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Saturday Night Live, often shortened to SNL, is an American live sketch comedy TV series best known for its parodies of contemporary culture and satirical commentaries on politics. Since premiering in October 1975, the series has received dozens of accolades and a reputation as a fixture in American pop culture and a spring board for aspiring comedian actors and writers. On the web, a number of sketches from the series have gone viral on YouTube and other video-sharing communities.
Created by American TV producer and writer Lorne Michaels and developed by NBC executive Dick Ebersol, the pilot episode of the show premiered live under the original title NBC’s Saturday Night Live on October 11th, 1975. The original cast of the show included then-up and coming comedians and writers, including Laraine Newman, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris and Chevy Chase, who became collectively known as “The Not Ready For Prime-Time Players.” After five years of successfully running the show, Michaels departed from the project in 1980 and his position was filled in by Jean Doumanian and Dick Ebersol until Michaels’s return in 1985.
In the span of over three decades, dozens of Saturday Night Live’s cast members and writers were launched into national fame during their tenure on the show, including Bill Murray, Al Franken, Eddie Murphy, Billy Crystal, Martin Short, Jon Lovitz, Dana Carvey, Mike Myers, Chris Rock, Jim Carrey Rob Schneider, Chris Farley, David Spade, Adam Sandler, Sarah Silverman, Colin Quinn, Will Ferrel, Tracy Morgan, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Fred Armisen, Kristen Wigg, Andy Samberg among many others.
Since its debut, Saturday Night Live has won dozens of awards, including two Peabody Awards, four Writers Guild of America Awards, as well as 36 Emmy Awards and 126 Emmy nominations, setting new record for the most award nominated show in Emmy history in 2009. In addition, the series was ranked tenth on TV Guide’s “50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time” in 2002, followed by inclusion in Time Magazine’s “100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME” in 2007 and the Writers Guild of America’s “101 Best Written Shows of All Time” in 2013.
The series has maintained an active presence in social media through its official accounts on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, in addition to dozens of fan sites, digital archives and blogs that exist on Reddit, Tumblr and Wikia. On YouTube, there are approximately 100 video clips of Saturday Night Live sketches or musical performances that have garnered more than a million views, as of September 2013.
SNL Digital Shorts
In December 2005, Saturday Night Live introduced a new pre-recorded component to the show with a segment called “Digital Shorts,” which showcases some of the more experimental and Internet-friendly comedic sketches and musical shorts that were initially produced and written by Adam McKay, and later, The Lonely Island in collaboration with SNL hosts, writers and cast members.
Go Make Me a Sandwich
“Go make me a sandwich” is a catchphrase originally introduced in a Saturday Night Live skit that aired in 1995. In the skit, actor Tim Meadows appears as John-John Mackey, a weatherman who tries too hard to be hip by using confrontational language during the delivery of his forecasts. While predicting an incoming storm, he tells the storm to go make him a sandwich.
What Is Love
“What is Love” is a 1993 dance pop song by the Trinidanian eurodance artist Haddaway, which became a hit in 1996 after it was featured in several “Roxbury Guys” sketches on Saturday Night Live. In 2005, a scene from the show in which several characters are shown bobbing their heads in unison to “What is Love” inspired a GIF meme on the image-sharing site YTMND.
Needs More Cowbell
“Needs More Cowbell” is a catchphrase quoted in a 2000 Saturday Night Live comedic sketch featuring Christopher Walken and Will Ferrell. This expression is typically used to indicate something needs more emphasis--or literally, when it needs more cowbell.
“Lazy Sunday” is the second SNL Digital Short created by The Lonely Island featuring Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell. The music video sketch consists of the duo rapping about The Chronicles of Narnia (a reference to “Chronic,” a term for high-grade marijuana), cupcakes, movie trivia, and other mundane activities. After its upload to YouTube, the video went viral and later became infamous for its takedown from YouTube numerous times due to copyright infringement.
Dick in a Box
“Dick in a Box” is a music video by the American comedy troupe The Lonely Island. The song describes putting one’s genitals inside a box as the ultimate present for one’s significant other.
Dear Sister / The Shooting
“Dear Sister” Parody is a video parody meme that spawned out of an overly melodramatic, slow-motion shooting scene in the second season finale of the FOX teen drama series The OC that aired in May 2005. The scene and the background music “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap later became parodied in an SNL Digital Shorts segment in April 2007.
Jizz In My Pants
“Jizz in My Pants” (known in the edited version as J*** in My Pants) is a music video starring The Lonely Island and guest appearances by Justin Timberlake, Molly Sims and Jamie-Lynn Sigler, which premiered on Saturday Night Live and YouTube simultaneously on December 6th, 2008.
I’m On a Boat
I’m on a Boat is a music video parodying various rap clichés by the comedy group The Lonely Island featuring auto-tuned vocals by rapper T-Pain. Like other music videos by the group, the song debuted on the sketch comedy television show Saturday Night Live as a digital short on February 7th, 2009 and has since inspired the creation of many parodies and spin-offs on YouTube.
Like a Boss
Like A Boss is a catchphrase often used in image macros or GIFs that feature a person completing an action with authority and finesse. The phrase stems from The Lonely Island‘s 2009 single “Like A Boss,” a parody of the Slim Thug song of the same name. Featuring Andy Samberg and Seth Rogen, the music video premiered on Saturday Night Live as a Digital Short on April 4th, 2009.
Doesn’t Matter, Had Sex
Doesn’t Matter, Had Sex is a catchphrase used on the internet often paired with demotivationals or used as a image macro that shows a situation that can be interpreted as a past place of sexual intercourse, or used to show no matter how disgusting, dirty, vicious or demeaning something is, that the sex is worth it. The expression was originally introduced through the SNL Digital Short with the same name starring The Lonely Island and guest star Akon, which premiered on December 18th, 2010.