OCTOBER 11, 1975 – “Saturday Night Live” made its debut on NBC-TV

OCTOBER 11, 1975 – “Saturday Night Live” (at the time called “Saturday Night”) made its debut on NBC-TV. The original concept was for a comedy-variety show featuring young comedians, live musical performances, short films by Albert Brooks, and segments by Jim Henson featuring atypically adult and abstract characters from the Muppets world. Rather than have one permanent host, Michaels elected to have a different guest host each week.Music was a big part of the show, and the first episode, hosted by comic George Carlin, featured two musical guests performing two songs each: Janis Ian doing “At Seventeen” and “In the Winter,” and Billy Preston playing “Nothing from Nothing” and “Fancy Lady.”The second episode, hosted by Paul Simon on October 18th, was almost entirely a musical variety show with various acts. The show’s sketch-comics, “The Not Ready For Prime Time Players,” did not appear in this episode at all, other than as the bees with Simon telling them they were canceled and Chase in the opening and “Weekend Update”. Over the course of Season 1, sketch comedy would begin to dominate the show and SNL would more closely resemble its current format.The show immediately developed a cult following, 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.


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