'Saturday Night Live': Watch Highlights From Its 1975 Debut

'SNL' was pretty different 39 years ago
Hulu/Screengrab

Happy birthday, Saturday Night Live.

The show aired its first episode 39 years ago today, so it's time to look back at how it all began. For starters — forget politics or pop culture for the cold open.

SNL opened with John Belushi (rocking an Eastern European accent) learning English from Michael O'Donoghue by imitating everything he does — including having a heart attack. Afterwards, SNL announcer Don Pardo famously flubbed the first introduction of the cast, calling them the "not ready for primetime players" (there shouldn't have been a "not" in there). 

George Carlin hosted, but he wasn't the type of host we're used to today. He performed three standup routines throughout the show but didn't participate in any of the sketches.

As for Weekend Update, Chevy Chase kicked off the first-ever segment in a not-so-wholesome way by dirty talking into the phone. 

Stay tuned to THR.com for highlights from Saturday's episode, which features Bill Hader's triumphant return to the show.

Email: Aaron.Couch@THR.com
Twitter: @AaronCouch

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