Long before The Daily Show, long before The Colbert Report, Saturday Night Live was making fun of the news in a way that no one had ever seen before. Suddenly, establishment journalists like Barbara Walters were fair game. Jane Curtin and Dan Aykroyd riffed on the seething hostility between co-anchors. Heck, they even took on the 70s trend of sign language interpreters popping up in newscasts.
Oprah, Dateline, Geraldo Rivera... SNL's had distinctive takes on almost every major media presence over the years. And SNL's news spoofs aren't just entertainment: it's arguable that more Americans made up their minds about Sarah Palin based on SNL's Katie Couric/Sarah Palin interview than on the original interview itself. Stephen Colbert and John Stewart have done a lot in the news satire biz, but they still have some catching up to do.
In honor of the premiere of season 35 of SNL, we've pulled together 35 of SNL's choicest news anchor spoofs and Weekend Updates, spanning all seasons.
Turning Barbara Walters into Elmer Fudd may have been one of the most dastardly stunts that SNL ever pulled off, but it was a game-changer for the show and for Walters. At one point, Walters personally confronted Gilda Radner and made her do the impression to her face. Presumably, the meeting involved wevewations, wapport, and wepartee.
Gerald Ford was Eaten by Wolves
Carvey's Tom Brokaw wants to vacation in Barbados for the winter, so he's got to prerecord every possible way Gerald Ford could die, including gunshot, wolf attack, convenience store mountain lions, and Zimbabwean invasion. It's funny cause it's true?
A Day in the Life of Brian Williams
In this SNL Digital Short, BriWi himself shows what a good sport he is by taking us on a tour through the life of a nightly newsman, which involves hallucinating encouraging words from Bono. He's so confident, he doesn't even mind if you call him Stone Philips by mistake!
Follow Glynnis MacNicol on Twitter: www.twitter.com/GlynnMacN