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Saturday Night Live With Howard Cosell

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As competition to NBC’s hugely popular Saturday Night Live which also aired for the first time in 1975, ABC weighed in with the similarly titled (but far less successful) Saturday Night Live With Howard Cosell, broadcast from the Ed Sullivan Theater on Broadway, New York.

Cosell’s show featured live remote satellite crosses to other locations around America and the world – in the 20 September premiere show he cut to London for a song from The Bay City Rollers and to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for a performance from illusionists Siegfried and Roy – which was common in the news arena, but certainly a novelty in the world of variety entertainment.


Though the verbose and awkward Cosell seemed far more comfortable in his regular gig as an acerbic ABC sportscaster than as the host of a variety show, the programme did feature regular appearances by talented comedian Bill Murray, who coincidentally would go on to replace Chevy Chase as a member of NBC’s SNL in the fall of 1976.