NBC is bringing a late-night institution to primetime with a four-episode order for Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update. The half-hour telecast will feature "Weekend Update" anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che. Additional "Saturday Night Live" cast members will also make appearances. Weekend Update," which comments on and satirizes the news and current affairs of the week, has consistently ranked as one of the most popular segments of "Saturday Night Live" throughout the show's storied 42-year history.
Runtime: 30 minutes
Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update - Saturday Night Live (season 1) - Netflix
The first season of Saturday Night Live, an American sketch comedy series, originally aired in the United States on NBC from October 11, 1975 to July 31, 1976.
Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update - History - Netflix
In 1974, NBC Tonight Show host Johnny Carson requested that the weekend broadcasts of “Best of Carson” (officially known as The Weekend Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson) come to an end (back then, The Tonight Show was a 90-minute program), so that Carson could take two weeknights off and NBC would thus air those repeats on those nights rather than feed them to affiliates for broadcast on either Saturdays or Sundays. Given Carson's undisputed status as the king of late-night television, NBC heard his request as an ultimatum, fearing he might use the issue as grounds to defect to either ABC or CBS. To fill the gap, the network drew up some ideas and brought in Dick Ebersol – a protégé of legendary ABC Sports president Roone Arledge – to develop a 90-minute late-night variety show. Ebersol's first order of business was hiring a young Canadian producer named Lorne Michaels to be the show-runner. Television production in New York was already in decline in the mid-1970s (The Tonight Show had departed for Los Angeles two years prior), so NBC decided to base the show at their studios in Rockefeller Center to offset the overhead of maintaining those facilities. Michaels was given Studio 8H, a converted radio studio that prior to that point was most famous for having hosted Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra from 1937 to 1951, but was being used largely for network election coverage by the mid-1970s. When the first show aired on October 11, 1975 with George Carlin as its host, it was called NBC's Saturday Night because ABC featured a program at the same time titled Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell. After ABC cancelled the Cosell program in 1976, the NBC program changed its name to Saturday Night Live on March 26, 1977 (and subsequently picked up Bill Murray from Cosell's show in 1977, as well). Every night, Don Pardo introduced the cast, a job he'd hold for 39 years until his death in 2014. The original concept was for a comedy-variety show featuring young comedians, live musical performances, short films by Albert Brooks, and segments by Jim Henson featuring atypically adult and abstract characters from the Muppets world. Rather than have one permanent host, Michaels elected to have a different guest host each week. The first episode featured two musical guests (Billy Preston and Janis Ian), and the second episode, hosted by Paul Simon on October 18, was almost entirely a musical variety show with various acts. The Not Ready For Prime Time Players did not appear in this episode at all, other than as the bees with Simon telling them they were cancelled, and Chevy Chase in the opening and in “Weekend Update”. Over the course of Season 1, sketch comedy would begin to dominate the show and SNL would more closely resemble its current format. Andy Kaufman made several appearances that were popular with the audience over the season, while The Muppets' Land of Gorch bits were regarded as a poor fit with the rest of the show. The “Land Of Gorch” sketches were essentially cancelled after episode 10, although the associated Muppet characters still made sporadic appearances after that. After one final appearance at the start of season two, the Muppet characters were permanently dropped from SNL. During the season, Michaels appeared on-camera twice, on April 24 and May 22, to make an offer to The Beatles to reunite on the show. In the first appearance, he offered a certified check of $3000. In the second appearance, he increased his offer to $3,200 and free hotel accommodations. John Lennon and Paul McCartney later both admitted that they were watching SNL from Lennon's apartment on May 8, the episode after Michaels' first offer, and briefly toyed with actually going down to the studio, but decided to stay in the apartment because they were too tired.
Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update - References - Netflix