Look who's laughing now
Even if you don’t watch Saturday Night Live or don’t think you’re a fan, chances are you’re familiar with some of the show’s most famous and long-lasting jokes that have turned into everyday references and quips over the the past 42 years.
Half the time, I don’t even realize when a joke I hear or use is from SNL in the first place, but all jokes have to start somewhere, and in the course of its decades-long run, it’s no surprise that the sketch comedy and variety show has given us more than our fair share of humor.
Think you know all there is to know about SNL? As it turns out, plenty of accepted “facts” about the show are fiction. Keep reading to learn a little more about this time-honored show.
For starters, the show isn’t always “live”…
Off the Air
What’s the trickiest part about doing a live comedy sketch show? Somebody messing up. Though we’re used to certain comedians laughing and breaking their character, have you ever seen a host be the downfall of the show?
Back in 1979, Mr. Television himself Milton Berle hosted an episode in Season 4 where he went so off-script and tried directing the crew around. It didn’t go over well. In fact, producers thought it was so bad for the show that it wasn’t even re-aired or included in any collector’s editions until recent years.
In recent months, SNL has become well known for mocking Donald Trump and various members of his cartoonish administration. But do you remember when Trump himself hosted the show in November 2015? His episode may be most memorable for when he was purposefully heckled as part of a clever tactic by the anti-Trump organization DeportRacism.com.
The company had previously announced that it would give $5,000 to any audience member who shouted out “You’re a racist!” during the live show, and viewers didn’t have to wait long to see it happen.
But when the cameras turned to the audience, it was Larry David. As it turned out, this was a purposeful part of Trump’s intro (Donald responded: “I knew this was going to happen!”).
Regardless, DeportRacism still reported that it would be sending Larry David $5,000, along with a T-shirt to promote the brand and its cause.
Who’s the oldest of them all?
Betty White has been a comedic staple for decades, so it was no surprise when a Facebook campaign launched in 2009 to get her as the host of SNL.
The following spring, Betty White hosted a special Mother’s Day episode. White made history for being the oldest guest ever to have appeared on the show. At least that’s what people thought.
In 1979, jazz musician Eubie Blake appeared on SNL at the ripe age of 92—and he performed. While she’s not the oldest person to make an appearance, White remains the oldest person to ever host the show.