George Carlin’s T-Shirt Almost Delays SNL Premiere

George Carlin's T-Shirt Almost Delays SNL Premiere
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When NBC aired “Saturday Night Live” on October 11, 1975, at 11:30 p.m. EDT, it defied numerous broadcast standards. Lorne Michaels had assembled a talented cast of Baby Boomer comedic performers and Chevy Chase in hopes of making the once undesirable time slot a must-watch 90 minutes for people who were busy closing bars or turning in early on their last night off for the weekend.

SNL associate producer Craig Kellem referred to Tebet as “the Don Corleone of network executives.” He recalled the imperious suit ordering Carlin to get a haircut and wear socks. In the permissive era of the 1970s, that was not a top priority for Boomer network execs, let alone a hellraiser like George Carlin.

In the end, Carlin wore a suit and t-shirt and looked smart while delivering his famous anti-war monologue about the differences between baseball and football. He was also so stoned that he couldn’t participate in any of the sketches, giving Carlin the upper hand.


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