1975: Live, It’s Saturday Night!
Ever wonder when the announcer for Saturday Night Live comes on and he always says, “…it’s Saturday Night” instead of “Saturday Night Live?” That’s because when the show began on this day in 1975, it was originally called simply Saturday Night. During that year, another show had a similar-sounding name (Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell) on ABC. While the latter variety show fizzled out rather quickly, SNL is still alive and kicking. Created by Lorne Michaels and developed by Dick Ebersol, SNL became an instant hit and has become one of the longest-running TV programs in the U.S. Over the years, it has received numerous Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award and a few Writers Guild of America Awards. The original cast of “Not Ready for Prime-Time Players” performing spoofs of TV shows and political satire included Laraine Newman, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris, and Chevy Chase. After Chase left the show (after the first season), he was replaced with Bill Murray. In 1980, Michaels left the show to explore other projects and the show found itself on the brink of cancellation but recovered when Ebersol took the helm. Michaels returned in 1985. He’s been there ever since. (Image: NBC)
2006: ’30 Rock’ Premieres
Though fully satirical, it is said that Fey loosely based 30 Rock on her experiences working as a head writer for Saturday Night Live. The name refers to 30 Rockefeller Plaza located in New York City where SNL is created and performed. The series debuted on this day in 2006 and starred Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, Jack McBrayer, Scott Adsit, Judah Friedlander, Katrina Bowden, Keith Powell, Lonny Ross, John Lutz, Sue Galloway, Kevin Brown, Grizz Chapman, Maulik Pancholy, and Rachel Dratch.There is one story that claims the show took three days to build a set that was only used for six seconds of air time. Over the show’s seven seasons, 30 Rock was nominated for 103 Emmy Awards winning 16. Despite the show’s high praise, its ratings did not match. The show ended its seven-season run on January 31, 2013.
- 1844: Henry J. Heinz (founder of H. J. Heinz Co.)
- 1905: Fred Trump (real estate entrepreneur)
- 1932: Dottie West (singer)
- 1935: Dan Evins (founder of Cracker Barrel)
- 1962: Joan Cusack (actress)
- 1965: John Patrick Flanery (actor)
- 1966: Luke Perry (actor)
- 1968: Jane Krakowski (actress)
- 1969: Stephen Moyer (actor)
- 1976: Emily Deschanel (actress)
- 1977: Rhett MacLaughlin (YouTube star)
- 1992: Cardi B. (rapper)
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.