Saturday Night Live aired its debut episode on October 11th, 1975, revolutionizing sketch comedy for the ages. Forty years later, fans can experience the series in a deeper way with the immersive "Saturday Night Live: The Exhibition," which features "original scripts, set pieces, props, costumes, masks and interactive elements" from some of the most iconic SNL sketches. The exhibit, in partnership with Lorne Michaels' Broadway Video, will debut at New York City's Premier on 5th exhibition center this spring.
According to a press release, the exhibit's aim is to connect fans with the show's backstory and relive memorable sketches and characters – including Eddie Murphy's classic Gumby bit and Chris Farley's demented motivational speaker Matt Foley (the "van down by the river" guy) – as well as offer insight into the "frenetic schedule and pace" involved in creating an episode every week. A specific opening date has not been revealed, but pre-sale ticket information is available at the project's official website.
NBC is also celebrating SNL's 40th anniversary – albeit technically eight months or so early – with a three-hour live special airing on February 15th. The event will reportedly feature past and present cast members, along with memorable musical guests from throughout the series' four-decade run. (No specific names have been revealed thus far.)
"This special is just one of the many ways we plan to celebrate SNL's historic 40th season next year," said NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt, in a statement last April, implying that other anniversary-related tributes may be in the works.
Leading up to the special will be The SNL Rewind: 2015 – 1975, a mega-marathon on VH1 Classic featuring 433 hours of back-to-back episodes – beginning with Season 39 and going backward to the first season from 1975. According to Deadline, the run will begin Wednesday, January 28th and wrap Sunday, February 15th – leading up to the three-hour live special.