30 Crazy Things You NEVER Knew About ‘Saturday Night Live’

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For over forty years, Saturday Night Live has kept audiences rolling with laughter.

Along with gifting fans hilarious bits in front of its cameras, the show’s also racked up some pretty intriguing, lesser-known behind the scenes memories.

People got fired. People got slapped. SNL be crazy, y’all! Here are thirty of SNL‘s juiciest gossipy secrets.

Live From New York, It’s…Drama, Drama, DRAMA!

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Chris Farley idolized John Belushi so much that once, he stole an old pair of John’s pants from the wardrobe room. Now that’screepy.

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When SNL first came on the air, cast members only made $750 per episode. Or as Olya Povlatsky would call it…THE BIG BUCKS!

SNL Has Only Had Four Directors…Ever

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Dave Wilson handled the ‘70s, some of the ‘80s, and half of the ‘90s. Paul Miller stepped up to the plate for the chunk of the ‘80s Wilson missed. Beth McCarthy-Miller took over the second half of the ‘90s up until 2006. And Don Roy King’s been on the job ever since.

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On the first ever SNL episode, Chevy Chase delivered the show’s signature welcome… “Live from New York, it’s SATURDAY NIGHT!”

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Of all of SNL’s cast members, he’s said “Live from New York, It’s Saturday Night” the most. Seventy times to be exact.

Chris Parnell Got Fired…Twice

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In 2001 and then again in 2006. Can you believe it? I can’t believe it!

John Mulaney Constantly Pranked Stefon

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Remember how Bill Hader’s character, Stefon’s composure constantly broke on screen? That was much thanks to SNL writer, John Mulaney! He’d change the lines up on Hader, forcing him to read things he’d never seen before…live. So savage.

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He really needed work, so Eddie called Neil Levy, the show’s then-talent coordinator, daily begging for a job. Eventually, Levy caved, and had Murphy in to audition. Murphy obviously blew him away right then and there, and was immediately offered a contract.

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He auditioned for the show in 1993, but didn’t get cast. Instead, Robert Smigel called him up and offered him a spot in Late Night with Conan O’Brien’s writers room.

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Originally, SNL was called, NBC’s Saturday Night. Why? Because the name Saturday Night Live was already in use over at ABC on Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell. Soon, though, ABC’s show ended, and Lorne quickly swooped in to claim the title Saturday Night Live for his program.

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In 1992, Sinead O’Connor got herself banned from SNL forever. How? By ripping up a photo of the Pope on stage during her performance. Yup. That’ll do it.

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Ronald Reagan Jr. is the only presidential child to ever host SNL. He also referred to Terry Sweeney as “Mom” during his entire show week because he was so fond of her Nancy Reagan impression. Aww.

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He was the one who noted Fey and Palin’s uncanny resemblance to Lorne Michaels. De Niro, we are forever in your debt.

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Nick Nolte was supposed to host. Nick Nolte went to Studio 54 the night before. Nick Nolte was naughty. Bye bye, SNL hosting. Hello, black coffee and aspirin.

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He was the first ever SNL perfomer the show cast who wasn’t actually alive when the show first began. What’s up with that? What’s up with that?!

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Back in the ‘80s, Larry David wrote for the show and constantly struggled to get any material on air. One Friday, five minutes before the show’s start time, he up and quit. Then, he took the weekend, realized how much money he was walking away from, and scurried back to work that next Monday.

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He pretended to be George Carlin’s BFF. The two went to camp together…but hadn’t been close at all. Lorne bought it. Oh Lorne.

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In the 1990s, the network wanted Lorne to develop a late night lookalike to SNL for them. They were even going to build a Lorne Michaels Theater. Alas, he could not leave his baby.

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Back in 1974, the former Tonight Show host became largely responsible for why SNL even exists. Bro wanted more vacation days, a goal he could only swing if NBC stopped airing reruns of his show on weekends and instead used them on the weekdays he wanted off. So, NBC agreed and hired Lorne Michaels to develop a show to fill their now-open weekend slot. And the rest is history!

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He was the show’s first host. Back in the ‘70s. How epic is that?

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Sometimes, the show’s writers were so lazy, they wouldn’t even leave their offices to go to the bathroom. They’d just pee in jars. Um…yuck!

There Are People Who Have Turned Down Jobs At SNL

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John Candy and Johnny Knoxville to be exact. Seems like they both fared fine without it.

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Farley found out first, then burst into Sandler’s office with the news. Maybe it felt easier because they got to do it together? Yeah, you’re right. Probs not.

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It was epic. Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi broke them up. Quite the star-studded brawl.

Only One Friends Friend Never Hosted

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Lorne asked all the Friends friends to host…except Joey. Poor Joey. I bet someone could use a nice tasty sandwich, huh?

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SNL’s home, Studio 8H’s balcony level seats are on loan from Yankee Stadium. They’ve been there since the show premiered in 1975 (loaned under the assumption that the show wouldn’t last long) and still remain today, mostly out of superstition. NBC pays fines to NYC to continue using them and everything.

Candice Bergen Can Claim All Sorts of SNL Firsts

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She was the show’s first female host. And first repeat host. AND first woman to host the show five whole times. Go Candice Go!

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Back when Murphy was on the show in the ‘80s, other cast members had to come down curbside with him at night to help him catch cabs. Cabbies often refused to stop for him, because of his race.

Elections Cost SNL Its Home

A few time, SNL’s crew had to shoot the show outside of its normal home in Studio 8H. Both in 1976 and 1984, they did so because the studio was being used instead for election coverage. In 1977, they performed one episode live (on a Sunday) in New Orleans.

SNL Nearly Reunited The Beatles

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Lorne offered them $3,000. John and Paul were watching at the time and briefly pondered taking him up on his offer. Alas…they were too tired.