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Saturday Night Live 

TV-14 | | Comedy, Music | TV Series (1975– )
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A famous guest host stars in parodies and sketches created by the cast of this witty show.


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2018   2017   2016   2015   2014   2013   … See all »
Won 58 Primetime Emmys. Another 71 wins & 348 nominations. See more awards »


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Series cast summary:
 Himself - Announcer / ... 727 episodes, 1975-2014
Lenny Pickett ...
 Himself - Bandleader / ... 417 episodes, 1985-2018


A late-night comedy show featuring several short skits, parodies of television commercials, a live guest band, and a pop-cultural guest host each week. Many of the SNL players have spun off successful independent comedy and/or movie careers from here. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

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It's "NBC's Saturday Night"! (used until 19 March 1977) See more »


Comedy | Music


TV-14 | See all certifications »


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Release Date:

11 October 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

NBC's Saturday Night  »

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Did You Know?


Lorne Michaels left the show after the fifth season, as did the remaining cast members. For the 1980-1981 season, the show was revamped, with a new cast and new Producer Jean Doumanian. The sixth season was so disastrous, that NBC President Fred Silverman called in Programming Executive Dick Ebersol (one of the creative masterminds of the original show) to save the show. Ebersol fired Doumanian and the rest of the cast, except Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo. He hired a new cast, and the show eventually regained its ratings, mainly due to Murphy's popularity. When Michaels returned in the 1985-1986 season, he wanted his own cast, so the remaining members were fired. This season was low-rated, putting the show on the brink of cancellation. But Michaels convinced Executive Brandon Tartikoff that he could revive the show with a better cast. The show regained popularity, and Michaels has stayed with the show ever since. He later claimed that leaving the show was the biggest mistake of his life. See more »


...almost everything. Live television is largely exempt from the usual rules of goofs. See more »


["Weekend Update" closing line]
Dennis Miller: That's the news, and I am OUTTA HERE.
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(closing theme song)
Composed by Howard Shore
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

40+ years of teleprompted and safe sketch comedy, far more often than not
14 June 2016 | by See all my reviews

What promised well from the early seasons has become, more seasons than not, a safe and homogenized sketch comedy. It's basically the McDonalds of TV sketch that has pushed worthier competitors out of the way for years.

Performers and writers are basically encouraged to ruin sketches with one-note repetition/dragged-out premises, breaking character (essentially on purpose) and smug self-satisfaction... and all of this in the least interesting way possible. What could have been an American version of the avante-garde sketch-breaking started with Monty Python has instead evolved into the pettiest of petty irony "lol I'm in a sketch" onanism; professional 'high school pep assembly' sketches.

The teleprompter-life-support terrible acting that has plagued the show since the 80's or so deserves its own separate paragraph.

The next part may be tough to talk about in a year as politically polarizing and maddening as 2016 is, but I'm nothing if not willfully oblivious: The sketch and satire has picked a direction instead of bravely throwing punches at all valid targets. However, due to the nature of most kinds of satire, from the Ancient Greeks onward, this political directionality itself is forgivable, even if the occasional punch in the other direction would be more intellectually honest. But far, far worse is that instead of an open-minded, sharp, liberal satire, it has chosen, especially in the last 15 years or so, a sophomore-level, party-line Democrat 'satire'. So instead of leading in their own particular apologize-to-no-one way that satirists should do (and as South Park does and The Daily Show and Colbert Report almost always did- they are not always right, but they are always satirists), they follow the party line.

Instead of the 2/10 that I'm giving for the occasional good sketch, would you find it reasonable to give a 1/10 to a show that has for 40 years: had essentially its pick of the litter on writers and performers; had a decent budget; has cornered the market (merely by being first to market) on the national attention that no other show of its kind has come close to rivaling; and for all that has given us a batting average of good/rewatchable sketches somewhere around the 5% range?

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