It began with Johnny Carson wanting to take time off and NBC TV Network was looking for a weekend rerun replacement.
The World War II vet had a conversational approach with guests, and millions tuned in to watch his show. Between 1965 and 1975, NBC ran reruns of some of Carson’s greatest interviews on the weekend. The star asked to have the shows pulled and used during the week instead so he could take some time off. And thus, Dick Ebersol started developing something to air on Saturday nights.
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NBC Studio 8H was previously used by Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra as a radio soundstage. To avoid vibrations from the nearby subway, Toscanini requested had requested that the entire stage hangs on suspension wires from the floor above. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JQvyg3kJ54 Maestro Toscanini was one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century and NBC built a garden on top of the building, so he could go up there and chill.
While working as an NBC producer, I not only visited the garden regularly but attended the Thursday rehearsals during my lunch breaks.
And now tha I have buried the lead, there is a good reason. This SNL put the matters of cast turnover, the dwindling quality of its comedy, and concerns over its future front and center and all I can say is they don’t make them as funny as they were.