February 2, 2011
By Jory John
In 1974, Johnny Carson ruled the Land of Television (not actual place). The Tonight Show was broadcast six days a week, which included reruns on Saturdays. Carson decided that, in order to take more time off, he wanted his Saturday repeats to be shown during the week, freeing up an extra day on NBC’s schedule. Little-known comedy writer Lorne Michaels was approached and asked to create an “edgy” show to fill the slot. The result was NBC’s Saturday Night, later changed to Saturday Night Live. Michael’s handpicked cast included John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Larraine Newman, and Dan Aykroyd, followed shortly thereafter by Bill Murray. Tonight as part of SF Sketchfest, Newman and Aykroyd, along with original writers Tom Davis and Don Novello, talk about the early (wilder) days of the show. How do you take your drug stories?