Live from new York … Saturday Night Live made its tv debut top top October 11, 1975. In honor of that 45 years of comedic contributions, here are 40 things you might not have known around the legendary map out show.

You are watching: How long has saturday night live been on

1. Saturday Night Live’s existence is partly because of Johnny Carson’s desire for an ext vacation days.

In 1974, Johnny Carson requested that NBC stop airing The tonight Show reruns ~ above the weekend. He want to save those reruns because that the extra holidays days he was planning come take throughout weekdays. NBC want to fill those weekend slots, for this reason they hired Lorne Michaels to develop a show.

2. Gilda Radner was Saturday Night Live’s very first official actors member.


*
Gilda Radner as Saturday Night Live"s Roseanne Roseannadanna.NBC, publicly Domain // Wikimedia Commons

Radner to be the an initial cast member Lorne Michaels hired.

3. Saturday Night Live premiered as NBC’s Saturday Night.

The display was originally referred to as NBC’s Saturday Night because there was already a present titled Saturday Night Live v Howard Cosell top top ABC. Once Cosell"s present ended in 1976, Michaels readjusted his show’s location to Saturday Night Live.

4. Chevy follow was initially hired together a Saturday Night Live writer.


*
Mark Mainz/Getty Images

Though he came to be one that the show’s breakout stars, Chevy follow was initially hired as a writer—a task that came v a one-year contract. Which is just how Chase got roughly having to sign a show contract, and additionally why he had the ability to leave the display just a few episodes right into the second season.

5. Chevy follow was the first person to supply Saturday Night Live’s above intro line.

In the show’s very first episode, Chase ended up being the very first cast member to deliver the show’s now-signature “Live from brand-new York, it’s Saturday Night!” line.

6. Richard Belzer warmed up the Saturday Night Live audience throughout season one.

Though today’s audience to know him as the Law & Order franchise"s series-jumping Sergeant man Munch, Richard Belzer gained his start as a stand-up comedian. Belzer to be SNL"s warm-up comic in its first season, which caused a pair of appearances ~ above the show, consisting of a insignificant at the "Weekend Update" workdesk after Chevy Chase suffered a groin injury. Belzer has long contended that Lorne Michaels promised that a place in the cast but later reneged. “Lorne betrayed me and lied come me—which he denies—but I offer you mine word the said, ‘I"ll occupational you right into the show,’” Belzer called People magazine in 1993.

7. Announcer Don Pardo do a mistake throughout Saturday Night Live’s premiere episode.

The show’s longtime announcer was supposed to speak “Not all set for Prime-Time Players.” Instead, he blended up a couple of words, calling them the “Not for all set Prime-Time Players.” Fortunately, it didn"t stick.

8. Saturday Night Live cast members were originally paid $750 every week.


*
Raquel Welch and Gilda Radner during a 1976 Saturday Night Live rehearsal.NBC, windy Domain // Wikimedia Commons

In the show’s very first season, cast members deserve $750 per week. That figure rose to $2000 in season two and $4000 by season four.

9. Will certainly Ferrell was Saturday Night Live’s highest possible paid cast member.

In 2001, Ferrell came to be the show’s highest paid cast member ever when he signed a contract for $350,000 every season.

10. Jim Carrey auditioned because that Saturday Night Live twice—and to be rejected twice.


*
Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Hollywood’s initial $20 Million male was rejected double by SNL. The an initial time was in 1980, when—citing burnout—Lorne Michaels asked to take it a year off. He assumed that the show would go on hiatus with him, however the network bumped combine producer Jean Doumanian right into Michaels’s position to save the present going. Her very first order that business? Shake up the actors a bit. Carrey auditioned, yet Doumanian rental Charlie Rocket instead. Therefore he tried again, yet again got a “no.” Michaels isn’t taking the blame because that this oversight. In the book Live from new York, he states that “Jim Carrey never ever auditioned because that me personally.” Carrey did at some point make his way onto the studio’s set; that guest organized in 1996 and also again in 2011 and 2014 (and made a rapid cameo in 2003).

11. Adam McKay auditioned to be part of Saturday Night Live’s cast.

In 1995, Oscar-winning writer-director Adam McKay (Anchorman, Step Brothers) unsuccessfully auditioned to end up being an SNL cast member. Being turned down for the gig was more than likely the ideal thing that could have occurred to him: McKay was available a composing gig instead, and also eventually operated his means up to head writer for the latter half of his six years v the show.

12. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Last activity Hero eliminated a Saturday Night Live movie certification Hans and also Franz.


*
Columbia Pictures

The idea for a Hans and also Franz movie began—and ended—with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who suggested the idea to Kevin Nealon and also Dana Carvey when he guest starred in a segment. In 2012, Nealon talked about the folded task with the Tampa only Times, admitting that: “Yes, we composed a musical! Hans & Franz: The Girly guy Dilemma. I created it v Conan O"Brien, Robert Smigel, and Dana Carvey. Arnold Schwarzenegger to be co-producing with us, and he to be going come star in it. We got it written, sold it to Sony. Yet I think Arnold acquired cold feet.”

In a 2010 interview v The A.V. Club, Smigel stated that the difficulty really came under to package office bomb the was Last action Hero, speak “That movie came out and also it to be a failure and I to be told by his agent the Arnold determined , ‘I will never ever be myself in a movie again! It can’t be done, this is the proof. Ns can’t pat myself in a movie, automatically failure.’”

13. Robert Smigel has written a grasp of unproduced Saturday Night Live movies.

In that exact same interview v The A.V. Club, Smigel listed that “I’m guilty that writing most likely as numerous SNL movies together anybody, however mine have actually never to be made.” He’s not kidding. Amongst those stalled attributes is Da Movie variation of Da bears sketch, a.k.a. Invoice Swerski’s Superfans, among SNL’s longest-running sketches, i beg your pardon premiered top top January 12, 1991 (with Joe Mantegna as the titular Swerski). When the opportunity occurred to revolve the sketch right into a film, Smigel and Bob Odenkirk (who had created the original sketch v Smigel) jumped at the opportunity, v Smigel leaving his project as Conan’s head writer to job-related on the script.

But a poor year for SNL on the small screen spelled trouble for anyone associated with the show. “There to be an awful write-up written in New York Magazine around the show and the network wanted to lay down the law,” recalled Smigel, which meant “no SNL movies.” however the manuscript was not a complete loss; in 2010, Smigel, Odenkirk, Mantegna, George Wendt, Mike Ditka and Richard Roeper (as narrator) staged a live analysis of the manuscript at Chicago’s just for Laughs festival.

14. Saturday Night Live’s Festrunk brothers were developed as two separate characters.

The Festrunk brothers, likewise known together “Two Wild and also Crazy Guys,” were based upon separate personalities that Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd had emerged individually. When Martin hosted SNL in the 1970s, the 2 morphed their personalities into a collection of brothers.

15. Gilbert Gottfried beat the end Paul Reubens for a clues on Saturday Night Live.

Paul Reubens, a.k.a. Pee-wee Herman, has actually a theory regarding why Gilbert Gottfried gained the SNL point out the two of them auditioned for in 1980: the believes the Gottfried was favored because that being girlfriend with among the producers. “I was so bitter and angry,” Reubens called the San Francisco Chronicle. “I thought, ‘You much better think about doing miscellaneous to take it this to the following level.” i beg your pardon is just how Pee-wee’s Playhouse concerned be. “So I obtained some money and produced this show. I went native this Saturday Night Live reject to having actually 60 civilization working for me.”

16. Eddie Murphy to be desperate to be cast on Saturday Night Live.


*
Christopher Polk/Getty Images

In an initiative to be taken into consideration for the show, Eddie Murphy called SNL talent coordinator Neil levying every day for a week explaining exactly how desperately he necessary the job. Levy made decision he’d offer Murphy a project as one extra, but brought the in to audition as well. His audition went for this reason well the he was given a contract best away.

17. It’s Pat is the least successful Saturday Night Live movie ever.

In 1994, the film It’s Pat grossed a tiny over $60,000, making the the the very least successful film based on an SNL character. The most successful was 1992’s Wayne’s World, which made over $183 million worldwide.

18. Conan O’Brien wasn’t a pan of Mike Myers’s Wayne Campbell.


*
Paramount house Video

Speaking the Wayne’s World: once Mike Myers was just starting out, the approached a few of the show’s writers, including Conan O’Brien, come ask what they thought about Wayne, the character he was developing. The team of writers informed him that he can do better, however Myers composed the sketch anyway. O’Brien recalled thinking, “This poor kid is walk to need to learn the hard way.” The map out made it to air, however in the unpopular last slot. Obviously, it came to be a hit.

19. Jeff Ross was considered as a replacement for Colin Quinn top top Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update.”

Tina Fey and also Jimmy Fallon no the just folks vying because that Colin Quinn’s spot in ~ the "Weekend Update" workdesk in 2000; comedian Jeff Ross was also in contention. But Fey had clout: three years" experience as a writer because that the show and also one season as head writer.

20. Larry David abruptly quit as a Saturday Night Live writer. Then pretended that hadn’t.


*

Larry David composed for SNL in the 1980s, however was constantly struggling to get his sketches on the air. 5 minutes before the present went live one Saturday night, David went up to then-producer penis Ebersol and said, “I’ve had actually it. I quit.” once he left, that realized exactly how much money he had just cost himself, therefore he verified up to work-related on Monday as if the outburst never ever happened. He continued working there because that the remainder of the season, and also that story was later on used top top a Seinfeld episode.

21. Kris Parnell was fired native Saturday Night Live. Twice.

Quitting for a weekend is nothing compared to kris Parnell, that was fired indigenous the present twice: when in 2001, then again in 2006. Follow to Parnell, the first time to be “devastating” and had to perform with his lack of confidence. He to be asked earlier the following season, though. The 2nd time, the show was do a $10 million spending plan cut, so he was dropped in addition to Horatio Sanz and Rachel Dratch.

22. Mindy Kaling reluctantly turned under the chance to write for Saturday Night Live.


*
Rich Fury/Getty Images

Saying “no” come SNL wasn’t really Kaling’s idea. But timing wasn’t on she side. In a 2007 interview v The A.V. Club, she revealed the she had auditioned for SNL just a couple of months earlier (a year ~ The Office’s American debut). “They didn"t market me a part, but the audition walk pretty well, and that night, they to be like, ‘Do you desire to come compose for the show?’ <The Office creator> Greg supplied to create for SNL, and he had actually known the being on SNL to be my good dream. The said, ‘Listen. If you get cast on the show, I"ll let friend break her contract and go carry out it, however if castle ask you to write, i can"t, due to the fact that you have actually a project writing here, plus you"re ~ above the show. Therefore I"m not going to let you leave the present so you deserve to go it is in in new York.’ At the time, ns missed brand-new York so badly. Ns hated L.A. For a long time, and I wanted to leaving it. I had actually these fantasies of going to SNL and falling in love v some writer top top SNL, of obtaining married and also living in new York. That was really heartbreaking to need to turn down, however then I acquired to guest-write in the spring.’”

23. Nora Dunn refused to re-superstructure the Saturday Night Live phase with Andrew Dice Clay.

When Andrew Dice Clay held the present in 1990, Nora Dunn wouldn’t appear, citing his misogynistic stand-up as the reason. Michaels cases that she got to out to the press before telling him around the decision. That was the beginning of the finish of she SNL career. She has because said, “Saturday Night Live is why I have a name, however it also has its very own baggage.”

24. A fake Peepers script made the rounds in Hollywood.

If did you do it ever discovered yourself wonder what chris Kattan has actually been up to because leaving SNL in 2003, you’re not alone. Los Angeles-based writer Justin Becker made a video game out the the answer when he created a fake manuscript in i m sorry he revolutionized Mr. Peepers, Kattan’s apple-eating, suspender-wearing monkey-man, right into the sort of mythical biology Peter Sellers play in Being There. Becker deadline the manuscript to Kattan self (as C.L. Kattan) then began dropping duplicates of it roughly California. “I travel all throughout the west shore planting these publications like a demented Johnny Appleseed,” Becker said San Francisco Weekly. “Chris Kattan’s Wikipedia web page says the 1000 publications were put in stores, but I can neither confirm or deny the number.”

25. Kris Farley idolized other SNL star man Belushi.


He once uncovered an old pair the Belushi’s trousers in the wardrobe room and stole them.

26. Lorne Michaels assumed Sinead O’Connor"s infamous Saturday Night Live photo-ripping incident was brave.

In among the show"s most notorious moments, Sinead O’Connor took the crew through surprise and ripped increase a photo of the Pope at the end of a musical performance. Despite many civilization still do a big deal about her supposedly being banned indigenous the show, Michaels actually gives her credit. Follow to him, “I think it to be the bravest thing she could do. She’d to be a nun. To she the church symbolized every little thing that was bad about growing increase in Ireland the means she grew up in Ireland, and so she to be making a solid political statement.”

27. A Saturday Night Live Movie practically happened.

Given that each illustration of Saturday Night Live is basically a feature-length series of sketches, The Saturday Night Live Movie seems a little redundant. Yet in 1990, a manuscript with that very title was written, with some of the show’s strongest writing talents—Conan O’Brien, Robert Smigel, Al Franken, and Greg Daniels among them—attached together participants. However someone must have actually wised up to the truth that the cinematic medium offered nothing various for the concept, as couple of people even knew the the script’s presence until 2010.

28. Kenan Thompson to be the first Saturday Night Live cast member that was born after the show premiered.

He was born on might 10, 1978.

29. Jennifer Aniston insurance claims she was available a point out on Saturday Night Live.


Though the story of even if it is or not Jennifer Aniston was ever really, truly offered a clues on SNL has been heavily questioned, that Aniston herself who started the rumor. While fostering Just Go v It top top Oprah in 2011, Aniston’s co-star—and SNL alum—Adam Sandler recalled, “being top top the ninth floor wherein Lorne Michaels’s office was, and also seeing Jen come in,” ago in the early 1990s. “I to be like, ‘Oh, my God. Yes Aniston. Is she around to it is in on ours show?’” but Aniston, that was obtaining ready come star ~ above Friends, says she declined because, “It to be a boys’ club. They assumed I was making a vast mistake.”

30. Aubrey Plaza was an intern for Saturday Night Live.

A year prior to she landed the component of April Ludgate top top Parks and also Recreation, Aubrey Plaza to be passed over for a spot on SNL’s roster. “I wanted to it is in on that display for as long as I could remember,” she called The Guardian in 2012. She began taking improv class in high school and continued after ~ she relocated to brand-new York. She also landed one internship through the display in 2005. She to be passed over when she ultimately auditioned three years later, yet was quickly available a part in Judd Apatow’s Funny People.

31. The Beatles (or at least half of them) virtually reunited top top Saturday Night Live as a gag.

In 1976, six years after ~ they had actually disbanded, The Beatles were available $230 million through promoter Sid Bernstein come reunite—an market they timeless declined. Soon thereafter, Michaels do a live plea to the Fab four to reunite as musical guests on SNL, stating that NBC had actually authorized the to sell them “a certified check for $3000.” In David Sheff’s book All We are Saying, Lennon common that they actually thought about it: “Paul and I were with each other watching the show,” Lennon said. “He was visiting us at our location in the Dakota. We were watching that and nearly went down to the studio, simply as a gag. We almost got right into a cab, however we to be actually too tired.”

32. Saturday Night Live’s cast and also crew have actually a name for world who are good sports about being parodied.


Tina Fey defined what SNL writers dubbed “Sneaker Uppers” in her book Bossypants. The term applies to “when a famous person ‘sneaks up’ behind the actor that plays them and also pretends to it is in mad about it” or “any time someone gift parodied volunteer to come on the show and also prove castle ‘in ~ above the joke.’”

33. Catherine O’Hara signed on as a Saturday Night Live actors member, yet left prior to the season also began.

Dick Ebersol had actually a setup to poach as many SCTV cast members as he could, and also was effective in persuading Catherine O’Hara to do the jump to SNL. She signed up to be a component of the 1981 season, however didn’t critical long. “Maybe two ,” she called the Toronto Sun of her short-lived SNL tenure.

While many reports state that she was scared off by an event in i m sorry writer Michael O’Donoghue yelled at the show’s various other writers, O’Hara simply says the she make a mistake in leaving SCTV in the very first place. “I hung out with some pretty people, tried come come up with some concepts ... But I never really felt involved,” she said of she decision come depart prior to the season even began. “I had actually to leave. I stated I’d do a huge mistake. I"m not proud the that. Ns felt stupid doing it. But I had to come home. Ns couldn"t no be through them.”

34. During the 2007 writers Guild of America Strike, Saturday Night Live didn’t air—but the cast did put on a show.

The cast gathered in ~ the Upright citizens Brigade Theater and put ~ above the display anyway, recruiting Michael Cera come host. Amy Poehler explained, “We’re prefer cranky trained monkeys if we don’t obtain to perform.”

35. Darrell Hammond holds critical Saturday Night Live record.

During his 14-year tenure, Darrell Hammond accomplished the document for many times saying, “Live from brand-new York, it’s Saturday night!” He has actually said it 70 times.

36. Saturday Night Live’s audience vote to ban Andy Kaufman native the show.

Andy Kaufman’s appearances on SNL to be unpredictable and ahead of your time, start with SNL’s very first episode in 1975. Whether he to be nervously lip-synching come the Mighty computer mouse theme or impersonating Elvis Presley, audiences had actually no idea what would come next. Eventually, Kaufman"s insignificant wrestling women attracted the ire the then-producer penis Ebersol. In response, Kaufman proposed an audience poll to permit him stay or pressure him off the show. The last tally that viewers call in come “Keep Andy” came in at 169,186, when 195,544 voted to “Dump Andy.” While that may an extremely well have actually been an additional one of his audacious stunts, Kaufman never showed up on SNL again.

37. Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels thought Steven Seagal to be a jerk.

Hosting duties at SNL are an vigorously collaborative procedure for cast members and also the master themselves. Some, like those in the reputation “Five-Timers Club,” occupational well with the cast and also writers and also are invited back, if others can’t seem to hack it. Steven Seagal fell into the last category. If he didn’t pull any type of on-air stunts choose Sinéad O’Connor, Seagal to be unable come play quite behind the scenes. “He simply wasn’t funny and also he to be very vital of the cast and also the creating staff," Tim Meadows stated in Live From new York. "He no realize the you can’t tell someone they’re stupid ~ above Wednesday and expect lock to proceed writing for you on Saturday.” Michaels gained in a jab in ~ Seagal ~ above a later display hosted by actor Nicolas Cage. When Cage lamented throughout his monologue that the audience can think he’s the best jerk who’s ever before been on the show, Michaels responded, “No, no. That would certainly be Steven Seagal.”

38. Darrell Hammond walk a great Don Pardo impersonation.

In 2013, Don Pardo got laryngitis prior to the show. Darrell Hammond fill in v his finest Pardo impression. Pardo later on claimed, “He did together a task that my sister-in-law in Newport, Rhode Island referred to as up the complying with Sunday morning ... And also said, ‘You to be going earlier to her acting days! You sound terrific!’” ~ Pardo passed away in 2014, Hammond was called as his replacement.

39. Alec Baldwin stop the document for Saturday Night Live hosting duties.

See more: How Many Notre Dames Are There, Father Moreau And The Two Notre Dames

Alec Baldwin has actually hosed Saturday Night Live a document 17 times since 1990 (that"s not consisting of his continual stints play Donald Trump); Steve Martin has actually hosted 15 times due to the fact that 1976.