On October 11, 1975, Saturday Night Live (SNL), a comedy sketch show featuring John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner, Garrett Morris and Jane Curtan premiered on NBC.
This revolutionary comedy program featured a regular cast of funny-people, as well as a guest host and musical act for each week. The hour-and-a-half program went on to become the highest-rated, and longest-running, late night show on television.
The show was created by comedy writer Lorne Michaels in 1975, and has created countless characters and catch phrases – many of which went on to become their own feature-length films. (“Wayne’s World,” “It’s Pat,” and “Blues Brothers.”) The show helped to launch the successful careers of Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, David Spade, Jon Lovitz, Jimmy Fallon and Tiny Fey.
This first episode of SNL was hosted by George Carlin. Hosting SNL has become an invitation of honor, as many celebrities have hosted multiple times – while others have yet to be invited. (Miley Cyrus… WHY!?!)
Highest Host Count Rankings:
Steve Martin – 14
Alec Baldwin – 13
John Goodman – 12
Throughout the years, the SNL cast has changed multiple times over. Its influence over music, pop culture and comedy is undeniable. SNL remains one of the most-watched regular-airing programs to date… even when they get a bit politically incorrect.
SNL Cast Timeline Infographic: (Click to zoom and scroll!)