Legendary Tonight Show host, Johnny Carson, asked NBC in 1974 to stop airing reruns of his program on the weekend because he wanted to save them for some extra time off during the week. The network then turned to Lorne Michaels and asked him to develop something new for the suddenly empty Saturday night slot.
He came up with ‘Saturday Night Live, and the rest is history. Michaels pitched the show to cast member Laraine Newman as ‘Monty Python’ meets ’60 Minutes’.
Successful Movies Have Come Out of It
Some of the sketches on SNL have been so successful, that hit movies have been based on them. The most famous examples include 'The Blues Brothers', 'Night at the Roxbury', and 'The Coneheads'. Those films entertained audiences and made a lot of money during the 80s and 90s.
The film that broke the box office, however, was the stoner comedy 'Wayne’s World', invented by SNL comedians Mike Myers and Dana Carvey. The biggest SNL movie flop was 'It’s Pat', which received a rare zero on Rotten Tomatoes.
It Wasn’t Always Called Saturday Night Live
When the show premiered in 1975 on NBC, it was simply called 'Saturday Night'. This was because rival network ABC was airing a show at the time called, “Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell.” When that show went off the air, NBC swiftly paid for the rights, and in 1977, the name of the show was officially changed.
If you’ve ever wondered, Chevy Chase had the honor of being the first to say the famous line, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”
Some Celebs Weren’t Cast and Went to Bigger and Better Things
Some actors, who are big stars today, did not get cast on Saturday Night Live, including Jim Carrey, Steve Carrel, John Goodman, and Kevin Hart. We can all agree that these comic actors went on to have amazing careers without SNL. The most memorable story, however, was when Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow both auditioned for the show and were not cast.
Luckily, not long after, the two were cast in the biggest sitcom in the history of the world, 'Friends'. They went on to both fortune and fame from the show, and since, Kudrow has famously said, “Thank God I didn’t get Saturday Night Live!”
Steven Seagal Was Banned from the Show for Being the Worst
The creator of 'SNL', Lorne Michaels, has famously stated that Steven Seagal was the “worst host ever.” He was generally rude and unprofessional and was disliked by the cast, crew, writers, and even the audience.
He has been added to the 'SNL' blacklist and will not appear on the show ever again. Other blacklisted hosts include Martin Lawrence and Adrien Brody.