We’re Getting a Prime-Time Celebration of “SNL” Turning 50 in 2025

It's a comedy milestone

"SNL" Emmy win
Bowen Yang, Lorne Michaels and Kate McKinnon, winners of the Outstanding Variety Sketch Series award for Saturday Night Live, at the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards.
Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images

It’s been a long time since the initial cast of SNL — also known as the Not Ready for Prime Time Players — made their debut and helped reshape the comedy landscape. There’s a long history in the arts of outsiders eventually becoming insiders, and the history of SNL is a perfect example of that, with the show eventually becoming a comedy institution. What was once not ready for prime time has, gradually, become a show that’s periodically given moments in prime time to celebrate certain milestones.

Next year will mark the show’s 50th anniversary; not surprisingly, NBC has big plans for the event. As Consequence’s Scoop Harrison reports, a three-hour anniversary special is slated to air on the network in prime time early next year. The special is set to run on a Sunday night — specifically, on February 16th, 2025.

The previous anniversary special included a blend of celebrity appearances and returning alumni. One especially memorable segment featured Bill Hader and Edward Norton as dueling Stefons and the triumphant (?) return of Land Shark.

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The show reaching its 50th anniversary will also likely lead to more questions about Lorne Michaels’s stewardship of the show in recent years. On one hand, had you told someone in 1977 that SNL would still be on the air in the 2020s, you might have gotten a doubletake in response. On the other, SNL has also featured its share of head-scratching decisions as of late.

That isn’t to say that there aren’t some rumored candidates to take over from Michaels, including Tina Fey. And the show’s 50th anniversary might well be the ideal moment for such an announcement; we’ll know in about nine months.

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