Saturday Night Live is currently in its 40th season, and so far ratings and reviews have been only so-so.
Chevy Chase, meanwhile, was begging Pryor's personal writer Paul Mooney to write a skit for the two of them. Getting Started - Clicker Training For Dogs at Canine Concepts contactsitemap Welcome, Log in Cart: 0 product products ?0.00 (empty)Your Account Sale Dog Products Cat Products Getting a new Puppy?
New York Jets WR Eric Decker during practice at the Jets training facility in Florham Park, NJ. Jets-Chargers injury report: Dee Milliner will play Sunday, but will he boost Jets' pass defense?
It's safe to say that the weekly comedy-skit series has been struggling in recent years to stay hip, what with the likes of Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and John Oliver leading satire's zeitgeist, and Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel dominating You Tube (SNL doesn't do itself any favors in this department, as it is notorious for keeping a tight lid on its copyrighted clips).


So cast your minds back to December 1975, when SNL was only a few weeks old, Richard Pryor was the host, and the show aired one of its edgiest sketches: a racially-charged game of word-association between Pryor and Chevy Chase. Just as Michaels needed Richard to establish his show’s bona fides, Chevy needed airtime with him. The skit is rightly famous: it helped solidify SNL and confirm Chase's status as a TV star.
What is less-known is the on-set tension in the lead-up to the show. Salon relates how NBC was terrified of Pryor, and how Chevy Chase begged writers to let him do a sketch with him.
Salon quotes an excerpt from Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him, "NBC flat-out refused to allow Richard Pryor anywhere near a live studio camera. He kept sending emissaries to Mooney asking, “Could you please write something for Chevy and Richard?” At the end of the week Mooney turned in the sketch.


Two weeks after it aired, Chase was on the cover of TIME as “the funniest man in America," and SNL got a much-needed ratings boost.
Forty years later, what's old is new again: in October the show almost got its groove back--playing on racial tension once more--with its edgiest sketch in years. But Pryor could be difficult to work with, and behind the scenes there was concern that the comedian would be just as out of control as NBC feared.




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