14 Amazing Facts You May Not Know About Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live has cultivated so much talent that it has pretty much single-handedly developed American comedy. Here are 14 facts you may not have known about the greatest comedy show of all time.

 

1. Aubrey Plaza interned there but never got a spot on the show.

Most SNL alumni have to slog away on the show before finding their way onto the big screen. Plaza was given a shot by Judd Apatow on Funny People after being an intern and has been killing it in films ever since.

 

2. Eddie Murphy was an SNL stalker.

He was so desperate for an audition that he called every day bugging the talent coordinator to get him an audition. After his audition they signed him immediately.

 

3. Will Farrell was the highest paid SNL cast member of all time.

In 2001 he had a contract that earned him $350,000 per year.

4. Richard Belzer gets the people going.

He may be the stoic straight man in Law & Order now but he made his start as a stand-up comic. Before the show started he would warm up the crowd with a few killer one-liners.

 

5. Kenan Thompson was born after the show started.

SNL is older than Kenan Thompson. He was born on May 10, 1978 which is three years after the show premiered.

 

6. Chevy Chase was hired as a writer.

Chevy was hired on a one-year contract and transitioned into a cast member in his second season. He was first man to say the iconic line “Live from New York…It’s Saturday night!”

7. Conan O’Brien hated the idea of Wayne Campbell.

When Conan O’Brien wrote for Saturday Night Live he wasn’t a big fan of the Wayne Campbell sketch. After Wayne’s World became a global phenomenon he probably felt like he was on the outside of the world’s funniest joke.

 

8. SNL wasn’t always SNL.

It was originally called NBC’s Saturday Night because Saturday Night Live was already taken by broadcaster Howard Cosell. After Cosell’s show was cancelled Lorne Michaels grabbed the name.

 

9. Jim Carrey tried out twice for the SNL cast.

America’s favorite funnyman tried out for the show twice and was rejected both times before moving on and becoming one of the biggest movie stars of all time. He guest hosted the show in 1996, 2011 and 2014.

10. Larry David quit the show and then pretended he hadn’t.

David quit before a live recording of the show because he was frustrated at the difficulty he was having getting his sketches on air. When he realized how much money he was going to lose by leaving the show he turned up on Monday and tried to play it off like nothing had happened.

 

11. Gilbert Gottfried beat Pee-Wee Herman for a spot.

Paul Reuben AKA Pee-Wee Herman said that this was actually a blessing in disguise because he went on to create the award winning and critically acclaimed Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.

 

12. Adam Mckay auditioned but didn’t make the cut.

Mckay was offered a writing gig instead and has since gone on to pen the scripts for Anchorman, Step Brothers and Talladega Nights.

13. The Beatles almost reunited as a joke.

After the band famously turned down a $230 million deal to reunite in 1976, Lorne Michaels made his own plea on the show for the guys to reunite on SNL, this time offering $3,000. Lennon and McCartney were watching at the time and considered going to the studio as a gag but were too tired.

 

14. SNL might not exist without Johnny Carson’s holidays.

In 1974 Carson petitioned the studio to stop re-runs of the The Tonight Show on weekends and instead play them one or two nights per week to give him a break. Saturday Night Live was created to fill that weekend spot.