Here are 25 Kickass and Interesting Facts About SNL.
1-5 Interesting Facts About SNL
1. According to the official memoir, Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, Chevy Chase is banned from ever hosting the show again. In the book, numerous cast members recall stories in which Chase insulted cast and crew. According to Terry Sweeney, Chase made homophobic remarks to Sweeney who is openly gay. According to Will Ferrell, Chase was the worst host during his time on the show. – Source
2. When 25-year-old Kenan Thompson (born 1978) was hired for the 29th season (2003-2004), he became the first cast member who was born after the show premiered (1975). – Source
3. When Eddie Murphy was first hired, he was not a regular cast member; he was a guest performer who was given nothing to do. He threatened to quit until he was given a segment of Weekend Update to perform. He was so funny, he eventually appeared in sketches and became a regular cast member.
4. When Eddie Murphy was on SNL in the early 80s, other cast members often had to go downstairs after shows to catch a cab for him because no cab drivers would stop for a young black man late at night. – Source
5. Steve Martin is the only person to host a season premiere, a season finale, and a Christmas show and is the only person to host the show three times in a single season.
6-10 Interesting Facts About SNL
6. In 1995, Steve Carell auditioned for the show along with his wife, Nancy Carell. She was cast but he was not. The following season Carell was cast as the voice of Gary in the recurring animated segment “The Ambiguously Gay Duo”. When he hosted the show in 2005, Carell stated he was beat out for the spot by Will Ferrell.
7. The word “f**k” has been said several times live on the air: during a sketch in 1980, Paul Shaffer said “f**kin'” instead of “floggin'”; in 1981, Charles Rocket, said “I’d like to know who the f**k did it” during a “Who Shot JR?” parody and on the same night Prince sang the lyric “Fightin’ war is such a f**kin’ bore”; in 1990, singer Morris Day of The Time said “Where the f**k this chicken come from?” and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith sang “feedin’ that f**kin’ monkey on my back” during their performances; in 1994, Michael Stipe of R.E.M. sang “Don’t f**k with me” and Adam Horovitz of Beastie Boys sang “So won’t you f**kin’ listen” in their performances and in 1997, Norm MacDonald accidentally said, “The f**k was that?” after flubbing a line during “Weekend Update”. James Hetfield of Metallica sang “f**k ’em man, white knuckle tight” during their performance in 1997. In 2009, Jenny Slate accidentally said, “You know what, you stood up for yourself and I f**king love you for that.”
8. There have been three sets of brothers who have been cast members on Saturday Night Live (1975), John Belushi and James Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and Peter Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Brian Doyle-Murray.
9. Chris Farley was fired from SNL for making late-night prank phone calls from the SNL offices with Adam Sandler, and mooning people from a limo shortly after. – Source
10. While writing for SNL, Larry David quit mid-season, only to come back a few days later as if nothing happened, inspiring the plot for a Seinfeld episode. – Source
11-15 Interesting Facts About SNL
11. The reason Bill Hader often breaks character and cracks up while playing Stefon on SNL is that writer John Mulaney changes the cue cards beforehand to catch Hader off guard. – Source
12. Johnny Knoxville turned down a role on SNL in favor of Jackass. – Source
13. Steve Martin was rehearsing to guest host the season finale of SNL when he learned of Gilda Radner’s death. Fighting back tears, he scrapped his planned monologue, and chose instead to open the show with a video of he and Radner dancing a parody of Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. – Source
14. In 1982, on SNL, Eddie Murphy held Larry, a live lobster, aloft and declared that the show’s audience would determine whether he lived or died and that this is where Larry the Lobster from Spongebob got his name. – Source
15. Will Ferrell became the highest paid cast member in SNL history in 2001. He received a salary of USD 350,000 (USD 105,000 in 1975 prices) for the 2001-2002 Season.
16-20 Interesting Facts About SNL
16. Studio 8H where SNL is filmed is not connected to the GE Building (NBC Studios) at Rockefeller Center, but is suspended by wires from the next floor. Arturo Toscanini, the director of the NBC orchestra, performed on radio from studio 8H and did not want the vibrations from the New York City subway to disturb his radio broadcasts so his studio was isolated from the rest of the building.
17. The balcony level studio audience seats in Studio 8H, where Saturday Night Live is broadcast from, are actually seats on-loan from Yankees Stadium in the Bronx, New York. NY Yankees owner George M. Steinbrenner III loaned them out in 1975 with the assumption that Saturday Night Live wouldn’t stay on the air long (they were expected back upon cancellation of the show). Partly out of both tradition and superstition, the seats are still in use to this day. Since then, NBC has had to pay out annual fines to the city of New York (a relatively minor business expense, all things considered). In addition, any time repair work is needed, repair people are sent directly to the studio to do work there, which is more expensive than taking seats to a repair shop.
18. Don Pardo has announced his retirement twice, in 2004 and in 2009. But both times, he was convinced to return. He would fly to New York every week from his home in Arizona. In 2010, Pardo was allowed to record his intros from his home and have them sent to New York. Pardo remained with the show until shortly before his death on August 18, 2014 at the age of 96.
19. The show has only had four directors in its history: Dave Wilson, Paul Miller, Beth McCarthy-Miller and Don Roy King.
20. Despite the show’s core theme of live comedy, on a few rare occasions stand-up segments weren’t truly “live”, but broadcast on a 7-second tape-delay: 13 December 1975 (Richard Pryor), 15 November 1986 (Sam Kinison), and 12 May 1990 (Andrew Dice Clay), each time to allow censoring any “accidental” expletives.
21-25 Interesting Facts About SNL
21. Candice Bergen was the first female host, the first person to host the show for a second time, and the first woman to host five times. Drew Barrymore has also hosted five times, her first being in 1982.
22. While most of the musical performances on the show are indeed live, a few have been lip-synced, and several have been taped in advance. The first lip-sync was ABBA on 15 November 1975. The first prerecorded performance was Carly Simon on 08 May 1976, because she was nervous to sing in front of a live audience. On the October 23, 2004 episode, Ashlee Simpson revealed that she was lip-syncing during her second performance when the same vocal track for her first performance was accidentally replayed. An embarrassed Simpson walked off the stage and the show quickly cut to commercial.
23. During the initial 1975-76 season, the series was first titled “Saturday Night” as “Saturday Night Live With Howard Cosell” aired earlier in the evening on ABC but was canceled after the first season.
24. Several episodes were not performed in Studio 8H in Manhattan. On October 16, 23 and 30, 1976, the show moved to a Brooklyn studio because the NBC News election unit used Studio 8H for 1976 election coverage. Several episodes in 1984 were produced in RCA Building Studios 8G and 3A due to election coverage. The February 20, 1977 episode was performed live in New Orleans on a Sunday.
25. In Dec 1998, during Alec Baldwin’s SNL monologue, Jimmy Fallon (a first year cast member), predicted that he would be a star and return to host SNL Dec 12, 2011. He was off by five days. – Source