Kuiper parties on (on the original couch from Wayne’s World.)
Sometimes photo shoots don’t go exactly as planned. ? I asked Kuiper to pose nicely on this historic couch and he immediately started rolling around on it (because OBVIOUSLY that’s what couches are for.) I’m sorry he’s blurry; I was laughing too hard to think of changing to a faster shutter speed.
Thanks again to the Museum of Broadcast Communications for making this picture possible by allowing Kuiper to make a special visit. You can check out their Saturday Night Live Experience exhibit (including this couch) in Chicago til December 31st.
SNL made its debut on October 11, 1975, and we can thank Johnny Carson for its existence. Having hosted the Tonight Show since 1962, he decided in 1974 to renegotiate his contract with NBC. Johnny’s desire for more free time resulted in a gap in NBC’s TV schedule from 11:30 pm Saturday night to 1 am Sunday morning. Dick Ebersol and Lorne Michaels pitched a variety show for the slot, aimed at people ages 18-34.
The show was originally named “NBC’s Saturday Night,” as the name “Saturday Night Live” was in use by another network (til its purchase by NBC in 1976.) ABC’s “Saturday Night Live” cast referred to themselves as the “Prime Time Players,” thus NBC’s first cast dubbed themselves the “Not Ready for Prime-Time Players.” The “Not Ready Players” included Gilda Radner, John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin, George Coe, Garrett Morris, Laraine Newman and Michael O’Donoghue. George Carlin hosted the first episode.
SNL has been making fun of presidents and other political figures since its 1st season. On November 8, 1975, Chevy Chase did his first (hilarious) impersonation of President Gerald Ford. Ford was a good sport. Not only was Chevy invited to perform at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, but Ford himself would also go on to deliver the cold open a few months later (pre-recorded in the Oval Office.)
In 1989, Mike Myers debuted Wayne on SNL (but first portrayed the character on local Toronto cable in the early 80s.) 3 years later, Wayne’s World released. The rest is history.
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