In this May 24, 1980 photo released by NBC, Bill Murray, Laraine Newman and Buck Henry perform in a skit from "Saturday Night Live," in New York. (AP Photo/NBC, Alan Singer)
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"Saturday Night Live," which has never shied from self-congratulation with countless best-of, holiday and anniversary shindigs, is doing it again, big-time."The SNL 40th Anniversary Special," three hours of it, will air live Sunday at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.To welcome them all, the "Today" show anchor team will host "The SNL 40th Red Carpet Live" at 7 p.m. EST.That's an eternity, as "SNL" has demonstrated with its breakneck six-day cycle for decades.No wonder each week of "SNL" was greeted as a video godsend by its first generation of disciples, who, powered by 60-cents-a-gallon gasoline and $15-an-ounce marijuana, flocked to one another's living rooms for smoky viewing parties, gathering around the TV set to live the live-ness of "SNL" along with its performers."SNL" (titled "NBC's Saturday Night" its first season) premiered Oct. 11, 1975, with comedian George Carlin as host, and Billy Preston and Janis Ian its musical guests. No one at the time could have predicted all that, but in a remarkably few weeks, "SNL" had settled into a creative groove.
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