Live from New York, it’s Saturday night! You may have heard that line before from the VERY famous comedy sketch show, Saturday Night Live. Did you know the show’s creator is from Toronto? We didn’t either! Here’s what to know about Lorne Michaels and his decorated career.

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Early days

If you weren’t aware, Saturday Night Live is the longest-running and highest-rated weekly late-night television program in history.

Lorne Michaels, born in Toronto in 1944, started his career in this city!

Michaels attended the University of Toronto and worked as a writer and producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Company early into his career.

Michaels starred in a CBC Radio comedy series titled The Hart & Lorne Terrific Hour around 1964 and eventually left Toronto for Los Angeles California in 1968.



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His first gig in LA was as a writer for NBC’s Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In and it wasn’t until 1975 when Saturday Night Live started to come to life.

NBC’s Saturday Night was the original name of the program, which Michaels pitched in 1975.

Michaels signed his original contract to produce the show in April of that year, eventually changing the name to Saturday Night Live in 1977!

The show was quickly loved for its “loose” and rugged feel eventually drawing larger and larger ratings and bigger and bigger names from comedy, acting and music to host and perform.

The show has launched or helped elevate the careers of endless comedians and actors such as Tina Fey, Eddie Murphy, Chris Farley, Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock and Kristen Wiig.

In 1999, Michaels was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame for his work.

In 2002, he was made a member of the Order of Canada for lifetime achievement and awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

He also earned the the Mark Twain Prize for American Humour by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2004 and In 2016, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Wow, quite the resume! Lorne Michaels, you’ve made Toronto proud!