Tonight, NBC is giving us a chance to go back to the era that launched a zillion comedy careers: the early years of "Saturday Night Live." The network is re-airing "Live from New York: The First Five Years of 'Saturday Night Live,'" the first in its series of documentaries about the show, which covers the era from the show's 1975 premiere up through 1980.
The "'Saturday Night Live' in the '90s" documentary that premiered in May featured the bits of "SNL" that I know best, but the first five years are what laid the groundwork for the show to become a comedy empire. The documentary includes interviews with original performers Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd as well as early guest hosts Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin, among many others. Players of more recent years, such as Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jimmy Fallon, also chime in with their thoughts about what made early "SNL" so great.
My knowledge of this early era is spotty at best, so I'll definitely be TiVo-ing this and keeping it handy. The special airs tonight at 8 p.m., but in the meantime, to watch Steve Martin's classic "King Tut" song from 1978,