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A satirical news segment, initially starring Chevy Chase. Debuted October 11, 1975. It is considered the longest running recurring sketch in the show's history. Like the show itself, it has seen many changes over the years and has a revolving door of anchors, such as Bill Murray, Jane Curtin, Dan Aykroyd, Charles Rocket, Gail Matthius, Brian Doyle-Murray, Mary Gross, Christine Ebersole, Brad Hall, Christopher Guest, Dennis Miller, Kevin Nealon, Norm MacDonald, Colin Quinn, Tina Fey, Jimmy Fallon, Amy Poehler, and Seth Meyers.
The Killer Bees were the first characters to recur on SNL. According to a Lorne Michaels interview for the book Live From New York, "The only note we got from the network on the first show was 'Cut the bees.' And so I made sure I put them in the next show." The bees were played by all the repertory players at the time, who wore yellow and black horizontal stripes, wings, and overly springy antennae. Much of the humor from these scenes came out of puns or metaphors that had to do with well-known activities and body parts of bees.
The bees were a staple of the first season, appearing 11 times. However, the cast and crew quickly tired of them, and the Bees only appeared 3 further times during the original cast's five-year tenure.
Chevy Chase plays a shark attempting to lure his way into a victim's home. Debuted November 8, 1975.
A Laraine Newman sketch. Debuted November 15, 1975.
Dan Aykroyd is a crime scene photographer who gives the audience a list of clues and 60 seconds to solve a mystery. Debuted November 15, 1975.
Emily Litella was an elderly woman with a hearing problem, played by Gilda Radner in the late 1970s. She would frequently rant about topics about which she had misread or misheard, such as "Violins on Television," "Canker Research," "Endangered Feces," or "Presidential Erections." (To satisfy the censors at the time, Litella was made to explicitly state that she was referring to erecting statues of presidents.) Her catchphrase was "Never mind!", said after she was informed of her mistake.
A steakhouse commercial parody featuring Dan Aykroyd. Debuted December 20, 1975.
Michael O'Donoghue would tell children's bedtime stories with increasingly horrific, nightmarish twists. Debuted January 17, 1976.
A John Belushi sketch. Debuted January 24, 1976.
A John Belushi sketch. As Lowell Brock (not to be confused with his competitor at H&R Block, he gives reasons why he should do your taxes. He'll take the time . . because he has the time . . because he's doing time. Debuted January 31, 1976.
Mr. Bill got its start when Walter Williams sent SNL a Super-8 reel featuring the character in response to the show's request for home movies during the first season. Mr. Bill's first appearance occurred on the February 28, 1976 episode. Williams became a full-time writer for the show in 1978, writing more than 20 sketches based on Mr. Bill.
Each Mr. Bill episode would start innocently enough but would quickly turn dangerous for Mr. Bill. Along with his dog, Spot, he would suffer various indignities inflicted by "Mr. Hands," a man seen only as a pair of hands (played by Vance DeGeneres).
The character's popularity spawned the 1986 live-action movie Mr. Bill's Real Life Adventures.
Gilda Radner impersonates journalist Barbara Walters. Debuted April 24, 1976.
Laraine Newman impersonates film writer and director Lina Wertmüller. Debuted May 22, 1976.
|Preceded by||Recurring Saturday Night Live characters and sketches (listed chronologically)||Succeeded by|
Recurring Saturday Night Live characters and sketches introduced 1976-1977