It's fair to say Chevy Chase was a key factor in Saturday Night Live's early success, and the series might not have still been on television today if it wasn't for him and the original cast making it so popular. For that reason, Chase has occasionally been a little protective of the franchise, and he recently revealed there's something he doesn't particularly like about the show these days. On Norm Macdonald Has A Show, Chase went on a mini-rant about the current state of how people deliver SNL's classic "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night" line. In his words:
I mean it just gets so bad, and it seems like some guys are out there just to be the guy who says, "Live from New York," and then does it poorly. Anyway, that's not nice of me to say, but...fuck 'em.
Chevy Chase chuckled along with the sometimes controversial host Norm Macdonald for the latter's new Netflix series, and audience members in the room also joined in, but it was clear the comedy star has real issues with the way the current Saturday Night Live cast and guests are delivering the line that he helped make iconic. Chase preceded the above statement with a few impressions of others saying the line, with one of which being in another language, and in all instances, the emphasis was taken away from the word "live," which he thinks is a big mistake.
The Saturday Night Live phrase is now the instantly memorable way of starting each episode, but back in Chevy Chase's day, it was treated as a necessary part of the program. The whole point of the line was to emphasize to the audience that they were watching a live program, which is still a big deal in television today. Chase explained that he and SNL _creator Lorne Michaels felt the need to remind viewers it was live, which is why we never got to hear the simpler form, "From New York, it's _Saturday Night Live!" Chase continued:
I did it as if I were an announcer like Don Pardo...the reason I did it is because there was another show, because we couldn't say Saturday Night Live. There was a show called Saturday Night Live with Howard Cossell and I think Lorne felt, and rightfully so, that it's important to say that it's live because there's so many sketches and actors. It's not easy...
Former Saturday Night Live cast member Norm Macdonald seemed to agree with Chevy Chase about the current generation botching that particular line delivery, and added that he always preferred Chase's announcements over the people who basically scream the SNL line. Chase didn't have much to say about the current state of the show beyond that, but his statements appeared to indicate he's watched at least the opening of the show in recent years. Chase is said to be banned from ever hosting SNL again, due to several heated incidents in the show's past, but has made a few guest appearances in recent years. So maybe now they'll invite him back on to show these youngsters how to do the thing.
Saturday Night Live Season 44 will premiere on NBC on Saturday, September 29, at 11:30 p.m. ET. Meanwhile, Norm Macdonald _Has a Show_ is currently streaming all Season 1 episodes on Netflix. For a look at what else will be coming to television around that time or after, visit our fall premiere guide.