Saturday Night Live (abbreviated as SNL) is an American late-night live television sketch comedy and variety show created by Lorne Michaels and developed by Dick Ebersol
The show premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975, under the original title NBCs Saturday Night. The shows comedy sketches, which parody contemporary culture and politics, are performed by a large and varying cast of repertory and newer cast members. Each episode is hosted by a celebrity guest (who usually delivers an opening monologue and performs in sketches with the cast) and features performances by a musical guest. An episode normally begins with a cold open sketch that ends with someone breaking character and proclaiming, Live from New York, its Saturday Night!, properly beginning the show.
In 1980, Michaels left the series to explore other opportunities. He was replaced by Jean Doumanian, who was replaced by Ebersol after a season of bad reviews. Ebersol ran the show until 1985, when Michaels returned; Michaels has remained since then. Many of SNLs cast found national stardom while appearing on the show, and achieved success in film and television, both in front of and behind the camera. Others associated with the show, such as writers, have gone on to successful careers creating, writing, or starring in TV and film.
Broadcast from Studio 8H at NBCs headquarters in the Comcast Building, SNL has aired 825 episodes since its debut, and began its forty-second season on October 1, 2016, making it one of the longest-running network television programs in the United States. The show format has been developed and recreated in several countries, meeting with different levels of success. Successful sketches have seen life outside of the show as feature films, although only two met with critical and financial success: The Blues Brothers (1980) and Waynes World (1992). The show has been marketed in other ways, including home media releases of best of and whole seasons, and books and documentaries about behind-the-scenes activities of running and developing the show.