Hard to believe, isn't it?
Saturday Night Live is in its 40th season this year, and while the cast isn't exactly brimming with household names yet, save maybe for former Nickelodeon kid Kenan Thompson (ex-All That), there have been plenty of classic moments.
The series was originally known as NBC's Saturday Night when it launched in 1975 with the "Not Ready For Prime-Time Players" (Garrett Morris, Jane Curtin, Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Laraine Newman, John Belushi, & Gilda Radner---Bill Murray would join a short time after the launch), all of whom would go on to some greater successes, be it in primetime (Curtin, Chase, Morris), or movies (Chase, Belushi, Aykroyd, Murray, and to a lesser extent, Newman & Radner). Somewhere along the way, the title was amended to its present form. I should note that in my market, the series didn't start airing right away. The then-NBC affiliate, now a CBS affiliate, eventually added the show after word of mouth led to some viewer requests.
The alumni list reads like a Hall of Fame all by itself. The 80's brought the likes of Eddie Murphy and already established veterans like Billy Crystal (ex-Soap), who springboarded into a lucrative movie career, Martin Short (ex-The Associates, SCTV), Michael McKean (ex-LaVerne & Shirley), and McKean's Spinal Tap partners, Harry Shearer (now on The Simpsons) and Christopher Guest. Toward the end of the decade, we saw the development of another group that included Dana Carvey, Mike Myers, and Phil Hartman.
From time to time, we'll serve up some choice skits from the show's 40 year history, so you might see some great guest hosts, such as Steve Martin and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, too. Here, for example, is Phil Hartman, as Frank Sinatra, leading a satire of PBS' McLaughlin Group. The Sinatra Group sees Ol' Blue Eyes surrounded by old pals Steve Lawrence (Myers) and Eydie Gorme (Victoria Jackson), plus then current music stars Sinead O'Connor (Jan Hooks), Luther Campbell (Chris Rock), and Billy Idol (Sting). I first saw this skit during VH1's I Love the 90's miniseries, and couldn't stop laughing.
So when will NBC schedule a 40th anniversary primetime special? Your guess is as good as mine, 'cause I haven't seen it booked yet.