It's not hard to reason this one but you migh...
“Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!” This legendary line is bound to ring a bell and it has always been yelled out at the end of the introductory skit of the ever-popular variety/sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL)—normally by a famous guest host. The show’s been around since 1975, and is always aired just after primetime on American Television.
The hour-long show features various skits, and even short videos that are written, rehearsed, produced and presented within a week! Normally, a guest host is chosen just a few days prior to the show, by the network heads at NBC (the show's network) and Lorne Michaels (the show's creator).
While the regular cast and the featured players do majority of the skits, the guest hosts also make sporadic appearances. However, there are at least a couple of skits that feature the guest host as the main character. This is a tough task for guests who are not used to live television--given that the hosts include everyone from actors and politicians to famous athletes.
This is probably why the cast of the show is carefully chosen and groomed to ensure that there are no major goof ups. The regular cast is made up of some extremely talented men and women, who usually (and gracefully) cover up for the mistakes of their guests.
Unsurprisingly, given the success and popularity of the show, many of the biggest names in comedy have made their transition into the ‘big time’ via SNL. Many have gone on to achieve immense success, both in the television and film industry, like Tina Fey, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Chris Farley, Will Ferrell and Maya Rudolph, to name just a few.
The guest host list of SNL is equally impressive. Hosting SNL is considered an honour in Hollywood, and people who've hosted it five times or more are part of the exclusive Five-Timers Club. While acting legends Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin have hosted the show 16 and 15 times respectively, Justin Timberlake--who features regularly these days--has had the honour on five occasions.
Behind all the laughs are, of course, the writers, who ensure all the skits are topical, current and of course, hilarious! It comes as no surprise that even the writers of this show represent the cream of the crop. Before they made it big, talk show host Conan O'Brien and creator of 'The Office,' Greg Daniels were staff writers for SNL.
Needless to say, this show has produced some of the most iconic moments in comedy. Here are a few examples:
Will Ferrell and his famous cowbell skit:
Here are Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg with one of their biggest hits. Fair warning: their language is inappropriate if you're at work or there are kids around!
-Picture courtesy Reuters-
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