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Email subject line: PopMatters / SNL – Still Alive
Like the late-night creature that it is, Saturday Night Live seems nearly unkillable. Started by Baby Boomers, reborn for a Gen X audience, and still watched by millennials, SNL has managed to stay, if not always relevant, at least on the air.
Seven presidents, two Iraq Wars, and numerous other sketch shows seeking the SNL crown have come and gone since George Carlin hosted the first episode in October 1975. What keeps a show—a comedy show, no less—around that long? The talent? The recurring characters, from Belushi’s Samurai to Cecily Strong’s “A One-Dimensional Female Character from a Male-Driven Comedy”? The commentary (and sometimes controversy) on the issues of the moment? Will SNL ever die? What is this constant human need that SNL feeds? (Or are we feeding it?)