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For more than four decades, a rotating troop of jesters have worked overtime to make sure you’re laughing every Saturday night. Some of the biggest names in comedy have actually walked through the SNL studio on their way to legend status. Teenagers spanning more than three generations have stayed up late on Saturdays to see what the sketch comedy show could cook up. Along the way, the series has become an unkillable part of TV history, something that you have to respect (even if it’s only occasionally funny these days). Here, for your consideration, are some things you might not know about Saturday Night Live.

1. The Big Idea

Originally called NBC’s Saturday Night, the show didn’t become SNL until a rival ABC show — the similarly named Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell — went off the air in 1976. Lorne Michaels really had something special in mind, though, as he once pitched the show as Monty Python meets 60 Minutes.

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Saturday Night Live
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