Information covering the past 40 years of Saturday Night Live

The Lonely Island:

Composed of SNL former cast members Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, this group of friends put together musical "Digital Shorts" on SNL from 2005 - 2011. They included big stars in their music videos such as Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Akon and Adam Levine. Their major hits, "Jizz in My Pants", "Like a Boss" and "YOLO" were hilarious sketches that went viral on YouTube almost instantly. It appears that the music industry was missing a group that pokes fun at pop culture so The Lonely Island fit very well into this market. The trio also released three comedy albums in the span of 5 years; Incredibad in 2009, Turtleneck & Chain in 2011 and The Wack Album in 2013.

Tape Delay:

When the show has controversial hosts or artists, a seven second tape delay is used to allow the director to "dump out" of transmitting the offending piece live on air.

Famous Shows Where The Dump Button Was Used:

The seven-second tape delay dumps have only been intentionally used in three episodes with guest hosts Richard Pryor in 1975, Sam Kinison in 1986, and Andrew "Dice" Clay in 1990. Creator Lorne Michaels isn't fond of using the seven second delay dump, so it has only been used for guest hosts that cause a ruckus or controversial stars.

The famous Sinead O'Connor piece in 1992 caught NBC off-guard and they re-instated the requirement for the dump to be available

SNL Controversies:

December 1975: Richard Pryor and Chevy Chase play a racist word-association game that escalates from funny to offensive. Race relations repercussions are still felt years later.

January 1976: During a famous SNL "Samurai Futaba" sketch, John Belushi accidentally cut Buck Henry on the face with his "stunt" Samurai sword.

October 1992: Sinead O'Connor rips up a photo of Pope John Paul II during her live musical performance of "War"

March 1994: Martin Lawrence's monologue gets cut off due to too-crude-for-tv comments about Lorena Bobbitt and details about female hygiene. Lawrence was subsequently banned from SNL.

October 2004: Ashlee Simpson is caught lip syncing during her performance of "Autobiography"

Seeing The Live Show or Seeing The Rehearsal Show:

Long time audience members and fans of SNL (like Louis Klein who has been to over 600 tapings) will tell you that the rehearsal show is a great deal more enjoyable to watch than the live show. In the rehearsal show they leave in more skits in the show, the actors and host are more relaxed and it is a generally a more enjoyable experience than the live show that can feel rushed, controlled and beholden to commercial breaks.

Rehearsal Audience:

The audience for the rehearsal show are often bigger SNL fans. These fans have shown their devotion by standing on the standby line for the show for many hours. The live show fans usually just turn up with their ticket at the allotted time. The rehearsal fans are a more engaged audience than the somewhat muted live show audience and therefore the producers, director, host and cast prefer the rehearsal audience. The rehearsal show is taped, just in case the live show is not able to be broadcast. This tape has only been used three times in the past eight hundred shows since 1975.

The Most Frequent Hosts On Saturday Night Live:

The Five Timers Club is full of guest hosts on Saturday Night Live who have hosted 5 times (or more). These include big stars like Alec Baldwin(16), Steve Martin(15), John Goodman(13), Buck Henry(10), and Tom Hanks(8) that have won over the SNL demographic. The club was first introduced in Tom Hank's 5th appearance in December 1990. The Five Timers Club was most recently mentioned when Justin Timberlake made his 5th debut as host in March 2013 in his monologue. The sketch included iconic five-timers such as Tom Hanks, Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Paul Simon. Buck Henry was also the first to host SNL five times after it became a tradition for him to host the last episode of each season

Five Timers Club:

There are eleven members of the "five timers" host club, who have hosted the show over five times:

  • Alec Baldwin
  • Steve Martin
  • John Goodman
  • Buck Henry
  • Tom Hanks
  • Drew Barrymore
  • Chevy Chase
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Ben Affleck
  • Danny DeVito
  • Elliott Gould
  • Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson