On October 11, 1975, Saturday Night Live, a topical comedy sketch show, made its debut on NBC. Created by Canadian-born comedy writer Lorne Michaels, it would go on to become a renowned launch pad for generational talent and unforgettable characters and become the longest-running, highest-rated show on late-night television. The first five years of Saturday Night Live featured some of the most beloved cast members of all time, including Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, and Laraine Newman and they set the stage for some of the most hilarious live television comedy American audiences had ever seen.
Now the best of the original cast is available unlike ever before. To commemorate this landmark show, the TV DVD specialists at Time Life have brought together the very best episodes from the first five seasons with SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: THE EARLY YEARS, a hilarity-packed 12-disc collector’s DVD set featuring the “Not Ready for Prime Time Players” iconic characters, legendary guest hosts like George Carlin, Lily Tomlin, Steve Martin and Richard Pryor, exclusive bonus features and more! They’re still not ready for prime time, but now you can watch them any time!
What We Thought:
I haven’t watched Saturday Night Live in years which is a shame because I loved SNL. I used to watch it every Saturday night growing up and about 10 years ago it stopped being funny. It was always political and timely, but now it’s just biased and goes for low hanging fruit.
This beast of a set, Saturday Night Live: The Early Years from Time/Life, will remind people just how great the show was. My heyday for the show was the 1990s, but I used to watch all the old reruns on Comedy Central. Even if you weren’t old enough to watch the episodes when they originally aired, you knew names like Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray because of classic movie comedies. Watching this, you are reminded just how brilliant the cast and show was and how it turned people into legends.
This set is 33 episodes from the first 5 seasons. A lot of people don’t realize Chevy Chase was only on the first season and that Bill Murray replaced him in season 2. You kind of think they were on the show for years and that Murray was one of the original Not Ready for Primetime Players. But it was Chevy, Belushi, Aykroyd, Garrett Morris, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, and Laraine Newman for Season 1.
Along with the cast you think of some iconic episodes thanks to the host. Steve Martin is an all-timer and of course you get his King Tut skit in this collection. George Carlin hosted the premiere episode. Madeline Kahn does a great sketch with a throwback to Young Frankenstein and does a Baba Wawa (Barbara Walters) interview in the same episode. Plus it’s known for its incredible musical guests. One of my all-time favorites is Joe Cocker with John Belushi.
The Coneheads. The Blues Brothers. Two Wild & Crazy Guys. Father Guido Sarducci. Roseanne Roseannadanna. Candygram. If any of these ring a bell then you will love Saturday Night Live: The Early Years. I popped in a disc the day I got it and went through a ton of it over the next few days. I still have a ton more to go through as well because it’s HOURS of comedy. Belushi’s Samurai. Aykroyd’s salesman. The game show parodies. SNL was king at one point and it’s because of these early years the show thrived and turned its cast into stars of the 1970s and 1980s.
A MUST OWN!
- 33 Complete Episodes from Seasons 1-5
- The original groundbreaking, irreverent, hilarious cast
- All-time classic sketches including “Land Shark,” “Word Association,” “The Killer Bees,” “Super Bass-o-Matic,” “Weekend Update,” and so many more
- Iconic characters including Coneheads, Samurai, Emily Litella, Chevy Chase as President Ford, Shower Mike, The Blues Brothers, Baba Wawa, Roseanne Roseannadanna, the Nerds, the wild and crazy Festrunk brothers, a singing King Tut, Father Guido Sarducci, Dan Aykroyd’s French Chef, and more!
- Legendary guest hosts including Buck Henry, Madeline Kahn, Elliot Gould, Eric Idle, Candice Bergen, Charles Grodin, Robert Klein, Fred Willard, Carrie Fisher
- Incredible musical guests such as Patti Smith,Carly Simon, Joe Cocker, The Band, Paul Simon, Santana, Frank Zappa, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Randy Newman, Van Morrison, Blondie and more
- Plus rare footage of the original cast, including screen tests and interviews
- 28-Page Collector’s Book telling the story of the show and all of your favorite “Not Ready For Primetime Players”
- FREE Bonus DVD with three classic episodes, including Chevy Chase’s return to SNL with music icon Billy Joel, plus the historic 100th episode!
Available now exclusively at TimeLife.com/SaturdayNightLive this specially-curated collection includes: