The brilliance of Saturday Night Live (SNL) isn’t just captured in its sketches; it’s woven into the stories of the original cast members who set the stage. While you might know every quirk of the iconic “Not Ready for Prime-Time Players,” there’s a chance that some lesser-known stories could take you by surprise. So, let’s venture into the corridors of Studio 8H and uncover some tales of the original SNL gang!
Long before the countless sketches and memorable characters, it was Chevy Chase who introduced us to the unmistakable energy of SNL. His legendary shout, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!” set the tone for what was to come.
What might sound like a sketch in itself, comedy legends Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi bunked together – quite literally! Their shared office became the backdrop for their creative brainstorming sessions, with the unlikely addition of bunk beds.
#3. Saturday Night Live: A Title Evolution
The name ‘Saturday Night Live’ might seem like an obvious choice today, but did you know it began as “NBC’s Saturday Night”? A short-lived show held our beloved SNL’s title hostage until NBC cleverly snatched it up.
You might be surprised to know that Johnny Carson’s wish to spare his reruns led to the creation of SNL. In seeking a new weekend feature, NBC conjured up a plan, and thus, our beloved SNL was born.
Before anyone else took the SNL stage, Gilda Radner was there, lighting it up with her comedic brilliance. Not just an amazing comedian, she was the first to join that iconic lineup, paving the way for the legends that followed.
Jane Curtin, Laraine Newman, and the aforementioned Gilda weren’t just colleagues under the spotlight. Their camaraderie extended offstage, too, sharing not just laughs but also a dressing room. It was there that some of the show’s most genuine moments unfolded.
While Chevy Chase initially signed on to craft the laughs from behind the curtain, fate had him soon delivering those lines himself. From the writer’s desk to the spotlight, he effortlessly captured our hearts.
#8. Saturday Night Live: Behind-the-Scenes Rivalries
For all the adoration Chevy Chase received from fans, backstage was a different story. One intense standoff with Bill Murray even escalated into a physical altercation. But as years rolled on, these past tensions cooled, turning from fresh feuds into tales of SNL lore.
Once the cameras stopped rolling, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd had another stage to command. Their New York City Blues Bar played host to impromptu after-parties, where cast, crew, and lucky guests danced the night away.
#10. SNL: Humble Beginnings
While the original SNL cast radiated star-quality charm, their paychecks told a different story. Each member earned a modest $750 per episode, a stark contrast to their on-screen grandeur. But for them, it was all about passion and camaraderie; sometimes even trading their cozy beds for late-night brainstorming sessions at the NBC offices.
There you go – an insider’s peek into the illustrious beginnings of SNL, where humor met heart, and unforeseen turns were just part of the script. Got a cherished SNL moment or an iconic cast member who stole your heart? Jump into the comments, and let’s relive those memories. And hey, maybe tonight’s the perfect night for an SNL rerun. After all, who can resist a trip down comedy lane?
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