On October 11, 1975, “Saturday Night Live” was first beamed into living rooms.
It wasn’t called “Saturday Night Live” then. It was “NBC’s Saturday Night,” because there was another “Saturday Night Live,” hosted by Howard Cosell, over on ABC. And its Not Ready for Prime Time Players — seven youthful comic veterans of theatrical and improvisational troupes — were known only to those who may have seen performances of Second City (both its Chicago and Toronto versions) or “National Lampoon’s Lemmings.”
Almost 40 years later, the show is an institution: its players celebrated, its catchphrases ubiquitous, its very name synonymous with the comedy big leagues.
The show is celebrating with a 40th-anniversary special on Sunday, February 15 — and here, we celebrate “SNL’s” landmark contributions to pop culture. There are at least 40 of them, after all.
From the beginning, “SNL” was both cutting-edge comedy and a throwback to…
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