Animal welfare officer investigating an abused donkey discover it is actually a model
Animal welfare officers were called in to deal with a donkey who was allegedly being neglected recently.
However when they arrived to deal with the poor animal they discovered exactly why it had been standing outside in the rain for several weeks.
It was a life-size model.
Like a scene from a bad 90s sitcom, the fake donkey was actually a nativity scene prop and is kept in the garden of Reverend Georgie Baxendale when not performing.
The Scottish SPCA say they don’t know if the call was made as a prank or by a well-meaning but short-sighted walker.
Senior inspector Bill Little said: ‘When I arrived, the owner asked me if I wanted a laugh and when she showed me the ornamental donkey it certainly gave me a chuckle.
‘The donkey is made of fibreglass and goes by the name Joshua.’
The confusion didn’t bother Rev Baxendale, who called it the ‘funniest thing I’ve ever heard in my life’.
‘I used to have two donkeys and bought Joshua as a reminder,’ she added.
Despite the mix up, Mr Little said it is always ‘better to be safe than sorry and we’d encourage anyone with concerns about an animal to call our helpline on 03000 999 999′.
This isn’t the first time the Scottish SPCA have been fooled by model animals.
An officer in Aberdeen was called to a report of owl neglect a couple of years ago, but when he arrived he discovered the distressed bird was in fact a plastic garden water feature.
Comedy can often be a sword and a shield. George Carlin is one of the few comics that comes to mind when I think of a comedian who could make a point about a touchy subject, and make you laugh at the same time. Carlin had the verbal skill to have you laughing one minute, and the next minute drop an insightful message. George Carlin was a comedian who practically defined the word “edgy”. His material was often political and he was well known for pointing out hypocrisies which earned him the title “Master of Sociological Comedy”. Very few people have had the ability to say the things that need to be said in a way that makes you think and laugh like Carlin could. Carlin’s observations on life, people, politics, and religion will certainly be missed.
22 Brilliant Quotes from George Carlin:
“But when you’re in front of an audience and you make them laugh at a new idea, you’re guiding the whole being for the moment. No one is ever more him/herself than when they really laugh. Their defenses are down. It’s very Zen-like, that moment. They are completely open, completely themselves when that message hits the brain and the laugh begins. That’s when new ideas can be implanted. If a new idea slips in at that moment, it has a chance to grow.”
“If a man smiles all the time, he’s probably selling something that doesn’t work.”
“I don’t like ass kissers, flag wavers or team players. I like people who buck the system. Individualists. I often warn people: “Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you: ‘There is no “I” in team.’ What you should tell them is: ‘Maybe not. But there is an “I” in independence, individuality, and integrity.’”
“I do this real moron thing, and it’s called thinking. And apparently I’m not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions.”
“I’m completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. … These two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.”
“May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.”
“The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A Death! What’s that, a bonus? I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first; get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you’re too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work. You work forty years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement. You do drugs, alcohol, you party, you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb, you spend your last nine months floating …and you finish off as an orgasm.”
“I like it when a flower or a little tuft of grass grows through a crack in the concrete. It’s so fuckin’ heroic.”
“Religion is like a pair of shoes…..Find one that fits for you, but don’t make me wear your shoes.”
“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”
“Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money!”
“Life gets really simple once you cut out all the bull shit they teach you in school.”
“How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?”
“Now, there’s one thing you might have noticed I don’t complain about: politicians. Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don’t fall out of the sky. They don’t pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. “
“Here’s a bumper sticker I’d like to see: “We are the proud parents of a child who’s self-esteem is sufficient that he doesn’t need us promoting his minor scholastic achievements on the back of our car.”
“People who see life as anything more than pure entertainment are missing the point.”
“Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.”
“Oh Beautiful for smoggy skies, insecticide grain, for strip-mined mountain’s majesty above the asphalt plain. America, America, man sheds his waste on thee, and hides the pines with billboard signs, from sea to oily sea.”
“Everyone smiles in the same language.”
“We are a nation of sheep, and someone else owns the grass.”
“There’s a humorous side to every situation. The challenge is to find it.”
“This is a little prayer dedicated to the separation of church and state. I guess if they are going to force those kids to pray in schools they might as well have a nice prayer like this: Our Father who art in heaven, and to the republic for which it stands, thy kingdom come, one nation indivisible as in heaven, give us this day as we forgive those who so proudly we hail. Crown thy good into temptation but deliver us from the twilight’s last gleaming. Amen and Awomen. ”
These Bad 70s Men’s Fashion Ads Should be Burned (18 Pics)
The 70s was a weird time that should be forgotten… [via S&U]
10 People Who Fell Asleep At The Worst Possible Time
The airline passenger who fell asleep with his finger on slash key
We know that poor ventilation can sometimes leave airline passengers feeling sleepy. One busy traveler drifted off on his flight, but not before he took his finger off his laptop keyboard.
A video uploaded on YouTube showing the sleeping man with his finger stuck pushing the “////////////” key on his keyboard went viral, and has been watched almost 1,000,000 times since it was posted. Entitled “Dude sleeping on jet w/finger on slash key,” it was apparently shot by his seat mate.
Rome’s Fiumicino Airport security procedures were under fire after a drunk Norwegian tourist fell asleep on a baggage belt and travelled 160 feet before being identified by an X-ray scanner.
The unnamed 36-year-old arrived at the international terminal of Italy’s busiest airport in 2012 with a backpack and a can of beer in his hand.
The Norwegian was due to check in for a flight to Oslo. When he found no one on duty at the airline desk, he leapt across the counter and fell into a deep asleep on the baggage belt with his bag beside him. As the belt began to move the unsuspecting tourist reportedly travelled for 15 minutes through the secure baggage area in Terminal 3 before officials spotted his body curled up in a fetal position in an X-ray image on their monitors. He slept through the whole episode and airport police had trouble waking him when they were called to the scene to investigate what had happened. (Source)
A rape case collapsed after a senior judge was accused of snoozing while an alleged child abuse victim was giving evidence. Recorder Philip Cattan, a respected Manchester barrister who sits as a judge part-time, was seen to ‘nod off’ as the under-aged victim answered questions from the defense.
Concerned the 65-year-old judge had fallen asleep at a crucial point in the case, barristers said they wanted to raise a “point of law.” While the jury was out of the room, the judge was confronted with the claim that he had slept through part of the cross-examination of the witness, who was giving evidence via videolink because of her age.
The incident was witnessed by the family of the alleged victim in the trial of John Quigley, which was expected to last five days. The decision was then taken to abandon the trial.
The girl giving evidence was the first of two youngsters expected to testify that they were abused as little girls in offenses spanning from 2006 to 2013. She will now have to give evidence a second time when the case is re-listed. (Source)
A Comcast technician went to replace a faulty modem. After spending an hour on hold with Comcast’s central office, he fell asleep on the client’s couch. Customer Brian Finkelstein of Washington, D.C., posted a video of the sleeping technician and told this story on YouTube.com
Comcast was not amused and fired the guy. They also fixed the customer’s problem.(Source)
A drunken student fell asleep on a radiator and woke to find his arm melted to it. The reveler went out for a Christmas binge with some old mates. He admitted overdoing it, and when he got back to his digs he fell asleep slumped against the cold radiator.
While he slept, the central heating system turned on, and the hapless drunk slumbered for hours before being woken by searing pain in his left arm. The 21-year-old found his skin fused to the searing-hot radiator, and he had to painfully peel himself off.
An engineering student from Plymouth, Devon, took himself to a hospital where he received specialist burn treatment but is still carrying the scars of his ordeal. (Source)
During a Fox News segment to mark Super Tuesday in 2012, the presenter on duty was utterly flummoxed when he went live to the US capital only to find that his reporter had dozed off. For many Americans, Super Tuesday was an exciting, thrill-a-minute affair full of twists and turns. Not for reporter Doug Luzader however.
The Fox presenter said, “Well, Super Tuesday is in the rear-view mirror, and the results show a little something for everybody.
‘Doug Luzader is live on the scene with an update on all of this. Doug, good morning, good to see you. I guess six, three, one is pretty much the way it breaks down?’ It soon became clear from the broadcast picture that Luzader had in fact fallen asleep.
The presenter’s attempts to awaken him proved fruitless before he finally admitted defeat by saying “I guess not.” The broadcast did take place at 5:31 am local time, which could explain Luzader’s need for 40 winks.
Republican candidate Mitt Romney certainly wasn’t caught napping, as he managed to win the important Ohio vote as well as capturing some other vital states.
In April 2015, a baggage handler for Alaska Airlines fell asleep in the cargo area of the plane and began yelling and pounding on the walls when he awoke.
The passengers and crew of Alaska Airlines Flight 448 bound for Los Angeles heard screams and banging noises coming from the cargo hold after takeoff. The passengers were told that the plane would return to the airport, and they would be informed of the reason later. The employee spent 14 minutes in the pressurized, climate controlled cargo hold and was taken to a local hospital when the plane landed. (Source)
A Dublin man was found asleep on a pile of stolen cash with his accomplice after an armed robbery of a pharmacy. Luke Curry, 25, held open the security door of the shop while his accomplice entered. The other man was masked and carrying a kitchen knife.
The staff in the pharmacy said they were in fear during the robbery, in which €400 was stolen. As a result of inquiries and a local tip-off later that day, police went to a house near the pharmacy. They looked through a window of the house and saw the two suspects sleeping on a couch.
Police entered the house and had to wake the men up. They found €275 of the stolen cash in a pile under where they were lying and arrested both men. Curry was too intoxicated to be interviewed, but later claimed he was in the pharmacy for innocent reasons. (Source)
If you thought that being caught sleeping after a robbery was bad timing, wait until you hear this story – police in Sarasota, Florida arrested a man that broke into a home and fell asleep on the couch.
In May 2015, a resident woke up and found 29-year-old Timothy Bontrager sleeping on her living room couch. When she asked Bontrager what he was doing in her house, he apologized and left after she told him she was calling police.
Bontrager had entered through an unlocked sliding glass door in the back of the house. The woman then noticed her wallet, driver’s license, credit and debit cards, as well as checks, were missing from the table in the living room.
Talk about getting trashed. Two wasted people who fell asleep inside a Wawa dumpster in Tampa, Florida, after a rowdy night at a nearby casino, were tossed into the back of a garbage truck.
The shocked driver, who was starting his route when he heard yelling and banging on the back of his vehicle, pulled over about 5 a.m. and found Donald Jordan, 37, and Lisa Sirbella, 49, trapped in the back of his truck.
The boozy duo appeared “really intoxicated,” and were resting in the dumpster after hitting the slots, according to police. They were rescued by emergency responders and taken to Tampa General Hospital, where they were treated for back pain, the sheriff’s office said. They were not homeless, as cops initially believed. (Source)
If there’s anything you watch today, let it be this.
Not too long ago a video featuring three grandmas smoking pot for the first time went viral, and now the same creators who produced that sensation are back with something that might even be better. Not only is the following video entertaining, it’s incredibly informative.
All three of these retired officers (whom haven’t smoked since before being an officer) speak about their thoughts on the legalization of marijuana. One even says that while on the force, he never busted anyone for possession of pot. He states that he threw a lot of stashes away in front of those with possession, as he felt that to be a better deterrent for smokers than any criminal proceedings.
As you’ll see below, all three ex-cops seem to have enjoyed their experience. One’s headache even receded after smoking! Unanimously, they all agree they would partake again.
JACK THE BABOON EMPLOYED AS A SIGNALMAN BY A RAILROAD
Jack, the Baboon Employed as a Signalman by a Railroad:
During the late 1800s a baboon was employed by the railroad as a signalman. He never once made a mistake and worked for the railroad until his death
Hoax or Fact:
Fact with some missing information.
This is an interesting claim that says a Baboon was employed as a Signalman by a railroad during 1800s, and that he never made a mistake while working for the railroad until his death. The story is a fact, but does not convey complete information.
The remarkable story of Jack as the signalman baboon was described in Nov. 11, 1990 edition of The Telegraph newspaper, the detailed story of which was published in the July 24, 1890 issue of the science journal Nature.
Story in Detail
Jack, the baboon was owned by a railway man James Wide who lost both his legs in a railway accident in 1877, after which he took a post as signalman at Uitenhage station in the Cape, South Africa. About 4 years later, he saw a Chacma Baboon leading an ox wagon. So he bought the unusually intelligent animal to pull him around on a trolley.
Jack was put in charge of the coal yard keys and also did the station’s gardening, until Wide learnt that the baboon was skilled at operating signals. Jack learned each lever by name and was able to push them into position when a train approached at Uitenhage station. Wide would hold up one or two fingers (as a signal to the animal) and Jack would then pull the correct lever. Finally, Jack needed no instructions from his master and he really knew which lever to operate for each approaching train. Although the baboon was always under the eye of his master James Wide, Jack never made a mistake or required telling twice.
This interesting story of Jack, the baboon acting as a railway signalman is a very good example to prove that wisdom along with practice can create wonders!
In no particular order: Laraine Newman, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris, Bill Murray and Chevy Chase
‘Saturday Night Live': All 141 Cast Members Ranked
- “Saturday Night Live’s” 40th season premieres Saturday
- Show has been incredibly influential
- Cast members have become stars in many media
- “SNL” has become big leagues of comedy
(CNN) — On October 11, 1975, “Saturday Night Live” was first beamed into living rooms.
It wasn’t called “Saturday Night Live” then. It was “NBC’s Saturday Night,” because there was another “Saturday Night Live,” hosted by Howard Cosell, over on ABC. And its Not Ready for Prime Time Players — seven youthful comic veterans of theatrical and improvisational troupes — were known only to those who may have seen performances of Second City (both its Chicago and Toronto versions) or “National Lampoon’s Lemmings.”
Almost 40 years later, the show is an institution: its players celebrated, its catchphrases ubiquitous, its very name synonymous with the comedy big leagues.
As the show prepares for the premiere of its 40th season on Saturday, we celebrate “SNL’s” landmark contributions to pop culture.
From the beginning, “SNL” was both cutting-edge comedy and a throwback to TV’s golden era. The show aired live: no retakes, no second chances. Though there’s plenty of taped material — and an occasional delay in case of profanity — it still airs live today.
“From New York”
Also like those golden age shows, it airs from New York. When “SNL” started, the Big Apple was a TV backwater, home of soap operas, news operations and little else. Today, a number of network shows shoot in Gotham, and even talk shows have come back to town.
“It’s Saturday Night!”
Before “Saturday Night Live,” late Saturday night was home to old movies, reruns and local programming. The show not only made the slot a network profit center, it helped bring in a youthful audience, which it still does today.
Studio 8H, 30 Rockefeller Center
When it was built in the early ’30s, 8H was the largest studio in the world, home to Arturo Toscanini’s orchestral radio broadcasts. The NBC studio has been the home of “SNL” since the beginning.
The Not Ready for Prime Time Players
The show’s first cast: Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, Laraine Newman and Gilda Radner. The show has had more than 130 performers in the years since.
Except for five seasons in the early ’80s, the show’s creator and executive producer, a Canadian native and former “Laugh-In” writer, has been in charge for all of the show’s soon-to-be 40 seasons.
“SNL’s” original director for most of its first 20 seasons. He set the tone for the show and was game enough to take part in the occasional sketch.
The longtime NBC announcer introduced the first cast — and pretty much every one after that. All told, Pardo announced for 38 of the show’s first 39 seasons. He died in August at 96. Darrell Hammond, “SNL’s” longest-serving cast member, is taking his place.
Eugene Lee, Franne Lee and Akira Yoshimura
The Lees and Yoshimura created the show’s look; in fact, Eugene Lee, who’s also won several Tonys, has been “SNL’s” production designer for the entire run. For his part, Yoshimura has connections to several other NBC shows, including “Today,” “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” and “Star Trek.” Well, at least the “SNL” parodies, in which he played Sulu.
The show’s midnight hour begins with a recap of the news. It’s been hosted by everybody from Chevy Chase to Cecily Strong and Colin Jost, with notable turns from Dennis Miller, Norm Macdonald and Tina Fey. It hasn’t always been called “Weekend Update”: for a time in the ’80s, the news segment was called “SNL Newsbreak” and “Saturday Night News.”
The “30 Rock” actor leads the way among “SNL’s” most popular guest hosts with 16 appearances. Steve Martin has 15. Other frequent guest hosts include Buck Henry, John Goodman and Tom Hanks.
But to prove that “Anyone Can Host” “SNL,” the show had a contest in 1977 to show just that. The winner was Spillman, a New Orleans octogenarian who did just fine with the program’s drug-fueled humor. Today she’d probably get her own show.
TV’s most famous Play-Doh accident victim was created by Walter Williams as the subject of a Super 8 film. Soon, his adventures with Spot, Sluggo and Mr. Hands were regular features on the program. He later did commercials, game shows and even became Peter Scolari for a real-life TV program.
Not every host was so welcome. Louise Lasser locked herself in her dressing room. She was never asked back. Milton Berle hammed it up. Never again. Steven Seagal, Martin Lawrence and Adrien Brody are also persona non grata.
Paul Simon in a turkey suit
“SNL” is not above making stars look foolish. On the 1976 Thanksgiving show, Simon came out wearing a turkey suit and started singing “Still Crazy After All These Years.” Dolly Parton went along with a skit called “Planet of the Enormous Hooters,” originally written for Raquel Welch. Timberlake put his d**k in a box. You get the idea.
Your musical guest
“SNL” has hosted some of the biggest names in music, often giving them their first taste of the big time. The Rolling Stones played “SNL” — and so did Devo and Fear. Justin Timberlake has taken the stage — and so did Lana Del Rey and Ashlee Simpson. You could set aside a portion of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (or Hall of Shame) for “SNL’s” music.
But “SNL” never landed the biggest of them all, the Beatles. (Not that anyone else did, either, after 1969.) It wasn’t for lack of trying, though. After a $50 million reunion offer was made to the Fab Four in 1976, Michaels responded by countering with $3,000. The ploy almost worked: a week later, Paul McCartney was visiting John Lennon in New York and the two almost headed down to the studio from Lennon’s Dakota residence. McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr all have appeared solo over the years.
Howard Shore and Paul Shaffer
For musical inspiration, the show has also relied on Shore and Shaffer. Shore was music director for the first five seasons. He’s gone on to really big things since, including composing the music for the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, which won him three Oscars. Shaffer, who could play music impresario Don Kirshner in a pinch, has been David Letterman’s bandleader for more than 30 years.
Another of “SNL’s” music directors was once married to Gilda Radner and the guitarist in Hall & Oates’ band. Smith led the “SNL” group from 1985 to 1995.
Game show parodies
What would “SNL” be without game shows? The program has taken numerous shots at “Jeopardy” and “Family Feud” and frequently made up its own contests, including “Jackie Rogers Jr.’s $100,000 Jackpot Wad” and one in which Phil Hartman played God. He did very well.
“SNL” has regularly gone to tape to air some short films. Some of the best include Eddie Murphy’s investigation, “White Like Me,” Harry Shearer and Martin Short as synchronized swimmers and the cartoons of Robert Smigel’s “TV Funhouse.”
“SNL“ prime time
The show hasn’t always stayed in late night. There have been a number of prime-time specials over the years, from the ridiculous — a messy Mardi Gras program in 1977 — to the sublime: 2008’s “Presidential Bash,” which gave Tina Fey another opportunity to play Sarah Palin.
John Belushi was a samurai. Phil Hartman was Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer. Adam Sandler was Opera Man. In fact, some of these characters were so popular they got their own movies.
Your local theater has featured movies based on “SNL” characters almost as long as there’s been a “Saturday Night Live.” “The Blues Brothers” went from a strange skit to a hit album and popular movie; “Wayne’s World” was a huge success. Even Julia Sweeney’s androgynous Pat got a movie — “It’s Pat” — though most folks probably want to forget it.
“SNL“ movie stars
The list of “SNL” performers who have gone on to big-screen stardom is long and influential: John Belushi, Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Tina Fey, Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell, just for starters. Even Robert Downey Jr. spent a year in the “SNL” cast when he was best known for playing a jerk in “Weird Science.”
Those who have left us
A handful of “SNL” cast members have left the stage entirely. They include John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Phil Hartman, Chris Farley, Danitra Vance and Charles Rocket, as well as writers Tom Davis and Michael “Mr. Mike” O’Donoghue.
The parody commercial has long been an “SNL” stock in trade, whether it’s Dan Aykroyd’s Ron Popeil-like pitchman for Bass-o-Matic (“Mmm, that’s good bass!”) to Chris Farley and Adam Sandler in an ad for “Schmitt’s Gay, the beer for homosexuals.” Don’t take “Colon Blow” or you may find yourself in need of “Ooops, I Crapped My Pants!”
Pushing the limits
“SNL” has battled NBC’s censors over the years, so it’s surprising what did make it on the air. How about “Sofa King,” the New Jersey furniture store? Or the music video “D**k in a Box”? The show was once even sponsored by “Pussy Whip, the first dessert topping for cats.”
Over the years, “SNL’s” parodies of celebrities have become better known than the celebrity’s own persona. Dan Aykroyd nailed talk-show host Tom Snyder and Phil Hartman was a wicked Frank Sinatra (“I’ve got chunks of guys like you in my stool!”). The show’s been on long enough that its own stars have since been parodied — witness Jay Pharoah’s take on Eddie Murphy.
Politicians and presidents
But when it comes to impersonations, politicians deserve their own slot. Gerald Ford may have been our most athletic president — the guy almost went into the NFL — but when Chevy Chase started falling down, it was all over. Will Ferrell was a master George W. Bush, while Dana Carvey cornered the market for W.’s father. And could Tina Fey have helped decide the 2008 election with her version of Sarah Palin? 1980 independent John Anderson is lucky he showed up in person.
Where you want to start? “Cheeseboogie, cheeseboogie, cheeseboogie”? “Schwing!” “Well, isn’t that special?” “Da Bearss!” A good chunk of the pop culture phrasebook wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for “Saturday Night Live.”
“Saturday Night Live” is, by definition, live, so occasionally the show shocks even the cast. Sinead O’Connor ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II while saying “Fight the real enemy.” Elvis Costello abruptly stopped “Less Than Zero” to play the anti-industry “Radio, Radio.” Charles Rocket let the F-word fly. For all of the planning and preparation, sometimes stuff happens.
Sometimes the shock is on us — especially when there are unexpected guests. Janet Reno dropped by “Janet Reno’s Dance Party,” and the real Sarah Palin showed up next to Fey’s version. Perhaps the most ingenious was Barbra Streisand guesting on “Coffee Talk,” delighting Streisand worshipper Linda Richman (Mike Myers).
Viewers naturally focus on the cast, but without “SNL’s” writers, the show would be a lot of dead air. So let’s pay some tribute to Anne Beatts and Marilyn Suzanne Miller, Al Franken and Tom Davis, Jim Downey and Alan Zweibel, Andy Breckman and Carol Leifer, Bonnie and Terry Turner, Jack Handey and Robert Smigel, Bob Odenkirk and Ian Maxtone-Graham, Adam McKay and Max Brooks, Mindy Kaling and Simon Rich, and the dozens of others who have written all that material.
“Saturday Night Live” opened the door for several other edgy sketch shows. An early competitor was “Fridays” on ABC, which gave us Michael Richards and Larry David. Later came “MADtv,” “Mr. Show” and “Exit 57.” If the old-fashioned variety show is no more, it’s because of “SNL” and its imitators.
“Saturday Night Live” may seem as American as apple pie, but like the Band, there’s a portion that’s as Canadian as a maple syrup-covered moose. Among the show’s north-of-the-border notables: Dan Aykroyd, Mike Myers, Martin Short, Norm Macdonald, musicians Howard Shore and Paul Shaffer, and creator Lorne Michaels.
The show has also used some improv groups as pipelines. More than two dozen of the cast members have come from Second City’s outposts in Chicago and Toronto, and at least 15 have learned the trade with Los Angeles’ Groundlings comedy troupe.
In recent years, word of mouth — “Did you see that sketch?” — has been replaced by viral video and social media. The show quickly adapted to new technology, particularly thanks to Andy Samberg and the Lonely Island troupe, whose “Lazy Sunday” became a Web sensation in 2005.
According to the Internet Movie Database, “SNL” has won 45 Primetime Emmys over the years. It won four its first year — including outstanding comedy-variety series — and, just last month, picked up five more.
The first show of the 2014-15 season will be “SNL’s” 767th, and it’s long since become the longest-running variety series in U.S. history. To put it another way, both the season premiere host, Chris Pratt, and musical guest, Ariana Grande, were born after “SNL” first went on the air. So here’s to another 40 years — except, this time, let’s use more cowbell.