1 9 8 2 – 1 9 9 0 (USA)
72 x 30 minute episodes
This American version of the British series Not The Nine O Clock News featured actual news footage (slightly edited for laughs) combined with sketches and blackouts satirising television news broadcasts.
The original format lasted until May 1989, when the series switched to a live format in the style of Saturday Night Live‘s Weekend Update, although NNTN was consistently funnier than SNL.
A popular segment of the show was the “Sniglets” feature, a portion of the show devoted to “new words” such as “flen” – the black crusty residue at the top of old ketchup bottles.
Sniglets – definitions for people, places and things that couldn’t be found in the dictionary – were first introduced by Rich Hall in 1983.
Hall left to go to SNL in 1984 but his creation remained a fixture on NNTN.
Fearlessly tasteless but frightfully funny, the show was never a big ratings hitter (truly biting political satire wasn’t craved by American viewers in sufficient numbers).