Tag Archives: comedy

Hold On To Your Cheesecake, A ‘Golden Girls’ Cafe Is Coming

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 Though you may not find it cool to watch “The Golden Girls.” I did. My ex mother-in-law who has since passed away, got me hooked on the show. I thought it was for “old people” but began to watch it too. It was a fun show with cool characters.

Hold On To Your Cheesecake, A ‘Golden Girls’ Cafe Is Coming

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We’re more excited than Blanche Devereaux on a first date.

06/22/2016 08:55 am ET

NBC via Getty Images
It won’t be quite like the “Golden Girls” kitchen, but close. 

If you threw a party, invited everyone you knew, you might want to consider hosting it here.

DNAInfo reported Monday that Michael J. LaRue, a longtime friend of actress Rue McClanahan (or as any fan knows her, Blanche Devereaux), plans to open a “Golden Girls”-themed café in the Washington Heights area of Manhattan alongside McClanahan’s son.

LaRue, who told the site he’s been planning to open a restaurant since McClanahan’s death in 2010, promises live music from McClanahan’s piano, “Golden Girls” memorabilia and even outdoor seating. A lanai, if you will!

LaRue even told DNAInfo he’s arranged for Betty White to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony when the restaurant opens, which Entertainment Weekly reports will be in August.

Aside from the obvious cheesecake, dishes on the menu will include “Bea Arthur’s pasta salad, Estelle Getty’s chocolate chip cookies, and Rue’s orange poppy seed cake. Of course we’ll have Sophia’s lasagna al forno and goodies from St. Olaf by Rose,” LaRue told EW.

But as loyal “Golden Girls” fans ourselves, we couldn’t help but dream up a few suggested menu items of our own. Picture it:

1. Devereaux-ni and cheese: a Blanche-worthy mac-and-cheese dish made with extra cayenne pepper for a spicy, sassy punch.

2. Soph-ijitas: Fajitas that you love even though they sometimes make you feel bad about yourself.

3. Eggs Lanai: eggs any style, but served only outdoors.

4. Shady Pines-wich: A sandwich no one ever orders but simply exists to haunt customers about what they could be eating if they don’t behave.

5. The St. Olaf Special: A dish that doesn’t really make any sense, but for some reason, you keep ordering it episode after episode visit after visit.

So, yeah. You might want to consider being a friend and canceling whatever plans you might have made for August that aren’t this.

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Passionate Pioneers Restaurants Golden Girls Rue Mcclanahan

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COOL PEOPLE -# CARROL O’CONNER AND ALL IN THE FAMILY

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Carroll O’Connor Biography

Film Actor, Television Actor (1924–2001)

 Quick Facts

Carroll O’Connor was born on August 2, 1924, in New York City. He served in World War II as a merchant marine. He became a stage actor and appeared regularly as a character actor on TV in the 1960s, but it was his portrayal of Archie Bunker in the 1970s sitcom All in the Family that made him a star. He won four Emmy Awards for the role. He died on June 21, 2001.

Early Career

Carroll O’Connor was born on August 2, 1924 to a lawyer and a school teacher. His family moved from the Bronx to Elmhurst and then Forest Hills, Queens, where young O’Connor developed a strong interest in baseball. He entertained the idea of becoming a sportswriter and attended college at Wake Forest University in North Carolina in 1941.

He left college and returned to New York after the start of World War II and volunteered for the Naval Air Corps. The Navy rejected him partly because of his poor college grades, and he joined the United States Merchant Marine Academy instead as a midshipman. He was called out by officers for having a bad attitude and dropped out to join the National Maritime Union and become a merchant seamen.

After World War II, O’Connor returned to New York and worked for an Irish newspaper run by his family. He considered a career in journalism and returned to Wake Forest in 1948 and then took courses at Montana State University where he met another student, Nancy Fields, whom he married in 1951.

Still unsure about his career path, he took a trip to Dublin in 1950 and enrolled at the University College where he began to act, using the stage name George Roberts. He appeared in productions at the Dublin’s Gate Theater and performed Shakespeare at the Edinburgh Festival and throughout Ireland. He graduated in 1952 and wanted to pursue an acting career.

But when he returned to New York, he couldn’t find acting jobs so he worked as a New York City school teacher until he auditioned for a stage production of James Joyce’s Ulysses, produced by the actor Burgess Meredith. O’Connor won that role and then starred in an Off Broadway production of Clifford Odet’s Big Knife. O’Connor’s portrayal of a greedy studio boss drew attention and his acting career began to take off.

Television CareerIn 1960, O’Connor broke into television, playing the role of the prosecutor in the Armstrong Circle Theater production of The Sacco-Vanzetti Story. Over the next decade, he worked as a character actor in television shows includng The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Bonanza and The Outer Limits, as well as movies such as Cleopatra (1963), starring Elizabeth Taylor, Otto Preminger’s World War II epic In Harm’s Way (1965) and the 1970 war comedy Kelly’s Heroes. He had also been up for the role of the Skipper in the TV show Gilligan’s Island, but lost the part to Alan Hale. However, another role was about to define him as one of the greatest TV actors of all time.

All in the Family

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All in the Family / Archie Bunker’s Place Opening Credits  

https://youtu.be/0d8FTPv955I

The “N” Word Unbleeped, All in the Family/ The Jeffersons

https://youtu.be/NuznDnDlTuI

All in the Family S3 E17 – Archie Goes Too Far

https://youtu.be/uDeNxdjh7tg

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O’Connor was offered the role of the working-class bigot Archie Bunker in Norman Lear’s All in the Family, but he wasn’t confident it would be a success. He was living in Rome at the time and asked producers to buy a round-trip ticket so he could return when the show was cancelled. But the show became one of the highest-rated on television from 1971 to 1979 with a spin-off Archie Bunker’s Place that remained on the air until 1983.

O’Connor, who was a political liberal, took on the controversial role of the conservative bigot Archie Bunker when other actors, including Jackie Gleason and Mickey Rooney, had turned it down. His portrayal of Archie showed the character’s humanity with humor that connected to audiences and earned him four Emmy Awards.

Later Career & Death

After his award-winning portrayal of Archie Bunker, O’Connor starred in another hit series In the Heat of the Night, based on the 1967 movie. O’Connor played a tough Mississippi police chief from 1988 until 1992. He starred alongside his real-life son Hugh O’Connor, who played Officer Lonnie Jamison.

Tragically, Hugh, who had struggled for years with drug addiction, committed suicide in 1995. O’Connor dealt with the tragedy of losing his son by appearing in several public service announcements to raise awareness about drug addiction. He also lobbied the State of California to pass the 1997 Drug Dealer Civil Liability Act, also known as The Hugh O’Connor Memorial Law, which makes drug dealers civilly liable to families whose lose a child to illegal drugs and others injured by illegal drugs.

While dealing with the loss of his son, O’Connor underwent heart surgery in 1998 to clear blockage in a cardiac artery, and in June 2001, O’Connor suffered a fatal heart attack. Actor Martin Sheen delivered the eulogy at his funeral which was attended by hundreds of actors and fans who gave him a final standing ovation as 76 doves were released to represent every year of the actor’s life.

All in the Family

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Premise

All in the Family revolves around Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Connor), a working-class World War II veteran living in Queens, New York. He is an outspoken bigot, seemingly prejudiced against everyone who is not a U.S.-born, politically conservative, heterosexual White Anglo-Saxon Protestant male, and dismissive of anyone not in agreement with his view of the world. His ignorance and stubbornness seem to cause his malapropism-filled arguments to self-destruct. He often responds to uncomfortable truths by blowing a raspberry. He longs for better times when people sharing his viewpoint were in charge, as evidenced by the nostalgic theme song “Those Were the Days,” the show’s original title. Despite his bigotry, he is portrayed as loveable and decent, as well as a man who is simply struggling to adapt to the changes in the world, rather than someone motivated by hateful racism or prejudice.

By contrast, Archie’s wife, Edith (Jean Stapleton), is a sweet and understanding, if somewhat naïve, woman who usually defers to her husband. On the rare occasions when Edith takes a stand she proves to be one of the wisest characters, as evidenced in the episodes “The Battle of the Month” and “The Games Bunkers Play“. Archie often tells her to “stifle” herself and calls her a “dingbat”.  Despite their different personalities they love each other deeply.

They have one child, Gloria (Sally Struthers) who, for the most part, is kind and good natured, like her mother, but who also on occasion displays traces of her father’s stubbornness; she becomes more of an outspoken feminist as the series progresses. Gloria is married to college student Michael Stivic (Rob Reiner). Michael is referred to as “Meathead” by Archie and “Mike” by nearly everyone else. Mike is a bit of a hippie, and his morality is influenced and shaped by the counterculture of the 1960s. He and Archie represent the real-life clash between the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boomers. They constantly clash over religious, political, social, and personal issues. For much of the series, the Stivics live in the Bunkers’ home to save money, providing even more opportunity for the two men to irritate each other. When Mike finally finishes graduate school and the Stivics move out, it turns out to be to the house next door. The house was offered to them by George Jefferson, the Bunkers’ former neighbor, who knows it will irritate Archie. In addition to calling him “Meathead”, Archie also frequently cites Mike’s Polish ancestry, referring to him as a “dumb Polack.”

The show is set in the Astoria section of Queens, one of New York City’s five boroughs, with the vast majority of scenes taking place in the Bunkers’ home at 704 Hauser Street (and later, frequently, the Stivics’ home). Occasional scenes take place in other locations, most often (especially during later seasons) Kelsey’s Bar, a neighborhood tavern where Archie spends a good deal of time and which he eventually buys. The house seen in the opening is at 89-70 Cooper Avenue near the junction of the Glendale, Middle Village, and Rego Park sections of Queens. According to the US Postal Service, the official address is: 8970 COOPER AVE, REGO PARK NY 11374-

Cast

Main character

The Bunkers & the Stivics: standing, Gloria (Sally Struthers) and Michael (Rob Reiner); seated, Archie (Carroll O’Connor) and Edith (Jean Stapleton) with baby Joey.

  • Carroll O’Connor as Archie Bunker. Frequently called a “lovable bigot”, Archie was an assertively prejudiced blue-collar worker. Former child actor Mickey Rooney was Lear’s first choice to play Archie, but Rooney declined the offer because of the strong potential for controversy and, in Rooney’s opinion, a poor chance for success. Scott Brady, formerly of the western series Shotgun Slade, also declined the role of Archie Bunker, but appeared four times on the series in 1976 in the role of Joe Foley.
  • Jean Stapleton as Edith Bunker, née Baines. It was Stapleton who developed Edith’s recognizable voice. Stapleton remained with the show through the original series run but decided to leave before the first season of Archie Bunker’s Place had wrapped up. At that point Edith was written out as having suffered a stroke and died off-camera, leaving Archie to deal with the death of his beloved “dingbat”. Stapleton appeared in all but four episodes of All in the Family and had a recurring role during the first season of Archie Bunker’s Place. In the series’ first episode, Edith is portrayed as being less of a dingbat and even sarcastically refers to her husband as “Mr. Religion, here…” after they come home from church, something her character wouldn’t be expected to say, later.
  • Sally Struthers as Gloria Stivic, née Bunker. The Bunkers’ college-age daughter was married to Michael Stivic. Gloria frequently attempted to mediate Archie’s and Michael’s arguments. The roles of the Bunkers’ daughter and son-in-law (then named “Dickie”) initially went to Candice Azzara and Chip Oliver. However, after seeing the show’s pilot, ABC, the original production company, requested a second pilot expressing dissatisfaction with both actors. Lear later recast the roles of “Gloria” and “Dickie” with Struthers and Reiner. Penny Marshall (Reiner’s wife, whom he married in April 1971, shortly after the program began) was also considered for the role of Gloria. During the earlier seasons of the show, Struthers was known to be discontented with how static her part was, frequently coming off as irritating and having only a few token lines. As the series continued Gloria’s character became more developed, satisfying Struthers. Struthers appeared in 157 of the 202 episodes during the first eight seasons—from January 12, 1971 to March 19, 1978. She later reprised the role in the spin-off series Gloria, which lasted for a single season in 1982-83.
  • Rob Reiner as Michael Stivic. Gloria’s Polish-American hippie husband was part of the counterculture of the 1960s. He constantly sparred with Archie (in the original pilot, he was Irish-American). Michael was, in many ways, as stubborn as Archie, even though his moral views were generally presented as being more ethical and his logic somewhat sounder. Though this was true, he was generally portrayed in a more negative light than Archie; Archie was portrayed in a more sympathetic sense, while Michael was portrayed as loudmouthed and at times, demanding. He consistently tried to prove himself correct (as evidenced in the episode “The Games Bunkers Play”) and seemed desperate to convince people that his way was the right way to go all the time, even more than Archie, who gave up giving advice about his way when there was no point. This would occasionally, if not often, end him up in conflict with his friends and wife. For his bullheadedness, Stivic was sometimes criticized for being an elitist. He also struggled with assumptions of male superiority. He spoke of believing in female equality, but often tried to control Gloria’s decisions and desires in terms of traditional gender roles. While Archie was a representative of supposed bigotry and demonstrated the lion’s share of the hypocrisy, Michael, on many occasions, showed his own. As discussed in All in the Family retrospectives, Richard Dreyfuss sought the part but Norman Lear was convinced to cast Reiner. Reiner appeared in 174 of the 202 episodes of the series during the first eight seasons—from January 12, 1971 to March 19, 1978. Reiner is also credited with writing three of the series’ episode1]
  • Danielle Brisebois as Edith’s 9-year-old grandniece, Stephanie Mills, who is a regular throughout the 9th season. The Bunkers take her in after the child’s father, Floyd Mills, abandons her on their doorstep in 1978 (he later extorts money from them to let them keep her). She remained with the show through its transition to Archie Bunker’s Place, and appeared in all four seasons of the latter show.

COOL PEOPLE – the original Saturday night live team

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Original-SNL-Cast-360x200

In no particular order: Laraine Newman, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris, Bill Murray and Chevy Chase

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‘Saturday Night Live’: All 141 Cast Members Ranked

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/tv/lists/saturday-night-live-all-141-cast-members-ranked-20150211#ixzz3U0XCvTBi
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 40 reasons why ‘Saturday Night Live’ is still awesome in its 40th year

By Todd Leopold, CNN
updated 12:26 PM EDT, Fri September 26, 2014

Source: CNN
 STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • “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.

‘Saturday Night Live’s’ 5 best skits

As the show prepares for the premiere of its 40th season on Saturday, we celebrate “SNL’s” landmark contributions to pop culture.

“Live”

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.

Rockefeller Center
The show has originated from New York’s Rockefeller Center since the beginning.
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“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.

Lorne Michaels
Lorne Michaels created “SNL” and has run it for most of its 39 seasons.
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Lorne Michaels

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.

Dave Wilson

“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.

Don Pardo

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.

Don Pardo
Don Pardo was “SNL’s” announcer for most of its run.
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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.

“Weekend Update”

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.”

Alec Baldwin

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.

Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin has hosted “SNL” the most times.
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Miskel Spillman

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.

Mr. Bill

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.

Banned hosts

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.

The Beatles
“SNL” landed some big acts, but never the Beatles — though not from lack of trying.
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The Beatles

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.

G.E. Smith

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.

Short films

“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.”

Not Ready for Prime Time Players
The originals (L-R): Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, Chevy Chase, Laraine Newman, Garrett Morris, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd.
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“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.

Recurring characters

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.

“SNL 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.

Wayne's World
Dana Carvey and Mike Myers in “Wayne’s World,” one of the most successful of “SNL”-related movies.
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“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.

Fake ads

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!”

John Belushi
John Belushi, one of the original cast members, died in 1982.
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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.”

Impersonations

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.

Will Ferrell as George W. Bush
Darrell Hammond as Dick Cheney and Will Ferrell as George W. Bush in 2009.
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Catchphrases

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.”

Shockers

“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.

Cameos

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).

Writers

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.

Tina Fey, Sarah Palin
Tina Fey’s resemblance to Sarah Palin paid comedic dividends.
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Imitators

“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.

Canadians

“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.

Improvisers

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.

Going viral

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.

Emmys

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.

Tina Fey, Lorne Michaels (center) and Dennis McNicholas pose with Emmys in 2002.
Tina Fey, Lorne Michaels (center) and Dennis McNicholas pose with Emmys in 2002.
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“Good night!”

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.

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Original cast members of NBC’s Saturday Night Live

http://youtu.be/p9v1vLuCO2c?list=PLCmxZHumUz_szi0UQHmqAFm5V_XeXSrSd

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Tribute to the SNL Original Cast (1975-1980)

http://youtu.be/Prs3WkcoJ84