SNL Alive 40 Years & Counting

Due to this week being dedicated to the 1970’s, I’m choosing to blog about a crowd favorite: “Saturday Night Live”. Seriously, who doesn’t laugh at this show? In defense of some, it can be controversial but overall it pokes fun at modern issues and stories in relationships, education, politics, etc. “Saturday Night Live” debuted October 11, 1975 as “NBC’s Saturday Night” on NBC network, which at the time, was in a decline. The cast, which always differed, began with Chevy Chase, Belushi and Bill Murray, all of whom exhibit sharp humor and at times, absurd acting. Currently the cast includes Kristin Wiig, Tina Fey, Jay Pharoah, Taran Killam, among a myriad of others. What’s even better than the cast? Forty years later, “SNL” is still thriving and a crowd favorite. It has aired over 800 episodes since its debut and has just entered into its forty-second season!


What I love about “SNL” is its attempts, successful or not, at addressing current issues. Yes, there are sketches that are purely fiction. There are also sketches that are directed towards political campaigns, such as this years race for president. However, the show respects the current events of America. After September 11, 2001, “SNL” removed all political references from their show for the next four years.

A great component of the show is that it is live. The audiences reactions are real, true and heard. The actors do not get retakes and neither do the musicians in their segment of the show. This live factor makes for humorous or controversial television in the event of a mistake or mishap. Specifically speaking when Ashlee Simpson was caught lip syncing while performing a song live. It was controversial in 1992 when Sinead O’Connor was caught ripping a photo of Pope John Paul II to pieces and not realizing the show was live. There are benefits and consequences to a live show, but majority of the situations that were not planned on the live show have benefited the production crew and the audience in the end.

We’ve all seen “SNL” but I would recommend watching an episode from a previous decade!!!

The  SNL Original Cast video clip.


-Meghan Murphy


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5 Responses to SNL Alive 40 Years & Counting

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I love SNL, but I think the newer iterations of the show are lacking some of the originality and humor in what made the older versions so great. Now, it seems like the show is trying too hard, and the writing has gotten slack because of that weird pressure they are putting on themselves to be “great” like the other casts of seasons past. — Serena Daya

  2. mediaphiles says:

    It’s hard to believe SNL has been running for 40 years! I agree with Serena that the current show might not be as great as previous casts, but I will say that I have really enjoyed the recent presidential debate sketches (Alec Baldwin does a really good Donald Trump). For me, SNL is hit or miss. Most nights I only really enjoy one or two of the sketches. Excited to see how the rest of this season goes! – Sarah King

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I believe SNL is one of the most unique shows on television. The fact that it is live leaves the cast and crew with a bounty of unknown possibilities for their show. An event can happen the day before and they still, somehow, fit it into their weekly regime. The amount of work put into that show is amazing (though I do agree on the hit or miss factor). It actually shocks me how the cast can give an almost flawless performance every week and still manage to touch upon current events.

    -Shelby Halliman

  4. mediaphiles says:

    Saturday Night Live is a staple of American culture and I find it fascinating how they keep innovating and staying relevant. There was a cast change recently, which is not an uncommon practice in SNL history, to filter through the less successful comedians. But they knew what they needed for political satire, as they add Alec Baldwin to portray Donald Trump. I would argue that the fact that SNL does not feel the need to respect America is why I love it. They are not beholden to anyone or anything. – Andrew Guido

  5. mediaphiles says:

    Saturday Night Live has been one of my favorite shows for years. I think it is amazing that the show has remained so popular and relevant for such a long period of time. I would argue that the reason for this is the fact that the show continues to use humor to address current issues in American society. The actors are incredible and do an exceptional job at relating to the audience. -Allie Kleinman

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