1990s.[55] In 1989–90, new talent such as Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, and Chris Farley were added. Afraid of cast members leaving for film careers, Michaels had overcrowded the cast, causing a divide between the veteran members and the new, younger talent, increasing competition for limited screen time.[56] By 1995, Carvey and Hartman had left, taking with them a virtual army of characters, Myers quit for his movie career, and increasing network pressure forced Michaels to fire Sandler and Farley. The show saw its next major overhaul, bringing in a new cast including Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, and Jimmy Fallon.[57] While cast members would leave over the following two decades, the show saw its next biggest transition in 2013, with the addition of 6 cast members to compensate for the departure of several longtime cast members like Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis, and Fred Armisen.[58] SNL has featured over 140 cast members including, besides the above-mentioned players, Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, Chris Rock, David Spade, Will Forte, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tracy Morgan, Chris Parnell, Maya Rudolph, Andy Samberg, Kristen Wiig, and many others. Darrell Hammond was the longest-serving cast member until 2017, having been a part of the cast for fourteen years between 1995 and 2009, and returned in 2014 as the show's announcer following the death of Don Pardo.[59][60] In 2017 Kenan Thompson
Kenan Thompson
surpassed Hammond as the longest-serving cast member. Thompson first joined the series in 2003.[61] Those selected to join the cast of SNL are normally already accomplished performers, recruited from improvisational comedy groups such as The Groundlings
The Groundlings
(Ferrell, Hartman,[62] Lovitz, Wiig[63]) and The Second City
The Second City
(Aykroyd, Farley, Fey,[64] Tim Meadows), or established stand-up comedians (Carvey, Sandler, Rock, Norm Macdonald), who already possess the training or experience necessary for SNL.[65] Of the many roles available in the show, one of the longest-running and most coveted is being the host of Weekend Update, a segment which has alternated between having one or two hosts, and which allows the cast members involved to perform as themselves and be on camera for an extended period of time.[66] Many of the Weekend Update hosts have gone on to find greater success outside the show, including: Chase, Curtin, Murray,[66] Miller, Macdonald,[67] Fey,[66] Fallon,[68] and Poehler. From 2008, Seth Meyers
Seth Meyers
was the solo host of Weekend Update,[66] before being partnered with Cecily Strong
Cecily Strong
in 2013. After Meyers left for Late Night with Seth Meyers
Seth Meyers
in February 2014, Strong was paired with head writer Colin Jost. However, later that year, she was replaced by writer Michael Che.[69][70] The cast is divided into two tiers: the more established group of repertory players; and newer, unproven cast members known as featured players, who may eventually be promoted to the repertory stable.

2017–18 season cast[71]

Repertory players Featured players

Beck Bennett
Beck Bennett
(joined 2013) Aidy Bryant
Aidy Bryant
(joined 2012) Michael Che
Michael Che
(joined 2014) ⱡ Pete Davidson (joined 2014) Leslie Jones (joined 2014) Colin Jost
Colin Jost
(joined 2014) ⱡ Kate McKinnon (joined 2012) Kyle Mooney
Kyle Mooney
(joined 2013) Cecily Strong
Cecily Strong
(joined 2012) Kenan Thompson
Kenan Thompson
(joined 2003)

Mikey Day (joined 2016) Heidi Gardner (joined 2017) Alex Moffat (joined 2016) Luke Null (joined 2017) Chris Redd (joined 2017) Melissa Villaseñor
Melissa Villaseñor
(joined 2016)

ⱡ denotes Weekend Update anchor

The cast were often contracted from anywhere between five and six years to the show,[72][73] but starting with the 1999–2000 season, new hires were tied to a rewritten contract that allowed NBC
to take a cast member in at least their second year and put them in an NBC sitcom. Cast are given the option of rejecting the first two sitcom offers but must accept the third offer, with the sitcom contract length dictated by NBC
and potentially lasting up to six years.[73] The move drew criticism from talent agents and managers who believed that a cast member could be locked into a contract with NBC
for twelve years; six on SNL and then six on a sitcom. The contract also optioned the cast member for three feature films produced by SNL Films, a company owned by NBC, Paramount Pictures, and Michaels. The new contracts were reportedly developed after many previously unknown cast, such as Myers and Sandler, gained fame on SNL only to leave and make money for other studios.[73] In a 2010 interview, Wiig was reported to be contracted to SNL for a total of seven years.[74] The contracts also contain a network option which allows NBC
to remove a cast member at any time.[75] In the first season of the show, cast were paid $750 per episode, rising to $2,000 by season two, and $4,000 by season four.[76] By the late 1990s, new cast members received a salary between $5,000[73] and $5,500 per episode, increasing to $6,000 in the second year and up to $12,500 for a cast member in their fifth year. Performers could earn an additional $1,500 per episode for writing a sketch which made it to air.[75] In 2001, Ferrell became the highest paid cast member, being paid $350,000 per season (approximately $17,500 per episode).[77] In 2014, Sasheer Zamata
Sasheer Zamata
was added as a cast member in mid-season after criticism of the show's lack of an African-American woman.[78][79][80] Writers[edit] Main article: List of Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live

Showrunner Lorne Michaels

As of the 2017–18 season, Michael Che, Colin Jost, Bryan Tucker and Kent Sublette are the show's co-head writers.[81] Jost had been a writer since 2005, and was a head writer from 2012 to 2015 before being renamed head writer. Che has been a writer since 2013. He temporarily left the show in the summer of 2014, but came back that fall to anchor Update and reclaimed his status as writer. Seth Meyers
Seth Meyers
became co-head writer in 2005, became the single head writer from 2008 to 2012, and then left in 2014. The Weekend Update segment has its own dedicated team of writers led by head writer and producer Alex Baze as of the 2011–12 season.[82][83][84] Scenes on Weekend Update that involve members of the cast acting in-character alongside the host are often written by staff writers outside the dedicated Weekend Update team, who know those characters better.[84] SNL writers are often also performers or experienced in writing and improvisational comedy. Many are hired from similar backgrounds such as The Groundlings, Second City, Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, and ImprovOlympic.[46] Comedian Jim Downey was head writer for nine years beginning in 1985.[85] Experienced writers with backgrounds in television shows are also sometimes brought into the SNL writing room. Like the SNL cast who appear on camera, many of the writers have been able to find their own success outside the show, such as Conan O'Brien, who was brought into SNL from The Groundlings, went on to write for The Simpsons, and eventually began hosting his own show.[86] Former head writer Adam McKay, along with performer Ferrell, founded the successful comedy website Funny or Die.[87] In 2000, Tina Fey became the first female SNL head writer[88][89] and successfully made the transition to starring on the show,[90] as well as writing and starring in feature films,[91][92][93] ultimately creating and starring in her own show 30 Rock, which was partly based on her SNL experiences.[94] In 2005, Fey was paid $1.5 million per season for her dual role as head writer and performer.[95] Announcers[edit] Don Pardo
Don Pardo
served as the announcer for the series when it began,[96] and continued in the role for all but season seven between 1981 and 1982, when Michaels had left and Mel Brandt and Bill Hanrahan filled the announcing role. In 2004, Pardo announced that he would step down from his position, but then continued in the role until 2009 where he again announced his retirement, but then continued into the 2009–10 season.[96] In 2010, then 92-year-old Pardo was reported to be again considering his retirement, but continued to serve as announcer until his death at age 96 on August 18, 2014, following the 39th season. Apart from a brief period in 2006 in which Pardo pre-recorded his announcements at his home in Arizona, he flew to New York City to perform his announcing duties live.[96][97] Cast members Joe Piscopo[98] and Darrell Hammond
Darrell Hammond
also periodically impersonated Pardo and fulfilled his announcing duties when Pardo was unavailable.[99] Hammond took over as full-time announcer starting with season 40.[100] Hosts and musical guests[edit] Main article: List of Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
guests A typical episode of SNL will feature a single host chosen for their popularity or novelty, or because they have a film, album, or other work being released near the time of their appearance on the show.[101] The host delivers the opening monologue and performs in sketches with the cast. Traditionally the host of the show ends the opening monologue by introducing the musical guest for the night. Comedian George Carlin
George Carlin
was the first to host SNL in the debut October 1975 episode;[102] three episodes later, Candice Bergen
Candice Bergen
became the first female host[103] and subsequently the first to host more than once.[104] Hosts have been drawn from a wide spectrum of backgrounds, from actors, such as Christopher Walken, Buck Henry, and John Goodman,[105] to musicians like Dolly Parton,[106] to political activist Ralph Nader.[101] Guests who have hosted five or more times are sometimes referred to as belonging to the Five-Timers Club, a term that originated on a sketch performed on Tom Hanks' fifth episode.[107] As of February 11, 2017, actor Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin
holds the record for most times hosting, having performed the duty on seventeen different occasions since 1990; Baldwin took the record from actor Steve Martin
Steve Martin
who had hosted fifteen times since 1976.[108] Each episode also features a musical guest, a solo act or a band, who perform two to three musical numbers. Occasionally, the musical guest has also simultaneously served as the host. As of May 19, 2012, Dave Grohl is the most frequent musical guest, performing on eleven shows since 1992.[109] Michaels does not allow musical guests to perform using lip-synching tracks,[110] believing it diminishes the live aspect of the show. Exceptions are only made when the musical act is focused on intense dance routines instead of vocals, where it is difficult to be both heavily physically active and sing simultaneously.[111] A 1975 performance by pop group ABBA
was the first and only act to feature lip-synching,[110] until the controversial 2004 performance of Ashlee Simpson. The SNL Band[edit] Main article: Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
Band The Saturday Night Live Band (also known as "The Live Band") is the house band for SNL. Academy Award-winning composer Howard Shore
Howard Shore
served as the first musical director, from 1975 to 1980, appearing in many musical sketches, including Howard Shore
Howard Shore
and His All-Nurse Band and (backing a US Coast Guard chorus) Howard Shore
Howard Shore
and the Shore Patrol. Over the years, the band has featured several New York studio musicians including Paul Shaffer
Paul Shaffer
(1975–1980), Lou Marini (1975–1983), David Sanborn
David Sanborn
(1975), Michael Brecker
Michael Brecker
(early 1980s), Ray Chew (1980–1983), Alan Rubin (1975–1983), Georg Wadenius (1979–1985), Steve Ferrone
Steve Ferrone
(1985), David Johansen
David Johansen
(performing as Buster Poindexter), Tom Malone (who took over as musical director from 1981 to 1985), and G. E. Smith
G. E. Smith
(musical director from 1985 to 1995). As of 2017, the band is under the leadership of Tower of Power
Tower of Power
alumnus Lenny Pickett, keyboardist Leon Pendarvis and Eli Bruegemann, who does not play in the band on the live show. The number of musicians has varied over the years, but the basic instrumentation has been three saxophones (alto, tenor and baritone), one trombone, one trumpet, and a rhythm section featuring two keyboards (piano and Hammond organ), a guitar, bass guitar, drums, and an extra percussionist, not a permanent part of the band until Valerie Naranjo's arrival in 1995. The 1983–1984 and 1984–1985 seasons featured the smallest band, a six-piece combo. The band plays instrumentals leading in and out of station breaks; affiliates who run no advertising during these interludes hear the band play complete songs behind a Saturday Night Live bumper graphic until the program resumes.[112] The band plays "Closing Theme (Waltz in A)", written by Shore, at the end of the show.[113] Production[edit]

Comcast Building
Comcast Building
(30 Rockefeller Plaza, or "30 Rock") from where the show is broadcast

The studio[edit] Main article: Studio 8H Since the show's inception, SNL has aired from Studio 8H, located on floors 8 and 9 of the Comcast Building
Comcast Building
(formerly the RCA Building
RCA Building
and GE Building) ( 30 Rockefeller Plaza
30 Rockefeller Plaza
or "30 Rock"). The studio had originally been used as a radio soundstage for Arturo Toscanini
Arturo Toscanini
and the NBC
Symphony Orchestra.[114] Michaels was dumbfounded when he originally inspected Studio 8H in 1975, and found it technically limited, outdated, in need of repair,[115] and lacking the capacity to host a live show.[114] Michaels demanded that NBC
executives rebuild the studio and improve the acoustics to accommodate the intended musical acts,[114] at a cost of approximately $300,000.[114] Three of the first four shows of the 1976–77 season were shot at the former NBC
Studios in Brooklyn, due to NBC
News using Studio 8H for Presidential election coverage.[116] During the summer 2005 shooting hiatus, crews began renovations on Studio 8H. With its thirty-first-season premiere in October 2005, the show began broadcasting in high-definition television, appearing letterboxed on conventional television screens. The offices of SNL writers, producers, and other staff can be found on the 17th floor of "30 Rock".[117] Creating an episode[edit] Production on an SNL episode will normally start on a Monday with a free-form pitch meeting[118][119][120] between the cast, writers, producers including Michaels, and the guest host, in Michaels' office, over two hours. The host is invited to pitch ideas during this meeting. Although some sketch writing may occur on the day, the bulk of the work revolves around pitching ideas. Tuesday is the only day dedicated purely to writing the scripts,[119] a process which usually extends through the night into the following morning. Writing may not begin until 8 pm on the Tuesday evening.[118][120] At 5 pm on Wednesday, the sketches are read by the cast during a round-table meeting in the writers room,[120] attended by the writers and producers present during the pitch meeting, technical experts such as make-up artists, who may be required to realize certain sketch ideas such as those using prosthetics, and other producers, resulting in an attendance of approximately fifty people.[121] At this point there may be at least 40 sketch ideas which are read-through in turn, lasting upwards of three hours.[121] After completion of the read-through, Michaels, the head writer, the guest host, and some of the show producers will move to Michaels' office to decide the layout of the show and decide which of the sketches will be developed for air. Once complete, the writers and cast are allowed into Michaels' office to view the show breakdown and learn whether or not their sketch has survived.[122] Sketches may be rewritten starting the same day,[119] but will certainly commence on Thursday, work focuses on developing and rewriting the remaining sketches,[118] and possibly rehearsals.[120] If a sketch is still scheduled beyond Thursday, it is rehearsed on Friday or Saturday[119] before moving to a rehearsal before a live audience at 8 pm, again on Saturday before the live show.[118][120] After the rehearsal, Michaels will review the show lineup to ensure it meets a 90-minute length, and sketches that have made it as far as the live rehearsal may be removed.[123] This often results in less than two days of rehearsal for the eight to twelve sketches that have made it to the stage that then may appear on the live broadcast.[118] The opening monologue, spoken by the guest host, is given low priority and can be written as late as Saturday afternoon.[124] According to an interview with Fey in 2004, the three- to four-member dedicated Weekend Update writing team will write jokes throughout the week. The host(s) of Weekend Update will normally not work with, or read the scripts from, the team until Thursday evening, after the main show sketches have been finalized. The host(s) will then work on contributing to the script where necessary.[125][126] Post-production[edit] With onsite facilities housed on floors 8 and 17 of Rockefeller Plaza, post-production duties on live broadcasts of Saturday Night Live include the mixing of audio and video elements by the Senior Audio Mixer, coupled with additional audio feeds consisting of music, sound effects, music scoring and pre-recorded voiceovers. All sources are stored digitally, with shows captured and segregated into individual elements to reorganise for future repeats and syndication. The production tracking system was migrated from primarily analog to digital in 1998, with live shows typically requiring 1.5 terabytes of storage, consisting of audio elements and 5 cameras' worth of visual elements.[127] Elements of Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
that are pre-recorded, such as certain commercial parodies, SNL Digital Shorts, and show graphics are processed off-site in the post-production facilities of Broadway Video.[128][129] Filming and photography[edit] Studio 8H production facilities are maintained by NBC
Production Services. Video camera equipment includes four Sony
BVP-700 CCD cameras, and two Sony
BVP-750 CCD handheld cameras, both using Vinten pedestals. A GVG 4000-3 digital component production switcher, and GVG 7000 digital component routing switcher are used to route visual feeds to the control room, with multiple digital and analogue video recorders used to store footage. Graphics are provided by a Chyron Lyric Pro character generator and an Avid Deko character generator. Audio facilities consist of a Calrec T Series digitally controlled analogue mixing console, and a Yamaha digital mixing console used for tape playback support and utility audio work.[130] While exact budgets for other seasons are not known, the 39th season (2013–2014) had a budget of just over $70 million, for which it received a subsidy from New York State in the amount of $12.3 million.[131] As of 2009, the opening title sequence and opening montage is shot using the Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
and Canon EOS 7D
Canon EOS 7D
digital SLR cameras. Typical elements are recorded at 30 fps, with slow-motion sequences shot at 60 fps, both in full 1080p high definition.[132] Edie Baskin was the original SNL photographer. She was hired after Michaels saw her photographs of Las Vegas and other work. Baskin helped create the opening title sequence for the show by taking photos of New York City at night.[133] The first episode used publicity photos of Carlin as transitional bumpers between the show and commercial breaks, the second episode used photos Baskin had already taken of host Paul Simon. It was then that Michaels suggested that Baskin photograph the hosts for the bumpers instead of using publicity photos, beginning a tradition which continues today.[134] Since 1999, Mary Ellen Matthews has been the official photographer of SNL, responsible for devising distinctive photo layouts and aesthetics for still imagery used on the show. Matthews creates photo portraits of the hosts and musical guests of each episode which are used as commercial bumpers. The limited time frame between the host's involvement in the production process and the Live show requires Matthews to create makeshift photo studios on site at 30 Rock, with Matthews attempting to shoot the host on Tuesday and the musical guest on Thursday, although the availability of either can mean the photoshoot for both occurs as late as Thursday.[135] Matthews employs flattering portrait lighting with hard lights to achieve a Hollywood style. On the lighting, Matthews commented: "I think it just helps the image pop off the screen...If you use soft or flat lighting, it becomes not as dimensional...The [classic Hollywood lighting] gives a little more contrast, and if I use edge lights and then light the background, it goes farther and farther back. I try to achieve that depth as much as I can."[136] Matthews is also responsible for taking cast photos, behind the scenes images, documenting rehearsals, and promotional photos. As of 2010, she has also been involved in directing videos, including the show title sequence.[136] Broadcast[edit] See also: List of Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live

SNL's main stage, during rehearsal, 2008

The show usually begins at 11:29:30 p.m. (Eastern Time),[137] unless a delay occurs (more commonly, due to sporting events that run past 11:00 pm. Eastern, delaying local newscasts that lead into that week's SNL broadcast on most NBC
stations). The show broadcasts for 92 minutes (counting commercial breaks), ending at 1:02 a.m. For the Mountain except for KSNG, KSNK, and KQCD, and Pacific time zones, NBC
airs the prerecorded live show usually unedited, mistakes notwithstanding. Since the first opening in 1975 with Michael O'Donoghue, Chevy Chase, and John Belushi, the show has normally begun with a cold open sketch which ends with one or more cast members breaking character and proclaiming "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!", segueing into the opening credits that start immediately after.[7] In February 2013, NBC
began airing shortened hour-long repeats on Saturday evenings at 10:00 pm. Eastern Time during the regular season; the episodes scheduled are sometimes rebroadcasts of the previous week's episode if it originally aired as a first-run broadcast.[138] Since the 2014–15 season, the show's 40th anniversary, the prime time rebroadcasts have been a selection of episodes from throughout the show's run under the title SNL Vintage. NBC
and Broadway Video
Broadway Video
both hold the underlying rights to the show, while the copyright to every episode lies solely with NBC. From 1990 until 2004, and again since 2015, Comedy Central
Comedy Central
and its predecessor Ha! re-aired reruns of the series, after which E! Entertainment Television signed a deal to carry reruns.[139] Abbreviated 30- and 60-minute versions of the first five seasons aired as The Best of Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
in syndication beginning in the 1980s, and later on Nick at Nite
Nick at Nite
in 1988. In September 2010, reruns of most episodes made from 1998 onward began airing on VH1.[140] Starting in February 2016, VH1
and Comedy Central's sister channel Logo began airing reruns of the show on Sunday nights, launching its broadcast as counterprogramming for Super Bowl 50
Super Bowl 50
and branding it the "Live From New York, It's Satur-Gay Night!" marathon. The reruns are mostly from 2006 onward. On March 16, 2017, NBC
announced that it would air the final four episodes of the 42nd season live in all mainland U.S. time zones for the first time in its history. NBC
executive Robert Greenblatt explained that the show's significant viewership had made it part of the "national conversation", and thus they felt that it would be appropriate for the entire country to be "in on the joke at the same time".[141] NBC
announced on September 19, 2017 that all of the 43rd season's episodes will air live coast-to-coast in the U.S., making it the first ever regularly scheduled non-sports prime time television program to be broadcast live simultaneously on both coasts in the U.S., and the first American show to air live on prime time in the West Coast at the same time with East Coast. [142] International[edit] Because SNL has been a huge success in the United States, channels in other countries have created their own versions of the show, including in the Middle East and North Africa region, Germany, Spain, South Korea, Philippines, Japan, Canada, Finland, France, Italy
and Poland.[143][144] SNL in its original American version airs in Israel
since the early 2000s and it is broadcoast by satellite provider yes. There was a local SNL-based show named Am Israel
Hai (People of Israel
Live) back in 2002 but it was cancelled after one season. There is another SNL-esque show in Israel
named Eretz Nehederet
Eretz Nehederet
(A Wonderful Country) that has been aired ever since 2003 and still runs because of high ratings. SNL is also aired in the Middle East and North Africa, OSN
First HD every Saturday night, one week after it airs in the US.[145] In India and Sri Lanka, Saturday Night Live! airs on Comedy Central, in an hour long version, one week after the US broadcast.[146] Spain's version of the show was short-lived, only lasting a few episodes which aired on Thursdays and not Saturdays as the title suggested. This version copied heavily from the American version, in that they did their own versions of sketches that were already done on the original series.[143] Italy's Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
From Milan aired for four seasons and used original material.[143][147] On December 3, 2011, South Korea's SNL Korea premiered on cable channel tvN.[148][149][150][151] As of July 20, 2013, it is in its fourth consecutive season, with 20 episodes.[152] The Japanese version Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
JPN, which ran for six months in 2011, was created in part with Lorne Michaels' production company, Coca-Cola, Broadway Video
Broadway Video
and broadcast on Fuji TV
Fuji TV
networks. The show followed the same format with a few minor differences, being only 45 minutes long and hosted by a permanent host. The cast was made up of seasoned comedians who take center stage and newcomers who play the background roles. It was broadcast once a month, and ended after six episodes, as planned from the start.[143][147][153][154][155][excessive citations] In 2014, two 90-minute specials were broadcast in French on Télé-Québec
in the Canadian province of Quebec
under the title SNL Québec; the specials were broadcast on February 8 and March 22, 2014. hosted by Louis-José Houde
Louis-José Houde
and Stéphane Rousseau, and is the same format and length as the original SNL series.[156] Certain sketches from the original program, such as Debbie Downer
Debbie Downer
and Schweddy Balls, were adapted into French, while other sketches were original material written directly for the Quebec
series. On May 13, 2014, SNL Quebec was renewed for another eight episodes to be broadcast monthly over the 2014–15 season ending with a "Best of" compilation.[157] Télé-Québec
announced in May 2015 that the series would not be renewed due to funding cutbacks,[158] and Télévision de Radio-Canada subsequently signed the show's production team and cast to produce a new series, Le nouveau show, for that network.[159] The French channel M6 launched the pilot episode of its SNL adaptation, Le Saturday Night Live, in January 2017. The Polish division of Showmax
video-on-demand streaming service launched the first season of its SNL adaptation, SNL Polska on December 2, 2017. The show received favorable reviews and is most likely to be renewed for season 2 sometime in 2018. SNL program items are available from the NBC
website and YouTube in the US, but are blocked to many overseas (non-US) viewers. Some local television and cable companies outside the US broadcast the show as well, either in live broadcast or as a VOD recording, due to its world-wide reputation. This reputation grew significantly during the 42nd season, when Alec Baldwin's impression of the United States president Donald Trump
Donald Trump
became world wide famous and viral.

Country Name Station Broadcast Language

 Canada SNL Québec Télé-Québec February 8, 2014 – March 21, 2015 French

 China TBA Youku 2018 Chinese

 France Le Saturday Night Live M6 January 5, 2017 – present French

 Italy Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
from Milano Italia 1 2006 - 2011 Italian

 Japan サタデーナイトライブ JPN Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
JPN Fuji TV October 27, 2012 – November 17, 2012 Japanese

 Poland SNL Polska Showmax December 2, 2017 - present Polish

 South Korea SNL 코리아 Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
Korea TVN December 3, 2011 – present Korean

 Spain Saturday Night Live Cuatro February 5, 2009 – May 13, 2009 Spanish

 Arab ساترداي نايت لايف بالعربي Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
Arabic OSN February 20, 2016 – present Arabic

Delays[edit] The episode scheduled for October 25, 1986, hosted by Rosanna Arquette, was not aired until November 8 due to NBC
broadcasting Game 6 of the 1986 World Series
1986 World Series
between the New York Mets
New York Mets
and Boston Red Sox; the game entered extra innings, causing that night's broadcast of SNL to be canceled. The show was recorded for the studio audience starting at 1:30 am Eastern Time, and broadcast two weeks later with an "apology" by Mets pitcher Ron Darling.[160] The episode scheduled for February 10, 2001, hosted by Jennifer Lopez, aired 45 minutes late due to an XFL
game. Lopez and the cast were not told they were airing on a delay. Michaels was so upset by the delay that the episode was rerun a mere three weeks later, and the fledgling league actually changed the rules in order to speed up play, and a deal was reached where the feed to future games would be cut off (whether the game had been decided or not) when SNL started so that no such incident would happen again.[161] Reception[edit] In 2002, SNL was ranked tenth on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time,[162] while in 2007 it was honored with inclusion on Time magazine's list of "100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME."[137][163] In June 2013, the show was placed at number 25 on the list of the 101 best written shows of all time by the Writers Guild of America, assessing series from the previous 70 years.[164] In December 2013, TV Guide ranked it #18 on their list of the 60 Greatest Shows of All Time.[165] It is currently[when?] the 40th longest running television show in the US.[citation needed] In 2016, a New York Times
New York Times
study of the 50 television shows with the most Facebook likes found that SNL "is very much an urban show. It's most popular in cities throughout the country, and college towns. Amherst, Mass.; Madison, Wis.; and Ithaca, N.Y. are all among the top 10".[166] Accolades[edit] Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Saturday Night Live

Lorne Michaels
Lorne Michaels
and the cast of Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
at the 68th Annual Peabody Awards
Peabody Awards
for Political Satire 2008

Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
has won numerous awards since its debut, including 64 Primetime Emmy Awards,[1] four Writers Guild of America Awards,[2] and two Peabody Awards.[3] In 2009, it received a total of 13 Emmy nominations for a lifetime total of 126, breaking the record for the most award nominated show in Primetime Emmy Award history, previously set with 124 by hospital drama ER.[167][168] As of July 2017, it has received a record total of 231 Primetime Emmy Award nominations.[137][169] Twenty cast members have received individual Primetime Emmy Award nominations in the show's history. These nominations were mostly in the category of Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program before that award was discontinued; since then, nominations have been in the Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress categories for comedy series. Of the 36 total nominations for these 20 performers, five have won: Chevy Chase
Chevy Chase
(1976), Gilda Radner
Gilda Radner
(1978), Dana Carvey (1993), Kate McKinnon (2016–2017), and Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin
(2017).[1] Electoral effect[edit] SNL has also had an effect on American elections – most commonly presidential elections. Voters have reported that political sketches that were shown on the program influenced them in the voting booth. The so-called SNL Effect was observed during the 2008 presidential campaign, according to Mike Dabadie. Two-thirds of voters who responded to a poll said they had seen a broadcast of politically charged content on SNL, with ten percent saying that it had made a difference in their decision. Barack Obama
Barack Obama
was the beneficiary of the political content, with 59 percent saying they did in fact cast a vote for the Democratic then-nominee.[170] Chevy Chase's bumbling impression of then-president Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
during the 1976 presidential election was cited as an influence on the election, and a quote commonly attributed to 2008 vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin
stating "I can see Russia from my house" was actually spoken by SNL cast member Tina Fey
Tina Fey
while portraying Palin.[171] Several politicians have appeared on SNL, including President Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
(in 1976, during the show's first season), then-Senator Barack Obama
Barack Obama
(2007), Senator John McCain
John McCain
(2002 and 2008), Senator Hillary Clinton (2008 and 2015), and Governor Sarah Palin (2008), who appeared alongside Fey's Palin impression, resulting in the show's largest audience in 14 years with 14 million viewers.[172][173] Senator Obama's appearance occurred in part because Hillary Clinton abandoned her scheduled appearance.[173] The political content was abandoned briefly following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack in New York, with Poehler saying that the writers did not want to produce politicized material; highly political content would be absent for the next four years.[173] Controversies[edit] Main article: List of Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live

Sinéad O'Connor
Sinéad O'Connor
tears a picture of Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
apart during a live SNL performance

Due to the show's live factor, a number of technical problems, performer mishaps, intentional acts of sabotage by performers, protests, and cuts to dead air have occurred throughout the show's run. One incident that garnered widespread media coverage was the October 3, 1992, appearance by singer Sinéad O'Connor, in which she ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
during her performance.[174][175] On April 13, 1996, the alternative metal band Rage Against the Machine
Rage Against the Machine
made a statement about the host, billionaire Steve Forbes, by hanging two upside-down American flags from their amplifiers. On October 23, 2004, Ashlee Simpson
Ashlee Simpson
appeared as a musical guest, and there was a lip synching mishap. Her first performance, "Pieces of Me", was performed without incident, but when she began her second song, "Autobiography", the vocals for "Pieces of Me" were heard again through the speakers, even before she had raised the microphone to her mouth. Simpson began to do an impromptu jig, and then left the stage.[176] In other media[edit] Home media[edit] Main article: List of Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
home video releases Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Lions Gate Entertainment
Lions Gate Entertainment
hold video rights to the series. Universal has issued complete season DVD sets of the first few seasons, while Lionsgate's share of the rights are a result of prior contracts with NBC
struck before the NBC Universal merger. A majority of Lionsgate's SNL DVDs are "Best Of..." compilations. Books[edit] Saturday Night Live, the first authorized book about the series, was published by Avon Books in 1977 and edited by Anne Beatts
Anne Beatts
and John Head, with photography by Edie Baskin;[177] all three worked for SNL at the time the book was published. The oversized illustrated paperback included the scripts for several sketches by the 1975–1980 cast.[178] In 1986, Doug Hill and Jeff Weingrad authored Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live, a behind-the-scenes look at the first ten seasons.[179] Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years, by Michael Cader, was released in 1994, and presented information about the cast, characters, and other memorable moments seen on the show from 1975 to 1994.[180][181] Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, as Told By Its Stars, Writers and Guests was released in 2002.[182] The book, written by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller, consists of interviews from people who have worked on the show. The interviews reveal personal experiences from what happened backstage and the difficulty of getting the show on air each week.[183] In 2004, former cast member Jay Mohr
Jay Mohr
released his memoir Gasping for Airtime: Two Years in the Trenches of Saturday Night Live[184] about his struggles during his two seasons on the show between 1993 and 1995, dealing with getting sketches on air and the intense work schedule. Former cast member Bobby Moynihan described the book as "a handbook on what NOT to do at SNL."[185] Films[edit] Main article: List of Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
feature films SNL has made several efforts to develop some of the more popular sketches into feature-length films, with varying degrees of commercial and critical success. The first foray into film came with the successful Aykroyd and Belushi vehicle, The Blues Brothers
The Blues Brothers
(1980), which earned over $115 million on a $27 million budget.[186] In 1990, Michaels oversaw the writing of a sketch anthology feature film titled The Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
Movie with many of the show's then-current writing staff, including Al Franken, Tom Davis, Greg Daniels, Jim Downey, Conan O'Brien, Robert Smigel, and George Meyer, contributing. The screenplay only got as far as a Revised First Draft dated July 26, 1990 before being abandoned.[187] The success of Wayne's World (1992) encouraged Michaels to produce more film spin-offs, based on several popular sketch characters. Michaels revived 1970s characters for Coneheads (1993), followed by It's Pat
It's Pat
(1994); Stuart Saves His Family
Stuart Saves His Family
(1995); A Night at the Roxbury (1998); Superstar (1999) and The Ladies Man (2000). Some did moderately well, though others did not—notably, It's Pat, which did so badly at the box office that the studio that made the film, Touchstone Pictures
Touchstone Pictures
(owned by The Walt Disney Company, which also owns NBC's rival ABC), pulled it only one week after releasing it,[188] and Stuart Saves His Family, which lost $14 million. Many of these films were produced by Paramount Pictures. The films based on The Blues Brothers were produced by Universal Studios, which merged with NBC
in 2004 to form NBC
Universal (Universal also has a joint venture with Paramount for international distribution of the two studios' films).

Film Release date (United States) Budget (estimated) Box office revenue

United States Elsewhere Worldwide

The Blues Brothers 19800620 !June 20, 1980 $27 million $57,229,890 $58,000,000 115229890 !$115,229,890

Wayne's World 19920214 !February 14, 1992 $20 million $121,697,323 $61,400,000 183097323 !$183,097,323

Coneheads 19930723 !July 23, 1993 $33 million $21,274,717 N/A 021274717 !$21,274,717

Wayne's World 2 19931210 !December 10, 1993 $40 million $48,197,805 N/A 048197805 !$48,197,805

It's Pat 19940826 !August 26, 1994 $8 million[189] $60,822 N/A 000060822 !$60,822

Stuart Saves His Family 19950414 !April 14, 1995 $15 million $912,082

000912082 !$912,082

Blues Brothers 2000 19980206 !February 6, 1998 $28 million $14,051,384 N/A 014051384 !$14,051,384

A Night at the Roxbury 19981002 !October 2, 1998 $17 million $30,331,165 N/A 030331165 !$30,331,165

Superstar 19991008 !October 8, 1999 $14 million $30,636,478 N/A 030636478 !$30,636,478

The Ladies Man 20001013 !October 13, 2000 $24 million $13,616,610 $126,602 013616610 !$13,743,212

MacGruber 20100521 !May 21, 2010 $10 million $8,525,600 $797,295 009259314 !$9,259,314

The character Bob Roberts
Bob Roberts
from the Tim Robbins
Tim Robbins
film of the same name (1992), first appeared on SNL in a short film about the conservative folk singer. In addition, the 1999 comedy film Office Space
Office Space
originated from a series of animated short films by Mike Judge
Mike Judge
that aired on SNL in 1993.[190] The fictitious American folk music trio The Folksmen first appeared on SNL, performing the song "Old Joe's Place" before later appearing in the film A Mighty Wind
A Mighty Wind
(2002). The three members of the Folksmen were the same three comedians: Harry Shearer, Michael McKean, and Christopher Guest, who also appeared on the same episode as the rock group Spinal Tap. At the time of the appearance (the 1984–85 season), Shearer and Guest were cast members. Mr. Bill's Real Life Adventures
Mr. Bill's Real Life Adventures
is based off the Mr. Bill
Mr. Bill
sketches from early seasons of SNL.[191][192] Music[edit] In 2005, the comedy troupe The Lonely Island, consisting of SNL members Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone, gained national exposure after joining the show and debuting their comedic music video "Lazy Sunday", written with fellow cast member Chris Parnell. The song became a surprise hit,[193] and convinced Michaels to encourage the troupe to develop more comedy songs. Further successes with songs including "Like a Boss, "Jizz in My Pants", "I'm on a Boat", "We Like Sportz", "Boombox", and "Dick in a Box"—which won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics in 2007[194]—saw The Lonely Island
The Lonely Island
go on to release two albums, Incredibad
(2009)[195] and Turtleneck & Chain (2011), containing SNL-developed songs and original works. The albums were released by Universal Republic Records
Universal Republic Records
who were provided with a license to the SNL songs by NBC
and Broadway Video. A cast album was released in 1976 on the Arista label including the song "Chevy's Girls" and comedy bits from the show (Weekend Update, "Emily Litella", "Gun Control"); it was later re-issued on CD and MP3 download. Other[edit] Several programs have documented the behind-the-scenes events of the show. A 60 Minutes
60 Minutes
report taped in October 2004 depicted the intense writing frenzy that goes on during the week leading up to a show, with crowded meetings and long hours. The report particularly noted the involvement of the guest host(s) in developing and selecting the sketches in which they will appear. Similarly, there has been an A&E episode of Biography which covered the production process, as well as an episode of TV Tales in 2002 on E!. In 2010, Saturday Night, a 94-minute documentary by actor James Franco
James Franco
in his directorial debut, was released; it follows the production process of the December 6, 2008, episode hosted by John Malkovich, from the concept stage to the episode actually airing live. Although it originated as a five-minute short film for Franco's New York University
New York University
film class, Michaels granted Franco access to the process, allowing the project to be expanded.[120] On February 15, 2015, NBC
aired a ​3 1⁄2-hour special on Saturday Night Live's 40th anniversary. The program included a mix of clips, new performances of classic characters from previous cast members and special guest appearances from previous hosts.[196] In September 2011, ice cream company Ben & Jerry's released a limited-edition ice cream called "Schweddy Balls", inspired by a 1998 sketch of the same name starring Alec Baldwin, Ana Gasteyer
Ana Gasteyer
and Molly Shannon.[197][198] According to the company, the ice cream became their fastest-selling limited-edition flavor.[199][not in citation given] The ice cream was also subject to criticism and boycotts by One Million Moms, a project of the American Family Association, over the "vulgar" name.[197][200] Some retail chains chose not to sell the flavor, but declined to say if the decision was at their own discretion or based on the One Million Moms
One Million Moms
boycotts.[200][201] In June 2014, two new flavors inspired by SNL sketches were introduced—Lazy Sunday, based on a sketch of the same name featuring Andy Samberg
Andy Samberg
and Chris Parnell, and Gilly's Catastrophic Crunch based on the recurring Gilly sketches featuring Kristen Wiig.[202] Two Wild and Crazy Pies, based on the catchphrase of the recurring Festrunk Brothers, was introduced in September 2014,[203] followed by Wayne'Swirled inspired by the eponymous Wayne's World in February 2015.[204] References[edit] Notes[edit]

^ a b c Beachum, Chris (September 17, 2017). "'Saturday Night Live' wins 4 more Emmys Sunday; extends mind-blowing Emmy series record for wins to 64". Gold Derby. Retrieved September 17, 2017.  ^ a b "Writers Guild Awards". Writers Guild of America, West. Archived from the original on May 3, 2012. Retrieved May 8, 2016.  ^ a b "George Foster Peabody award winners" (PDF). National Association of Broadcasters. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 26, 2011. Retrieved November 23, 2009.  ^ "SNL's Beginnings from NBC".  ^ a b Wilson, Stacey (April 22, 2011). "A Rare Glimpse Inside the Empire of 'SNL's' Lorne Michaels". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on November 13, 2012. Retrieved November 13, 2012.  ^ a b Hammill 2004, p. 2008. ^ a b Shales, Tom (November 10, 2002). "'Live From New York'". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 13, 2012. Retrieved November 13, 2012.  ^ "NBC.com > Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
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Beatts, Anne; Head, John, eds. (1977). Saturday Night Live. New York: Avon Books. ISBN 978-0-380-01801-7.  Cader, Michael (1994). Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 978-0-395-70895-8.  Gates, Racquel (2013). "Bringing the Black: Eddie Murphy
Eddie Murphy
and African American Humor on Saturday Night Live". In Marx, Nick; Sienkiewicz, Matt; Becker, Ron. Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
and American TV. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. pp. 151–172. ISBN 978-0-253-01090-2. JSTOR j.ctt16gznsz.12.  Hammill, Geoffrey (2004). "Saturday Night Live". In Newcomb, Horace. Encyclopedia of Television. 1 (2nd ed.). New York: Fitzroy Dearborn (published 2014). pp. 2008–2014. ISBN 978-1-135-19479-6.  Hill, Doug; Weingrad, Jeff (1986). Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live. New York: Beech Tree Books. ISBN 978-0-688-05099-3.  Marx, Nick; Sienkiewicz, Matt; Becker, Ron (2013). "Introduction: Situating Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
in American Television Culture". In Marx, Nick; Sienkiewicz, Matt; Becker, Ron. Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
and American TV. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. pp. 1–21. ISBN 978-0-253-01090-2. JSTOR j.ctt16gznsz.4.  Mohr, Jay (2004). Gasping for Airtime: Two Years in the Trenches of Saturday Night Live. New York: Hyperion Books. ISBN 978-1-4013-0006-7.  Shales, Tom; Miller, James Andrew (2002). Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live. New York: Hachette Book Group. ISBN 978-0-316-73565-0.  Veroni, Clive (2014). Spin: How Politics Has the Power to Turn Marketing on Its Head. Toronto: House of Anansi Press. ISBN 978-1-77089-318-4. 

Further reading[edit]

Davis, Tom (2009). Thirty-Nine Years of Short-Term Memory Loss: The Early Days of SNL from Someone Who Was There. New York: Grove Press. ISBN 978-0-8021-1880-6.  Streeter, Michael (2005). Nothing Lost Forever: The Films of Tom Schiller. New York: BearManor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-032-5.  Whalley, Jim (2010). Saturday Night Live, Hollywood Comedy, and American Culture: From Chevy Chase
Chevy Chase
to Tina Fey. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. doi:10.1057/9780230107946. ISBN 978-0-230-10794-6. 

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Fox News

The Greg Gutfeld Show


Real Time with Bill Maher Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

National Geographic



Conan Full Frontal with Samantha Bee


The Chris Gethard Show



I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman

See also Morning Daytime talk Evening news Late night Overnight news Sunday talk Newsmagazines Tabloid

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Works by Lorne Michaels

Film producer

Gilda Live Nothing Lasts Forever ¡Three Amigos! Wayne's World Coneheads Wayne's World 2 Lassie Tommy Boy Stuart Saves His Family Black Sheep Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy A Night at the Roxbury Superstar The Ladies Man Enigma Mean Girls Hot Rod Baby Mama MacGruber The Guilt Trip Masterminds

Film writer

Gilda Live ¡Three Amigos!

Television writer

The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Barris and Company The Hart and Lorne Terrific Hour Lily Saturday Night Live The New Show Late Night with Conan O'Brien The Colin Quinn Show Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
Weekend Update Thursday

Television producer

Lily The Hart and Lorne Terrific Hour The New Show

Television creator

Saturday Night Live

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programming (current and upcoming)


American Ninja Warrior
American Ninja Warrior
(since 2011) America's Got Talent
America's Got Talent
(since 2006) A.P. Bio
A.P. Bio
(since 2018) Better Late Than Never (since 2016) The Blacklist (since 2013) Blindspot (since 2015) The Brave (since 2017) Champions (since 2018) Chicago Fire (since 2012) Chicago Med
Chicago Med
(since 2015) Chicago P.D. (since 2014) Dateline NBC
(since 1992) Ellen's Game of Games
Ellen's Game of Games
(since 2017) First Dates (since 2017) Genius Junior (since 2018) Good Girls (since 2018) The Good Place
The Good Place
(since 2016) Great News
Great News
(since 2017) Hollywood Game Night
Hollywood Game Night
(since 2013) Law & Order: Special
Victims Unit (since 1999) Law & Order True Crime (since 2017) Little Big Shots
Little Big Shots
(since 2016) Marlon (since 2017) Midnight, Texas
Midnight, Texas
(since 2017) Rise (since 2018) Running Wild with Bear Grylls
Running Wild with Bear Grylls
(since 2014) Shades of Blue (since 2016) Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge (since 2016) Superstore (since 2015) Taken (since 2017) This Is Us (since 2016) Timeless (since 2016) Trial & Error (since 2017) The Voice (since 2011) The Wall (since 2016) Weekend Update Summer Edition (since 2017) Will & Grace (1998–2006; since 2017) World of Dance (since 2017)


Days of Our Lives
Days of Our Lives
(since 1965)

Late night

1st Look (since 2008) Last Call with Carson Daly
Last Call with Carson Daly
(since 2002) Late Night with Seth Meyers
Seth Meyers
(since 2014) Open House (since 2008) Open House NYC (since 2012) Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
(since 1975) The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Jimmy Fallon
(since 2014)


Dateline NBC
(since 1992) Early Today
Early Today
(since 1999) Meet the Press
Meet the Press
(since 1947) Megyn Kelly Today
Megyn Kelly Today
(since 2017) NBC
Nightly News (since 1970) Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly
Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly
(since 2017) Today (since 1952)



Football Night in America NBC
Sunday Night Football

NHL on NBC Notre Dame Football on NBC Olympics on NBC Premier Boxing Champions Tennis on NBC Thoroughbred Racing on NBC

Saturday morning (The More You Know)

The Voyager with Josh Garcia Wilderness Vet Journey with Dylan Dreyer Naturally, Danny Seo Give The Champion Within with Lauren Thompson


Making It (2018) Reverie (2018) The Awesome Show (TBA) The Titan Games (TBA)

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Global Television Network
Global Television Network

List of programs broadcast by Global


Big Brother Canada
(2015–) Driving Television (2003–) Entertainment Tonight Canada
(2005–) Mary Kills People (2017–) Private Eyes (2016–) Ransom (2017–)


100 Huntley Street

Late night/Specials

Canada's Walk of Fame


Global National
Global National
(2001–) Global News
Global News
Morning (2001–) The Morning Show (2011–) The West Block
The West Block

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Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Series


The Alan Young Show
The Alan Young Show
(1951) Your Show of Shows
Your Show of Shows
(1952) Your Show of Shows
Your Show of Shows
(1953) Omnibus (1954) Disneyland (1955) The Ed Sullivan Show
The Ed Sullivan Show
/ Your Hit Parade
Your Hit Parade
(1956) Caesar's Hour
Caesar's Hour
(1957) The Dinah Shore Chevy Show
The Dinah Shore Chevy Show
(1958) The Dinah Shore Chevy Show
The Dinah Shore Chevy Show
(1959) The Fabulous Fifties (1960) Astaire Time (1961) The Garry Moore Show
The Garry Moore Show
(1962) The Andy Williams Show
The Andy Williams Show
(1963) The Danny Kaye Show
The Danny Kaye Show
(1964) The Andy Williams Show
The Andy Williams Show
(1966) The Andy Williams Show
The Andy Williams Show
(1967) Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1968) Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1969) The David Frost
David Frost
Show (1970) The Flip Wilson Show
The Flip Wilson Show
/ The David Frost
David Frost
Show (1971) The Carol Burnett Show
The Carol Burnett Show
/ The Dick Cavett Show
The Dick Cavett Show
(1972) The Julie Andrews Hour (1973) The Carol Burnett Show
The Carol Burnett Show
(1974) The Carol Burnett Show
The Carol Burnett Show


Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
(1976) Van Dyke and Company (1977) The Muppet Show
The Muppet Show
(1978) Steve & Eydie Celebrate Irving Berlin (1979) Baryshnikov on Broadway (1980) Lily: Sold Out (1981) Night of 100 Stars (1982) Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever (1983) A Celebration of the Performing Arts (1984) Motown Returns to the Apollo (1985) A Celebration of the Performing Arts (1986) 41st Tony Awards
41st Tony Awards
(1987) Irving Berlin's 100th Birthday Celebration (1988) The Tracey Ullman Show
The Tracey Ullman Show
(1989) In Living Color
In Living Color
(1990) 63rd Academy Awards
63rd Academy Awards
(1991) The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
(1992) Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
(1993) Late Show with David Letterman
Late Show with David Letterman
(1994) The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
(1995) Dennis Miller
Dennis Miller
Live (1996) Tracey Takes On...
Tracey Takes On...
(1997) Late Show with David Letterman
Late Show with David Letterman
(1998) Late Show with David Letterman
Late Show with David Letterman
(1999) Late Show with David Letterman
Late Show with David Letterman


Late Show with David Letterman
Late Show with David Letterman
(2001) Late Show with David Letterman
Late Show with David Letterman
(2002) The Daily Show
The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart (2003) The Daily Show
The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart (2004) The Daily Show
The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart (2005) The Daily Show
The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart (2006) The Daily Show
The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart (2007) The Daily Show
The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart (2008) The Daily Show
The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart (2009) The Daily Show
The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart (2010) The Daily Show
The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart (2011) The Daily Show
The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart (2012) The Colbert Report
The Colbert Report
(2013) The Colbert Report
The Colbert Report

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Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

Inside Amy Schumer
Inside Amy Schumer
(2015) Key & Peele (2016) Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live

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TCA Heritage Award

The Simpsons
The Simpsons
(2002) Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
(2003) 60 Minutes
60 Minutes
(2004) Nightline
(2005) The West Wing
The West Wing
(2006) The Sopranos
The Sopranos
(2007) The Wire
The Wire
(2008) ER (2009) M*A*S*H (2010) The Dick Van Dyke Show
The Dick Van Dyke Show
(2011) Cheers
(2012) All in the Family
All in the Family
(2013) Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
(2014) Late Show / Late Night with David Letterman
Late Night with David Letterman
(2015) The Mary Tyler Moore Show
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
(2016) Seinfeld

Comedy portal Television in the Un