On this date in 1975, “NBC’s Saturday Night” debuted with host comedian George Carlin. The show was original from the beginning, opting for parodies and satires instead of more stand up comedy and it featured a different guest, host, and musical guest each week.
Eventually the name of the show changed, of course, and the “Live from New York, It’s Saturday Night” became as famous as members of its cast.
SNL became a farm club for the great comedic talent of several decades: Billy Crystal, Eddie Murphy, Martin Short, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Tina Fey, Dana Carvey, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, Dennis Miller, Robert Downey, Jr., Joan Cusak and Mike Myers — just to name a few. It launched numerous careers, induced countless belly laughs, and still has skits that live on as classics.
One of the SNL skits is excerpted in the movie Julie and Julia, and I am reminded of another line from that film: “Julia Child wasn’t always Julia Child.” Just as the comedians mentioned above weren’t always household names. It took SNL, and the hours of practice it required, to refine their skills and give them wide exposure.
If you have a passion or interest in something, don’t refrain from embracing it just because you’re not great at it, or famous for it, or able to do it full time. Maybe the word that is missing is “yet”. All the SNL work may not be brilliant, but on the whole it changed careers, the comedy industry, and the nighttime viewing habits of millions of Americans.
Be like SNL, and show up every week and do what you love — live.
— beth triplett