Summary “NBC’s Saturday Night” beats the competition – namely, ABC’s “Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell”. Cosell’s comedy/variety show was cancelled by ABC, enabling NBC to retain the name for their comedy variety show. The show was shortened to just “Saturday Night” at the beginning of its sophomore season, but finally became “Saturday Night Live” towards the end of the season. They also gained custody of Bill Murray from Cosell’s show, a much-needed performer after “Weekend Update” anchorman Chevy Chase left the show to pursue a girl (and possibly a movie career) in California.
One trivia note: a young, white-haired arrow-through-his-head comedian named Steve Martin made his hosting debut on this season’s fifth episode, catapulting him to stardom, guest-hosting stints on “The Tonight Show” and endless, corny movies. But, despite popular belief, he was never an actual cast member.
Perhaps the biggest event of the season (literally, as part of NBC’s “Big Event” Sunday) occurred in the form of “SNL”‘s first prime-time special, performed live from New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Although the mobile broadcast was a disaster of epic proportions, it would not be the last time that “SNL” was broadcast outside of its Saturday night timeslot (thankfully, from its own studio where the unexpected could be better controlled).
Don Roy King has directed fourteen seasons of Saturday Night Live. That work has earned him ten Emmys and fourteen nominations. Additionally, he has been nominated for fifteen DGA Awards and won in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.
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