Saturday Night Live

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Television series
Original title Saturday Night Live
Country of production United States
original language English (AE)
Year (s) since 1975
length 90 minutes
Episodes 889 in 45 seasons
genre Late night show
First broadcast October 11, 1975 on NBC
Regular cast ("repertory players")
Other members ("featured player")

Saturday Night Live ( SNL ) is an American comedy show on NBC that has been broadcast live every Saturday at 11:30 p.m. (local time) since it was first broadcast on October 11, 1975. The program has been produced from Studio 8H in the NBC main building in New York since the beginning . The duration, including several advertising blocks, is 90 minutes; minus the advertising about 66 minutes. The developer of the concept and executive producer is Lorne Michaels . The show served as a springboard to a successful career for many American comedians.

Shipment process

The ensemble of the show usually consists of about ten established regular members ( repertory players ). There are also a few other members ( featured players ) who go through a kind of trial period. Usually they become regular members after two years on the show. For many, the show is a springboard to bigger roles, so that individual actors leave the show and are replaced by new ones.

The show is from a weekly changing host ( host presented). These are usually well-known actors, musicians, athletes, politicians or other people in showbiz. The first show was hosted by George Carlin and the first female host was Candice Bergen . In addition, at least one musical guest appears in every program. The selection of musicians mostly includes artists from the genres of pop and rock music , but there are also occasional artists from other genres such as hip-hop and country music .

The orientation of the program in the first few years relied on a greater variety of program components. Some programs consisted for the most part of musical performances, included dramatic film sequences or variety artists such as the magicians Penn & Teller . In the course of the decades, however, a relatively fixed process emerged, which primarily focused on the comedy skits with the participation of the host and two performances by the musical guest.

At the beginning of each episode, an opening sketch is performed, which mostly takes up current topics from politics or showbiz and always ends with the sentence Live from New York, it's saturday night (“Live from New York, it's Saturday night”). After the following opening credits, the host opens the program with a monologue - in which mostly publicly known stories from the speaker's professional or private life are discussed. In addition to the skits and music performances, each program contains short films that parody TV commercials or cinema trailers.

Halfway through each broadcast, the weekend update is shown, which looks like a news broadcast. Here short news reports are read out and then rounded off with short jokes. The segment also includes appearances by various parodies of well-known personalities of current affairs or self-developed characters. SNL also occasionally contains various comedic short films, such as the An SNL Digital Short series , which were produced by members of the comedy band The Lonely Island .

The weekly changing host is integrated into the majority of the skits during the broadcast and is therefore usually the focus of every issue. Even the music guests of the evening or unannounced star guests appear irregularly in skits or in the weekend update . These segments often contain a large dose of self-irony and pick up rumors from the media. For example, in 2000 Britney Spears picked up rumors of a breast operation and asserted that it was a lie, while at the same time fake breasts in her blouse were being moved by remote control.

In some programs, the host also takes on the role of the music guest. Examples from recent years include Justin Timberlake , Taylor Swift , Jennifer Lopez , Miley Cyrus , Katy Perry and Lady Gaga .

Broadcast in Germany

Some episodes from the early days of SNL were broadcast on MTV Europe in the early 1990s, which was then available on some German cable networks before the German branch was launched. In the 1990s, the imitation RTL Saturday Night could be seen on RTL . In 2004, Michael Mittermeier's Saturday Night Live series was created , in which excerpts were shown and commented on by German comedians .

As of 2009, Saturday Night Live was shown on Sat.1 Comedy . Since the station was discontinued in May 2012, ProSieben Fun has taken on the broadcast of current episodes. The shows will be shown in the original English language without subtitles one week after the US premiere, and the station will also show several classic episodes. A slightly shortened version of approx. 52 minutes will be broadcast. As a rule, there is no performance by the music artist or one or two skits from the program.

Well-known former ensemble members

Known hosts

This list is a selection of well-known personalities who have hosted Saturday Night Live at least once without having been part of the show's regular cast at any time. The names are listed after the year the person first appeared as a host.





Other celebrities from show business

Well-known music guests

This list includes a selection of well-known artists who have appeared as guest musicians on Saturday Night Live at least once. Artists who also acted as hosts are listed in the previous chapter. For reasons of space, the names are listed after the year in which the person first appeared as a music guest.


By 2013, SNL had received a total of 171 nominations for the Primetime Emmy Awards - more than any other fictional series ever before. By 2017, SNL had won a total of 58 Emmys, making it the most award-winning show in the history of this award. The previous record holder was the sitcom Frasier with 37 wins.

Several films have been made from characters originally developed and performed at SNL. The most successful of these films were The Blues Brothers with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd , Wayne's World and Wayne's World 2 with Mike Myers and Dana Carvey , A Night at the Roxbury with Will Ferrell , Chris Kattan and Molly Shannon , and Superstar - Dare to be dreaming with Molly Shannon and Will Ferrell. The film productions that failed to recoup their production costs were: The Coneheads , What is Pat? , Stuart Stupid - A Family Sucks , Blues Brothers 2000 , The Ladies Man and MacGruber .

The most common returning host in show history is actor Alec Baldwin with 17 shows, followed by Steve Martin (15) and John Goodman (13). The women with the most episodes of hosting are Drew Barrymore (6 shows) and Candice Bergen (5).

Dave Grohl has been a music guest eleven times with four different bands: Nirvana (2 shows), Foo Fighters (7), Them Crooked Vultures (1) and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (1). There is also an appearance with the Foo Fighters as a special guest (together with Mick Jagger ), as well as a cameo with his Nirvana colleagues Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear (together with Paul McCartney ).

The most frequently listed performers as music guests on SNL are Paul Simon (9 episodes), Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (8), Foo Fighters and Beck (7 each).

The youngest hostess in history was Drew Barrymore at the age of seven, the oldest hostess was Betty White at 88.

The youngest music guest in show history was Zac Hanson at the age of twelve, the oldest Eubie Blake at the age of 92.

The US television series 30 Rock was based on SNL . It was developed, written and produced by long-time SNL lead author Tina Fey . With Fey, Tracy Morgan and Alec Baldwin , three of the main characters in the series also have a wide range of experiences with SNL . The name of the series is based on the address of the NBC main building in New York City (30 Rockefeller Plaza), where SNL is produced. However, the interior recordings for 30 Rock actually took place in New Jersey .

In addition to SNL, Lorne Michaels is currently producing the following television series and programs with previous and current ensemble members:

Some actors who auditioned for a role as SNL ensemble member, but were turned down or turned down themselves, later took on the role of host. They include John Goodman (audition in 1980), Jim Carrey (1980), Geena Davis (1989), Lisa Kudrow (1990), Jennifer Aniston (1994), Steve Carell (1995), and Johnny Knoxville (1995).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ Program overview "October 18, 1975" ( Memento of the original from April 23, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. SNL Archives, English.
  2. Christoph Waltz as "Djesus" and as Pope. Reported to on February 17, 2013.
  4. Eric Clapton 1995 on SNL YouTube
  5. Primetime Emmy Award Winners: Top TV Shows Of All Time in English
  6. Saturday Night Live Surpasses Frasier's Record for Emmy Wins in English